Inquest on Imhotep Review
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For as long as I can remember, I’ve been fascinated with ancient Egypt and the mystery surrounding it. I can’t quite put my finger on why, but if I believed in reincarnation, I’d say I’ve lived there in another life. Author Derek Adie Flower brings Egypt to brilliant life in his book Inquest on Imhotep: Beyond the White Walls, and I was captivated from beginning to end.

Archeologist Christopher Grant discovers what he thinks is the tomb of Imhotep, the world’s first great architect, on an estate at Saqqara, the necropolis of Memphis—the first great capital of Pharaonic Egypt. But Grant dies a suspicious death one night while taking a bath. Jim Collings, a journalist, also turns up dead—which means that someone doesn’t want Imhotep’s tomb discovered.

An Englishman who has no real interest in archeology—or his estate in Memphis—travels out to Egypt after Grant’s death to take care of business. There, he gets caught up in a web of murder and unexplained deaths and a secret society known as Sons of Set. He meets Meri de Rougemont, and they quickly become close—and then fall in love. Their happiness is short-lived, though, when an Italian named Gaetano Semberlini pressures the Englishman to sell the estate. When he refuses, Semberlini uses foul means to get what he wants.

A surprising amount of good writing has come out of Lulu Press (a self-publisher), and Inquest on Imhotep is one of the best. It’s very well written, with a tantalizing plot. Not only do you get an intriguing murder mystery, but there’s also a bit of romance, mixed with archeology, secret societies, and a 5,000-year-old tomb on the brink of being unearthed.

The only thing that really bugged me about the novel was that I never discovered what the main character’s name is. I only knew him as “the Englishman.” Another thing that bothered me—though not really to the point of irritation—was that I’d often have to refer to the notes in the back of the novel to look up unfamiliar words. Sometimes, I’d discover that a word would mean something like “clover,” and I’d think, Why didn’t he just say clover? But, then again, I’d learn something new each time.

Inquest on Imhotep is a good, solid read with an intriguing setting. If you like the lure of Egypt as much as I do, then you’ll enjoy this novel as much as I did.

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