Title: Murder in the Place of Anubis
Author: Lynda Robinson
Series: Lord Meren #1
Publication: January 23, 2001 (first published 1994)
Genre: Historical Fiction, Mystery
Purchase it on Amazon: Amazon
Who has dared to desecrate the sacred place of embalming with a murdered corpse? Pharaoh Tutankhamun orders Lord Meren, his chief investigator, to find out quickly, before power-mad priests use the incident to undermine his royal authority.
Everyone is a suspect, for the body belongs to the notorious scribe Hormin, hated by all who knew him. However, Lord Meren is no mere courtier but the Eyes and Ears of the living god. In the terrifying Place of Anubis, where unquiet spirits dwell, in the sunstruck city of Thebes, where Hormin’s sons and his beautiful concubine plot, and in the royal court, where intrigues abound, Lord Meren hunts his quarry, peeling back the secrets of nobles and slaves in his quest for the truth. But more important by far is Meren’s responsibility to protect the young Pharaoh from his enemies — who are no farther away than the length of a dagger . . . .
“This exceptional debut melds ancient Egyptian religious beliefs and practices with court intrigue to produce a riveting mystery.” — Publishers Weekly
I picked up Murder in the Place of Anubis kind of randomly and it turned out to be an unexpectedly entertaining read. I’m not going to say that I haven’t read better books in the same setting or that it was a super amazing story but I read it fairly quickly and I had a hard time putting the book down so those are all good things in my opinion.
A murder mystery set in ancient Egypt doesn’t seem to be the easiest thing to write about but somehow the author made it work fairly well. I liked reading about the main character Lord Meren, who is the Eyes and Ears of pharaoh Tutankhamun and who got assigned with the task of figuring out who murdered a scribe in the Place of Anubis (which is where they do the embalming of mummies and stuff). I also liked reading about his adopted son Kysen because he had an interesting backstory. I would’ve liked knowing more about him, in fact.
I definitely liked was that this all takes place during the time of the famous pharaoh Tutankhamun, although he’s never been a favorite of mine. There’s a lot of unrest in his court with priests and other people close to him waiting for an opportunity to overthrow the king so we’ve not only got the murder mystery to read about but also a lot of court intrigue although that aspect was definitely of less importantce to the story.
If there’s one thing I wish there was more of it would’ve been female characters. There really were only three mentioned and these women were all kind of put in a bad light. One was the wife of the murdered scribe who was shown as nothing more than a jealous spouse, another was the concubine of the murdered scribe who’s only purpose to the story seems to be how many men she banged to get more jewelry and the other one was a wife of Tutankhamun who tried to poison him. I just wish there could’ve been at least one female character portrayed more positively. So yeah that was kind of disappointing, especially since the book was written by a woman.
Overall, Murder in the Place of Anubis by Lynda Robinson was a decent read. The setting was great, I liked the writing a lot because it was descriptive and made me feel as if I was in ancient Egypt. Some of the characters were a bit lacking but in the end I did enjoy reading this murder mystery of the ancient world.
About the author:
Lynda Suzanne Robinson (b. July 6, 1951 in Amarillo, Texas) is an American writer, author of romance (under the name Suzanne Robinson) and mystery novels (under the name Lynda S. Robinson). She is best known for her series of historical whodunnits set in Ancient Egypt during the reign of Tutankhamun and featuring Lord Meren, “the Eyes and Ears of Pharaoh.” She lives in Texas with her husband and has a doctorate in anthropology from the University of Texas at Austin.