The Mask of Ra (Amerotke, #1)
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The Mask of Ra (Amerotke #1)

3.74 of 5 stars 3.74  ·  rating details  ·  630 ratings  ·  36 reviews
The stunning second mystery in Paul Doherty's intriguing Amerotke series set in Ancient Egypt
Paperback, 294 pages
Published 1998
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Interesting, and I suspect quite authentic; but for me, too much description of costumes, wall decorations and cityscapes. Some decent action but not much in the way of puzzles for the historical mystery fan. An OK read.
A very good novel. The beginning was heavily filled with over-descriptions in the middle of thoughts. So much so that at times my eyes would blur and I couldn't wait to get to the next point of the story, and forgetting that I was still waiting for the current point the author was trying to make. But as the action progressed, the descriptions were less, and more helpful to understand what the author wanted us to see. It was almost like he needed to make the book longer and did so by adding as mu...more
P. C. Doherty is a prolific author of historical murder mysteries and this is the first in a series set in Ancient Egypt. I love these types of story and I was looking forward to getting my teeth into this one.

The first half is pretty slow. The locations are nice, and the novel feels a little like a travelogue with plenty of descriptions of exotic locales. The second half picks up a lot. There's a great battle scene and solid research providing a good foundation for the plot.

This isn't a great b...more
“What is it?” Tuthmosis asked.

“An omen, your majesty. A dove flew over the courtyard.”

In ancient Egypt, doves aren’t associated with peace and happiness. The opposite in fact: they’re quite the gloomy portent. And rather aptly, in this case, as Tuthmosis drops dead mere moments after. It’s an event that causes just a wee bit of worry, as Tuthmosis, of course, is–or was–none other than the Pharaoh. In fact, he’s only just returned to Thebes after a lengthy series of battles along the Nile Delta....more
I give this barely 3 stars. The most enjoyable thing about the book is the setting in ancient Egypt. I haven't read anything like this before and the new-to-me culture was fun. As I read the book, I started getting worried that we wouldn't have any scenes with pyramids but we do get around to them, and that was a fun section.

They have much looser rules on what constitutes evidence of a crime, but that's to be expected for thousands of years ago.

There was too much of telling me stuff and not enou...more
Simon Mcleish
Originally published on my blog here in April 2000.

Many historical novelists have a period of history for which their writing seems particularly well suited. This is partly because writing a good historical novel involves a good deal of research, so that the background is most convincing when it matches a period of history the author is interested in, understands well, or has already done closely related research for previous novels. When an author moves to a different setting, the novels are of...more
Catherine Fitzsimmons
This is a novel that is really defined by its genre, but given the entirely unique aspect of it, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. It is an ancient Egyptian murder mystery, taking place in 1479 B.C. and following the chief judge as he investigates the unexpected death of Pharoah Tuthmosis II.

It was a short book at a little under 300 pages and fairly simple as far as the story went, but the setting absolutely drew me in to this novel. There was just enough detail to paint a vivid picture of an...more
I hate a mystery that isn't really a mystery and courtly intrigue is just everyday affair to me. It felt like about a third of the way into the book Doherty suddenly remembered that this was Hatshepsut, who was so LOATHED by her successor that he systematically destroyed her monuments and erased her name from public eye. Now suddenly he had to have a reason for her to act like a dishrag in the early part of the book so he fell back on the old issue of legitimacy.

Overall the world building was w...more
Edward Creter
In Ancient Egypt, a special Judge handles the murder of a beloved Pharoah, pertained to have died of a snakebite. Very well written mystery that combines Raiders-esque action with Agatha Christie's solvability, though I have problems with the afterword, wherein the author claims that a kind, loving God was an invention of the Egyptians themselves. Otherwise, I'm looking forward to future adventures.
It was a good as I remember it being the first time I read it (like 10 years ago). It has an Egyptian setting, one of the main characters is Haptshepsut (even though he shortened her name and that kind of pissed me off) who is one of my all time favorite historical figures , and it is about murder and intrigue of the royal court. It is a little predictable at times but the story makes you forget about that most of the time. I would recommend it!
Very good mystery for mystery lovers who like their "whodunits" to take place in different time periods in history. This one takes place in one of my favorites - Ancient Egypt during the reign of the Pharaoh-Queen Hatchepsut.

Doherty is very readable and you do not have to be an Egyptologist to enjoy the story! He takes time out at the beginning to set the scene and to give some background information on the time-frame.

Possibly the worst historical fiction I have ever read. Was a real disappointment. The lowest point was the author using a phrase similar to "thinking several moves ahead, as in chess". At this point I lost all interest. I completed the book, as hate having unfinished books laying around, but very poorly researched.
Ned Leffingwell
I read another book by Doherty in this series so I thought that I would start at the beginning. I liked this one. It was full of intrigue and there was a huge action scene. I did guess the killer but this was partly due to the fact that I had read another book and knew who the recurring characters where.
What's not to like about a mystery set in ancient Thebes at the start of the great eighteenth dynasty, opening up with the death of Thutmosis II under mysterious circumstances and culminating with a great battle and the rise to power of his sister-wife Hatshepsut? Very entertaining.
The Pharaoh Tuthmosis II is dead, his wife struggling to keep power and his heir underage. Amerotke is a judge and has to find out who did it. Part of this is his adherence to Maat and part of it is to save himself.

Interesting read. Not spectacular but a nice way to pass some time.
Finished 10th March 2009.

Enjoyable historical fiction, Hatshepsut had to battle both within the royal court and also on the battlefield for the right to wear the crown of the Pharaoh and the intrigue and corruption portrayed was most likely true to life.
I hadn't read this book in several years. It is a good one, with lots of plot twists and several murders. The chief judge, Amerotke, must solve the murders and choose a side in a struggle for power in Pharoah's household.
I'm glad I discovered this series. I enjoyed the fictionalization of actual historica events from Ancient Egypt. I've always found Egyptian coulture interesting and through this series I got a closer look at it.
I loved this book. The mystery is fair, and the best guess estimates of daily Egyptian life is interesting enough of its own accord even if the mystery had not been good. I recommend all of the Amerotke series.
A fairly standard mystery in the unstandard setting of ancient Egypt. I didn't figure out "whodunit" prematurely, so interest was retained throughout the novel. A worthwhile read.
I wanted to like it.... And maybe it was just me- but I had a hard time following the story and plot... And let's face it- even keeping up with the names and who's who gave me trouble
The first of Paul Doherty's Egyptian mysteries and in as a placeholder for the first five of the series. A good historical mystery series, set in the time of the female pharoah Hatusu
Freddie Silva
This series is a quick read, but if you like historical fiction it is enjoyable. Another good example of a historical mystery series. A good window into ancient Egypt.
Shanti Hofshi
A nice piece of historical fiction centered on the Pharaoh Queen Hatshepsut. A good read that gives you glance into life in the royal court in ancient Egypt.
Alexander Kennedy
Doherty clearly understands that there is more to Egyptian religion than meets the eye. The book keeps you guessing and is a good detective style novel.
P.C. Doherty is known for his compelling mysteries and detailed historical settings. This particular novel is the first in the Egyptian series.
It was a little slow starting up, but as a whole I enjoyed reading it. I thought that the resolution of the issues of faith was really clever.
Interesting, and good...but kind of confusing and a little slap-dash. I'd be interested to read another to see if they get better.
A good first book to a series. Not a stand out of either the Egyptian or mystery genres but I like the setting and the characters are fun.
Just couldn't grab my attention; once I remembered the series is named for the character I find most boring, I figured I'd give up.
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name. See this thread for more information.

He has been published under several pseudonyms: P.C. Doherty, C.L. Grace, Paul Harding, Ann Dukthas, Vanessa Alexander, Michael Clynes and Anna Apostolou but now writes only under his own name.

Paul Doherty was born in Middlesbrough (North-Eastern England) in 1946. He had the...more
More about Paul Doherty...
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