From three good books set in Oregon and one in pioneer Oregon, this author takes a flying leap into the real past for a mystery-romance of Hatshepsut's Egypt, well-stocked with the color of the period and the intrigue of politics and passions. A polished narrative- as smooth as the plot to overthrow the despotic Queen must be- sets Mara, a slave girl, in a double role of espionage. Offered freedom, she leaps at the chance to pay the price as a spy to expose the pretender Thutmose's attempt to gain the throne. Soon, through Sheftu, a count in disgnise and in the service of Thutmose, she sees the corruption of Hatshepsut's court, but is forced to continue her role, in jeopardy, to further the cause she has come to follow. Events build to a climactic scene in the throne room where Sheftu goes recklessly to save Mara, and are resolved in a coup by Sheftu's troops, that makes Thutmose pharaoh, and leaves Mara and Sheftu free to marry. Thoroughly engrossing.