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The Mummy Case Mystery by Dermot Morrah

The Mummy Case Mystery (1933)

by Dermot Morrah

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421416,704 (3.89)2
The Commemoration Night ball at Beaufort College, Oxford, is disturbed first by a strange prank with a professor's mummy, then by a tragic fire that kills the professor-or did it? If he died in the fire, what happened to the mummy? Professors Sargent and Considine take it upon themselves to investigate when the coroner rules accidental death, leaving them with unanswered questions. Dermot Morrah creates a picture-perfect Oxford environment filled with characters that draw the reader into those grounds of academia. This fun, breezy mystery will entertain the amateur detective mystery fan. The Mummy Case Mystery was published in 1933.… (more)



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It is commemmoration night at one of the colleges at Oxford; by the end of the night one of the professors will be dead. Peter Benchley, professor of archaeology at Oxford, ends up dead in his room after a mysterious fire. But something is very strange: Benchley had just purchased a mummy of King Pepi I, complete with case; however, when the fire is put out the mummy and the case are missing. Peter's friends, Professors Sargent and Considine, don't agree with the coroner's inquest finding of death by accident, and set out to prove that their good friend was murdered. It seems that there are no end of suspects, and that list gets longer as time goes on.

A wonderfully-told story, one that I'm sure I'll be reading again soon. HIGHLY recommended if you love the classic mystery/crime stories! Originally written 1933. ( )
  bcquinnsmom | May 11, 2006 |
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"The Aegyptian Mummies, which Cambyses or time hath spared, avarice now consumeth." - Sir Thomas Browne
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The hum of after-dinner talk subsided for a moment as the Provost and Fellows of Beaufort College, Oxford, suspended there several conversations to take an informed and critical interest in the opening of another bottle of port.
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Amidst Commemoration night festivities at Beaufort College in Oxford, chaos erupts twice — the first time during the playing of a prank using Professor Benchley's newly acquired mummy, the late King Pepy I, and the second time when a fire consumes the Bursary, coincidentally the building where Benchley resides. This combination of events results in a mystery — the disappearance of either Benchley or the mummy. Despite the coroner's ruling of accidental death for the professor, only one corpse is recovered among the ashes at the scene. Professors Sargent and Considine cannot let the matter rest with this verdict and go sleuthing, using all the scholarly know-how of their academic specialties, and they find themselves entangled in a web of very unusual circumstances.


This story of murder at the University of Oxford, written with a skill and humor rarely found in mystery stories and saturated with the ceremonious atmosphere and old-world tradition of Oxford, will thrill and satisfy the most jaded and exacting reader. Professor Benchley, university don and famous Egyptologist, has just purchased an invaluable Mummy — that of King Pepi I. A fire of mysterious origin breaks out in his apartments and when the gutted rooms are searched, only an unidentifiable body is found. Is it that of the professor or that of the mummy? In either case, what has become of the other body?

Two Junior Fellows of the College set out to solve the problem. They follow an increasingly sinister trail, which included such clues as wigs, a pipe, and an alarm clock. But not until the final chapter do they, or the reader, get an inkling of the solution, which is as strange as it is unexpected.

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