MURDER AT THE GOD'S GATE by Lynda S Robinson
Allison & Busby - October 2001
ISBN 0749005815 - Paperback
Historical Crime / Ancient Egypt under Tutankhamun

Reviewed by Rachel A Hyde,
Buy US || UK

Allison & Busby continue to make this delightful US series available to UK readers. It is still Year 5 of the fourteen-year-old Pharaoh's reign and once again Tutankhamun's "eyes and ears" Lord Meren has his work cut out for him to keep the peace. The Hittites, growing in strength while Akhenaten devoted his energies to religious matters are amassing at Egypt's borders and think that Egypt will soon fall to them, ruled as it is by a mere boy. A lowly priest dies after falling from the top of a statue of the Pharaoh and although it looks as though it might be a domestic murder Meren has other ideas. When another murder follows on it seems as though Egypt's enemies are closer to home - and what is Meren's bitter cousin Ebana up to?

As in her earlier novel Murder in the Place of Anubis Robinson's easy prose style makes for a fast and informative read. She has not fallen into the trap that many writers of historical fiction do and tried to put modern people in period costume into her story - this is very much in the ancient world. Neither has she gone for dramatic effect and portrayed the Egyptians as being unnecessarily cruel; instead a lot of solid research underpins this series of novels. The supernatural stalks alongside the natural but this is no fantasy story where strange things happen, just the fact people believed many ordinary occurrences were the result of divine intervention or magic. Whether Robinson is describing court plotters, the daily doings of ordinary folk or the breathless thrill of a fight or a hippo hunt this book is never less than highly readable. Highly recommended for atmosphere, plot and well-researched historical detail


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