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The Fig Tree Murder by Michael Pearce
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The Fig Tree Murder

by Michael Pearce

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This is a nice, entertaining character story about life in Egypt under British administration, concerning an interesting mixture of nationalities and religions and murder. ( )
  nhlsecord | Jun 25, 2017 |
Despite a witty style and skilled characterisations, this mystery failed to capture me and I abandoned it unfinished. I particularly liked the use of internal counterpoint as a comic form and I greatly enjoyed the depiction of the deceit of Egyptian courtesy. There was a strong sense of place and time as the political and religious nuances of early twentieth century Egypt are explored but I simply did not care about the murder victim, the superstitious legends of the tree, or even the puzzle of the cime. ( )
  TheoClarke | Aug 21, 2009 |
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'It's called the Tree of the Virgin,' said McPhee.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 159058175X, Paperback)

Why was the body put on the line? Chance? Or did someone want to halt the progress of the new electric railway out fom Cairo to the City of Pleasure being built in the suburbs?
Was it another of Egypt's traditional revenge killings? Or had the murdered man somehow got caught up in the manoeuvrings of the sinister power groups jostling for position around the new railway? In this, the tenth novel in Michael Pearce's award-winning series, Old Egypt is pitted against New and in the middle is the Mamur Zapt. To answer these questions he has to look both in the luxurious quarters of the dazzling New Heliopolis and in the more humble houses of the dead man's village, and in neither place are things as straightforward as they seem. What is the significance of the tree of the Virgin? Does it matter that the gathering place for the Mecca caravan is only a mile or two away? And what of the ostrich that passed in the night?

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:19:49 -0400)

When a body is found on the new electric railway line, Owen has to discover whether this is just another of Egypt's revenge killings or whether the murdered man had got caught up with the power groups jostling for position around the new railway.

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