Disappearance of a Scribe by Dana Stabenow is a historical crime novel. It is a murder mystery set in Alexandria Egypt during the reign of Cleopatra VII.
It is the second book of a trilogy in The Eye of Isis series. The first book is Death of an Eye.
It is not necessary to have read the first book, as any murder mystery stands alone.
Tetisheri is a friend and confidante of Cleopatra. She also is a partner in her Uncle Ned’s import business.
Cleopatra has appointed Tetisheri to be the Eye of Isis ,and she now carries with her the eye, the badge of office. The Eye of Isis basically is the “eye, ear and mouth” of the Ruler of Alexandria and Egypt. It is a very important position, the investigator of crimes.
Tetisheri’s predecessor, Khemit, has been murdered. Tetisheri decides to start her new role by investigating the last case Khemit was working on as it was recorded “unresolved”. She had been looking into the disappearance of Grafeas, aged 18, who went missing on his way home from work.
He was a scribe in his father’s business. Grafeas had been working on half a dozen different cases that were before the courts. His business life and personal life had already been investigated. Tetisheri begins to re-examine and reinterview every one in the file.
It appears other people are also missing.
Another problem Tetisheri needs to solve is the stolen books from the Great Library of Alexandria. The oldest, irreplaceable and most valuable volumes are disappearing.
When a second skeleton is found murdered, by having their feet set in concrete and then dropped into the Mediteranian Sea, Rhakotis sandals as it is called, to identify the remains and find out why they were murdered becomes Tetisheri’s priority.
Her investigation leads her to the building trade. A lot of rebuilding is happening in Alexandria and pozzolan (cement) has to be imported. It is expensive and rare. It is a product she is familiar with as her uncle imports it.
There are twists and turns. Who can Tetisheri trust and is her own life in danger, as she solves these crimes?
I found it a brilliant read. We are taken into the way of life and homes and the day to day living of the people of Alexandria during Cleopatra’s time. The history was fascinating. Especially the support Cleopatra gave towards women in business.
There is a helpful list of characters and a series of maps in the front of the book. Don’t be put off by the long list of characters and complicated names. The story essentially is a basic “who done it murder mystery”.
I will definitely be reading the first book! Thank you to head of Zeus for the opportunity to read this great book.
Copy courtesy of Head of Zeus
A selection of our Beauty and Lace Club Members are reading The Disappearance of a Scribe by Dana Stabenow. You can read their comments below, or add your own review.
I love to read, any book on any topic. I now love ebooks as they are easier to store, I was running out of bookshelves! My other interests are family, gardening and our beautiful King Charles spaniel dog who is my reading companion.