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The Spoils of Egypt

(Mamur Zapt #6)

3.71  ·  Rating details ·  80 ratings  ·  8 reviews
Edwardian Egypt and archaeology go hand in hand, not just for the antiquarian but for the men, whether poor fellahin or rich merchant, who profit from the illegal export of antiquties. Captain Gareth Owen, the Mamur Zapt or head of Cairo's Secret Police, turns his attention to the trade when Miss Skinner arrives. She's a woman with the habit of asking awkward questions. ...more
Paperback, 188 pages
Published July 30th 2003 by Poisoned Pen Press (first published 1992)
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Jun 18, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: armchair travellers
Shelves: mysteries
Michael Pearce has crafted a series of mysteries set in Egypt at the end of the 19th Century. I suspect that the series itself may be greater than the sum of its parts.

I just finished this book and another (Girl in the Nile) in the series and would heartily recommend three or four in a row for someone planning a trip to Egypt. The books convey a great sense of place and present the cultural mores and business practices of the period as part of the story.

Reading it just for fun, I found the
Review to come
Clare O'Beara
Feb 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: africa-crime
Another excellent politically aware book about Egypt prior to the First World War.

The focus is on all the antiquities being excavated and removed from Egypt to vanish into private collections or be curiosities. The story focuses on one particular tomb some distance outside Cairo - the local village has been quietly robbing it since it was constructed, but now American money is coming along and prising it apart. The people of Egypt could do with money from sales, but most of the money is going
Liz V.
Sep 23, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Some people, both Egyptian and foreign, have become concerned about the exporting of antiquities, not by tourists but by professional collectors. Yet the pasha and other Egyptians want the money.

The Mamur Zapt becomes involved when one of the foreign women, a relative of a U.S. presidential candidate, claims to have been pushed into the path of a tram.
Feb 11, 2019 rated it it was ok
This was just an ok mystery that never really caught my attention other than to wonder two things: why did they let an random American woman run all over the excavation site and the antiquities department? and what does Owen as the Mamur Zapt actually do other than wander around?
Simon Mcleish
Originally published on my blog here in January 2001.

One of the scandals of the archaeological world is the way in which the heritage of the eastern Mediterranean, particularly Greece and Egypt, was ransacked in the nineteenth century to create the collections of museums and individuals in the West. Very little attempt was made to stop the removal of artefacts, because it was not in the financial interest of powerful men to do so. Tourism was not sufficiently important, in the days before mass
Sep 14, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
It was a little hard to follow but seemed a nice little mystery of the industry that basically stole the mummies and other relics found in the tombs of Egypt. I guess it is a flourishing business. No bad language or situations. It was just OK but then I got it from a friend so didn't have to buy anything.
Nov 06, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Quick read with the flavor of Egypt, and a very complicated mystery.
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Michael Pearce grew up in the (then) Anglo-Egyptian Sudan. He returned there later to teach, and retains a human rights interest in the area. He has recently retired from his academic post to write full time.

Other books in the series

Mamur Zapt (1 - 10 of 19 books)
  • The Mamur Zapt and the Return of the Carpet (Mamur Zapt, #1)
  • The Night of the Dog (Mamur Zapt, #2)
  • The Mamur Zapt and the Donkey-vous (Mamur Zapt, #3)
  • The Men Behind (Mamur Zapt, #4)
  • The Mamur Zapt and the Girl in the Nile (Mamur Zapt, #5)
  • The Camel of Destruction (Mamur Zapt, #7)
  • The Snake Catcher's Daughter (Mamur Zapt, #8)
  • The Mingrelian Conspiracy (Mamur Zapt, #9)
  • The Fig Tree Murder (Mamur Zapt, #10)
  • The Last Cut (Mamur Zapt, #11)