“Shadows on the Nile” will delight romantics

shadowsThe latest Kate Furnivall mystery, Shadows on the Nile, is an exotic mystery set in the 1930s with a curiously modern theme. The book will delight romantics and Furnivall fans alike.

As the story opens Jessica Keaton’s little brother Georgie mysteriously disappears in the night.  Georgie had been a troublesome child, today his behavior would diagnosed as autistic. Certain colours and noises bring on fits, and Georgie cannot bear to be touched. But Jessica loves Georgie and understands his special talents.

One night Georgie is replaced by a new bother called Timothy and her parents refuse to ever speak of Georgie again. Tim is all Georgie never was, he is obedient, cheerful, and the perfect son. Soon Jessica learns to love him.  But she never forgets Georgie.

Years later Jessica is grown up and living in London in her own flat. Tim is working at the British Museum as an Egyptologist.  When Tim suddenly goes missing, Jessica is called on by her parents to find him, which Jessica is determined to do.  Timothy’s disappearance brings back the horror of losing Georgie all over.

She traces Tim’s movements to home of Sir Montague Chambord, or Monty, where for some reason Tim participated in a séance right before he vanished. Monty helps Jessica track down some of the other people who were there. After questioning them she deduces that Timothy is in Egypt and decides to go look for him.

While Jessica does not complexly trust Monty, she is attracted to him. She is also swayed by his argument that the Middle East is no place for a woman alone, even a “modern woman” like Jessica. The two of them set off together with the flimsiest of clues to find Timothy in Egypt.

I have deliberately left out many of the twists that make Furnivall’s tale so appealing. Kate Furnivall’s genius is creating deeply-flawed and twisted characters who are still likeable. Her character’s imperfections and secrets propel the plot and keep the reader spellbound.

If you are looking for a mystery that is a cut above the usual in an exotic setting, this book is for you.