Mummy Dearest

July 12, 2009 - Mummy Dearest (Joan Hess). Another adventure featuring bookstore owner Claire Malloy. In this outing, Claire, her daughter Caron and Caron's friend Inez head for Luxor, Egypt. It's supposed to be a honeymoon for Claire and her new husband, police Lt. Peter Rosen. But, Rosen is mixing romance with police business and it threatens to put Claire and the girls in danger.

While in Luxor, Claire and co. keep company with people involved in an archaeological dig. They include the people doing the digging and the British aristocrats who are financing it. Claire finds that her reputation as an amateur sleuth has preceded her. She has received several veiled cautions against interfering from various people, but it's not clear exactly what she would potentially be interfering with. Maybe it has something to do with the man with the scar who seems to be following Caron and Inez.

Several months before Claire arrived, a man who was working on the dig died mysteriously at the work site, a site which could be of great importance. Now, another main digger has died under similar circumstances. Her death comes on the heels of the discovery of an artifact that could be very important. In the meantime, a young woman has seemingly been kidnapped, though Claire isn't sure the woman is who she claims to be, so the direness of her situation is in question.

The book is just over 300 pages, and it takes until page 300 or so for Claire to solve the mystery and explain it to everyone involved - that includes the other characters and the reader. In my opinion, it's not much of an explanation. Maybe that's because there are so many unfamiliar characters running around that it's hard to care who lives, who dies, and why. Hopefully, Claire and company will return to the familiar, homey confines of Farberville, Arkansas for their next adventure.