Think you've got problems when you go home for the holidays? Your relatives--like those of Lord Meren, the Eyes and Ears of Pharaoh--may squabble with each other and complain that you've got it made and wheedle you to work your connections for them and fix you up with would-be romantic partners, but you probably don't have to worry about finding your cousin's wife dead in your granary or concealing the presence of the embalmed bodies of King Akhenaten and Queen Nefertiti and their burial treasures, resting uneasily in a haunted temple right around the corner while King Tutankhamen prepares a new tomb safe where they'll be secure from vandals--and from the spies and court plotters hovering like vultures around the expedition's can-do man, Meren's adopted son Kysen, whom his relatives all despise, too. Nor do you have to worry whether to suspect your dissolute brother, your aspiring mate, or the followers of the scheming Prince Hunefer of poisoning your guests--or how to go about questioning your relatives and keeping them confined to their quarters when they don't come up with the right answers about the insidious tekau plant. ""Interfering relatives are far more dangerous than ordinary murderers and spies,"" concludes Lord Meren, whose third case (Murder at the God's Gate, 1995, etc.) is a typically trenchant backdating of the English country-house mystery, with all the mod. cons. of politics and psychology.