Book eight in the mystery series featuring Amelia Peabody is much like the previous books - enjoyable, satisfying, informative, humorous and cozy.
This season (1899-1900), the Emersons are greeted in Cairo by a mysterious Mr. Shelmadine, who tells them a tale of reincarnation and a queen's tomb before disappearing. The tomb he wants them to excavate is at Drah Abu'l Naga, the tomb of Queen Tetisheri. Despite Emerson's annoyance at the melodrama, his interest is piqued, especially after a corpulent and ruthless antiquities dealer named Riccetti mentions their visitor in a veiled warning.
While trying to find the exact location of the tomb, as well as the vanishing Mr. Shelmadine, the Emersons meet up with David Todros, a young apprentice to an accomplished forger of antiquities. David is Abdullah's grandson, who scorns the "Inglizi" and wants nothing to do with Abdullah, until he himself becomes a target for violence connected with the Emersons' quest.
Evelyn and Walter Emerson come to join the work as well, and Ramses, Nefret, and David begin what is to be a beautiful friendship.