It’s the Napoleonic era and Hattie Blackhouse has led an isolated life in the Cornish countryside while her famous parents have spent their time in Egypt excavating ancient tombs. Hattie visits her parents’ townhouse in Paris intent on convincing Robbie, her childhood friend and neighbor, to marry her. Hattie and her companion, Miss Bing, are surprised to learn Robbie is engaged and soon to marry another whom he recently met in Egypt.
Hattie and Miss Bing become worried when several unusual events take place. An intruder gains entrance to the townhouse, Hattie’s reticule is stolen, and Hattie is approached by Monsieur Berry who warns her to trust no one, not even Robbie. When Hattie is told her parents have not been heard from and are presumed dead, she and Miss Bing make secret preparations to escape Paris and travel to Egypt to find the truth.
The journey takes Hattie to Egypt’s Valley of the Kings, where danger seems to lurk everywhere. Soon, familiar faces from Paris are showing up, references are made to her parents’ involvement with Napoleon, and ancient secrets surrounding Seti I are all linked to the mysterious disappearance of her parents. Hattie finds herself irresistibly drawn to Monsieur Berry who has sworn to protect her but who may not be who he says he is.
From the Prussian embassy in Paris, to Cairo, to Egypt and the Valley of the Kings this is a journey that will keep you guessing till the end. There are many interesting characters in this book, perhaps too many. Sometimes, it can be difficult to keep track of who’s who and the motives. In addition to a large cast of characters, there are also many plot twists. The banter between Hattie and Miss Bing is snappy and interesting.
FTC Full Disclosure: A review copy of this book was provided by its publisher.