Perhaps Barbara Wood wrote this dreadful drippy-female suspense before the flawed but interesting The Magdalene Scrolls (p. 333); if not, she's going downhill in a big way. Lydia Harris, girl nurse, receives a weird phone call--and a priceless curio--from her disappearing sister, so it's off to Rome to be followed by the ""fat man,"" to be bopped on the head in Nero's Golden House, to be befriended by creepy stranger Ahmed Rasheed and by sturdy stranger John Treadwell. The search for sister Adele leads to Cairo, where sturdy John is soon dead. ""John Treadwell was lying unconscious on the floor and it seemed only proper that I, too, should faint. I said, 'Oh, John,' saw the room go very black, and joined him on the floor."" Onward to the pharaohs' tombs to find out Adele's smuggling secrets, to fall for Ahmed Rasheed, to. . . ""Oh, Lydia! cried my mind. Get hold of yourself."" Some archaeological local color, but you can get that, so much more professionally, in a half-dozen Agatha Christies, like Appointment with Death or Murder in Mesopotamia. Juvenilia, we'll hope.