An alien posing as human investigates the case of a murderous mummy.
What makes Ishmael Jones (Very Important Corpses, 2016, etc.) an unusual person is that he isn’t a person at all but an ageless alien being who’s inhabited this world in human form for more than half a century. Living off the grid has presented its share of problems but also its share of opportunities for Ishmael to become more resourceful, and he’s come to rely on a special set of skills—for instance, his intense sense of smell—to keep himself safe and employed. Recently, he’s even found a partner in Penny Belcourt, a woman game to assist him when required or disappear in the background when not. When the Colonel, Ishmael’s contact with the organization that employs him, reaches out to Ishmael with a special request, he seems so desperate that Ishmael feels he has to assent. The Colonel’s request leads Ishmael and Penny to Cardavan House, where Ishmael must pose as an Egyptologist studying a mummy of Cleopatra that the Colonel’s brother-in-law, George Cardavan, has acquired. Though Ishmael is distracted by the family dynamics of the wealthy Cardavan clan, the murder of one family member soon redirects his attention. It seems impossible, but the evidence points to the mummy as the likeliest culprit. If aliens are real, could mummies possibly come back to life?
Green’s style of sci-fi blends levity with a high body count. His target audience, reading less for the mystery than for his signature style, will doubtless find this morsel as tasty as the others.