Books by Michael Pearce

Michael Pearce grew up in the (then) Anglo-Egyptian Sudan among the political and other tensions he draws on for his books. He returned there later to teach and retains a human rights interest in the area. In between whiles his career has followed the sta


THE WOMEN OF THE SOUK by Michael Pearce
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Aug. 1, 2016

"Hands-down the least suspenseful kidnapping story you're ever likely to read, with the toothless kidnappers and killers mostly remaining anonymous even after they're captured. Fans of this long-running series, however, will find all the accustomed gravely loopy charm."
The Mamur Zapt brings his very specialized set of skills to bear on a kidnapping, with predictably unpredictable results. Read full book review >
THE MOUTH OF THE CROCODILE by Michael Pearce
MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: March 1, 2015

"A curiosity among Owen's 17 decorous period cases (The Bride Box, 2013, etc.): half high-risk adventure, half low-impact sleuthing, with the Mamur Zapt overshadowed by his hireling's investment-minded wife, the Pasha's sheltered but charming lady, and the alarmingly precocious Aisha."
1913. The Mamur Zapt escorts a nervous pasha home from a small town in the Sudan, where life is as predictably unpredictable as it is in Egypt. Read full book review >
THE BRIDE BOX by Michael Pearce
MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: Sept. 1, 2013

"As always in this comically understated series (The Mark of the Pasha, 2008, etc.), both crime and punishment are consistently upstaged by a lovingly detailed portrait of Egypt during the Great War. The result is a bit like a police procedural reimagined by Douglas Adams."
One young woman lost and another found are the keys to the Mamur Zapt's latest adventure in 1913 Egypt. Read full book review >
A DEAD MAN IN MALTA by Michael Pearce
MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: Nov. 1, 2010

"An amusing period tale. Seymour's seventh outing (Dead in Naples, 2009, etc.) shows a dry wit and an engaging touch with political folderol, familial brouhahas and mystery logistics."
Do-good ladies and do-bad gents discombobulate 1913 Malta. Read full book review >
THE MARK OF THE PASHA by Michael Pearce
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: May 1, 2008

"Pearce (The Point in the Market, 2003, etc.) makes his historical tales so witty and plausible that you'll regret missing Cairo's heyday. Pump up the air conditioning and enjoy."
Religious uprisings, political unrest, British snobbery and Egyptians languishing in the public baths—it must be another trip to turn-of-the-last-century Cairo. Read full book review >
A DEAD MAN IN ATHENS by Michael Pearce
MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: Oct. 9, 2006

"Pearce brings a lighter, droller touch to the Seymour series (A Dead Man in Trieste, 2004) than to his tales of Egypt's Mamur Zapt. But he still excels at documenting early-20th-century politics and attitudes."
A sultan's pet cat is poisoned. Read full book review >
THE POINT IN THE MARKET by Michael Pearce
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: April 1, 2005

"The mystery takes second place to the wry, vivid picture of a country wrestling with changing values and a wavering national identity."
Camels hiss, donkeys bray, market vendors argue, but the corpse has nothing to say when the Mamur Zapt, Gareth Cadwallader Owen, is called to the scene. Read full book review >
THE FACE IN THE CEMETERY by Michael Pearce
MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: Dec. 1, 2004

"Pearce's wit is having an off day, but he still manages to convey the stench, hubbub, and intrigue of British Egypt."
A mysterious cat woman reportedly leaps over walls and into houses in colonial Egypt. Read full book review >
A DEAD MAN IN TRIESTE by Michael Pearce
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Nov. 1, 2004

"The author of the much-loved Mamur Zapt series (The Fig Tree Murder, 2003, etc.) scores again with this first in a series: a dry cocktail of pre-WWI European territorial impasses, naïfs, and an old-fashioned puzzle."
Dogged detective work in politically unstable Trieste, circa 1910. Read full book review >
A COLD TOUCH OF ICE by Michael Pearce
MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: Aug. 1, 2004

"This 13th case for the Mamur Zapt (The Fig Tree Murder, 2003, etc.) overflows with superb historical color and interesting characters. Newcomers may be a little lost, but are likely to want more."
The Mamur Zapt investigates a murder and related events that highlight racial tensions in 1912 Cairo. Read full book review >
THE FIG TREE MURDER by Michael Pearce
MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: Dec. 1, 2003

"A droll view of clashing cultures and nubile daughters, with some helpful advice on why you might want to think twice before taking possession of an ostrich."
A runaway ostrich is the only eyewitness to a murder. Read full book review >
THE CAMEL OF DESTRUCTION by Michael Pearce
MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: Aug. 1, 2002

"Rife with subterfuge, political intrigue, and state-of-the-art business chicanery, circa 1910, with dozens of sly asides and a glimpse of Egypt so pungent you can almost smell the camel dung."
When Gareth Cadwallader Owen, the Mamur Zapt of colonial Cairo, reaches into his in-box and pulls out the Widow Shawquat's petition that her husband's property be passed on to her son instead of to the distant relative who wants to sell the land out from under them, Owen politely tries to fend her off. Read full book review >
Released: Oct. 4, 1995

Someone has been smuggling priceless antiquities out of British-controlled Egypt, maintains imperious American visitor Enid Skinner, and now that same someone has tried to kill her by pushing her under the wheels of a tram. Read full book review >
THE MAMUR ZAPT AND THE GIRL IN THE NILE by Michael Pearce
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Dec. 1, 1994

"Pearce's pace is as deliberate and gravely amused as ever, but his uncharacteristic focus on a central mystery comes at a high price: Lacking the local color of Owen's four earlier adventures, this one is his least distinctively charming and amusing to date."
Called away from a routine arms search to examine the corpse of a young woman who's fallen from a pleasure boat moored in the Nile, Gareth Cadwallader Owen, the Mamur Zapt of 1909 Cairo (The Mamur Zapt and the Men Behind, 1993, etc.), finds that the body has already disappeared. Read full book review >
THE MAMUR ZAPT AND THE MEN BEHIND by Michael Pearce
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: July 1, 1993

"The most satisfying entry yet in this attractive series."
Against the background of the hereditary Khedive's dithering over the choice of a new Prime Minister, a wave of (mostly ineffectual) attacks on civil servants—just maybe acts of low-level terrorism- -leads David Cadwallader Owen, the Mamur Zapt of colonial Cairo, to investigate Ali Osman Pasha, a beating victim who turns out to be a candidate for the PM post. Read full book review >
Released: July 1, 1992

"If you're not expecting a whodunit—as usual, there are no big surprises saved for the end—this is as charming a historical mystery as you'll find this summer."
Pearce hits his stride with this third tale of Gereth Cadwallader Owen, the Mamur Zapt (...and the Return of the Carpet, ...and the Night of the Dog) of the Anglo-Egyptian political police. Read full book review >
Released: May 1, 1991

The stabbing death of a Moslem dervish virtually under the eyes of Mamur Zapt Gareth Cadwallader Owen, chief of Cairo's Political CID, raises problems of many kinds: If the murderer was a Copt, as other Moslems claim, will Owen be able to head off the racial violence that's bound to follow? Read full book review >