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The Cairo Brief: Poppy Denby Investigates | Fiona Veitch Smith | 2018, 340 pages | Historical Mystery
Poppy Denby is an enthusiastic young reporter for The Daily Globe in London. It is December, 1921. She and her editor are invited to the auction of the “death mask” of Nefertiti at the grand country estate of Sir James Maddox. Representatives from great museums of the world in America, Germany, England and Egypt are all interested in it. The Egyptians believe that the mask should be returned to them. The Germans say that they have a claim to it. There are some murders connected with the mask, and some say that it is “cursed.” Also invited for the weekend are Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and his wife Jean, who is a spiritualist medium. A séance is held, and Poppy is startled and shocked at the results. During the weekend there is a gunshot accident. Then someone dies of a heart attack, which is later found to be murder. And someone starts stalking Poppy. Poppy digs deeper into the mystery of the death mask. She must discover the truth before the killer (or the “curse”) claims another victim.
This is the fourth in the Poppy Denby series. Poppy is a determined journalist with a talent for solving mysteries. She has an interesting circle of friends and relatives and a lively social life. She’s a charming character and London in the 1920s is brought to life in vivid detail. Maisie Dobbs fans (Jacqueline Winspear’s character) should make her acquaintance.
Robbin Bailey, Reference Librarian