The Snake Catcher's Daughter

The Snake Catcher's Daughter : A Mamur Zapt Mystery

3.97 (77 ratings by Goodreads)
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Someone is running a campaign to discredit Cairo's senior police officials. Is Garvin, the Commandant, playing power games, or is he trying to get to the bottom of the allegations of corruption? What about Garvin's senior deputy, McPhee, a man who might finally be going round the bend? And what of the Mamur Zapt himself? He may be the British head of the city's Secret Police, but is he above suspicion? After all, he does have an Egyptian mistress, placing him not only under the uncomfortable suspicion of having divided loyalties, but bringing him under her own stern scrutiny.

Owen's attempts to get answers and avoid political (and personal) embarrassment take him into uncharted territory, the world of Cairo's female rites. And more terrifyingly, into one of Egypt's traditional crafts - snake catching. How do you milk a cobra? Do snakes have ears? Can they be tamed? Can a mere woman fill the traditional role of snake catcher without the undying opposition of the Rifa'i - and without losing the plague of Egypt?
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Product details

  • Paperback | 204 pages
  • 140 x 216 x 11mm | 244g
  • Scottsdale, United States
  • English
  • Reprint
  • 22:B&W 5.5 x 8.5 in or 216 x 140 mm (Demy 8vo) Perfect Bound on White w/Gloss Lam
  • 1590581148
  • 9781590581148
  • 734,769

Review quote

Pearce, Michael. The Snake Catcher's Daughter. Apr. 2003 202p. Poisoned Pen, $24.95 (1-59058-051-6).
Gareth Owens, Cairo's Intrepid Mamur Zapt (head of the secret police), is back in another seriocomic adventure that is both witty and engrossing. After finding a naked woman in his bed, and after a diamond necklace mysteriously appears in his girlfriend's boudoir, Owen decides someone is trying to bribe him. Then the local newspaper prints a stinging indictment not only of Owen but also of Garvin, commandant of the Cairo police, and his assistant, McPhee.

In the course of his investigation, Owen becomes involved in a women's purification ritual, meets a rare female snake catcher, and incurs the wrath of his girlfriend. As usual, though, Owen is at all times the epitome of unflappability, and his calm, sensible, highly intuitive approach eventually leads him to the culprit. Recommend this droll and amusing novel to fans of Elizabeth Peters' Amelia Peabody series (Pearce is Peters'equal to evoking bygone Cairo) or to anyone who enjoys the comic mystery.
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Rating details

77 ratings
3.97 out of 5 stars
5 27% (21)
4 44% (34)
3 27% (21)
2 1% (1)
1 0% (0)
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