I decided to do something a bit different for this post and write a book review. One of the great things about social media is the ease with which you can connect with other writers. Some I only manage to stay in touch with fleetingly, usually because of being in different time zones, but others have become a great support and – dare I say it – friends.
One such writer is Jess Erin, who has written two books set in 1920’s Egypt. Her first novel, Wrapped Up In Lies, introduces us to our heroine the funny, feisty yet hopelessly clumsy Emma Fortune. Emma is a member of the Cambridge Adventurers Society and has journeyed to Petra, with a very old map, secreted out of a tattered old book, seeking ‘adventure, fortune and fame within my Adventurer’s Society back home.’
Unfortunately, as is often the case with treasure maps, things are not always quite what they seem and following an impromptu invitation to join in a camel race, which she wins, Emma leaves Petra with nothing more than a rather ornery camel, or two.
Fate steps in however and she is asked to go to Cairo to hear a proposition from the Egyptian Department of Antiquities. Once there, Emma is persuaded to be part of a publicity campaign to promote Egypt, in the hopes that her connections to the Adventurers Society and her recent notoriety following the camel race would encourage more tourists to travel to Egypt.
During a preliminary photo shoot, Emma falls off her camel and ends up several feet below the sand in an ancient tomb. Along with many treasures, there is also a sarcophagus, although sadly, the mummy had been removed eons ago. This proves fortuitous, as the Department of Antiquities decide use this to their advantage. Arranging to have the sarcophagus ‘opened’ in full view of a fascinated public, it is soon obvious that the mummy has been stolen and a convenient curse is observed on the outside of the coffin. All is not lost, however, as a fake treasure map, handily planted on the underside of the lid, reveals that the canopic jars containing the mummy’s internal organs have been spread across four ancient sites (a way of nullifying said curse) by the original tomb robbers.
The team has shrewdly captured the imagination of the public, who are now enthralled by the idea that this treasure map will lead the troop to the canopic jars and possibly the mummy itself, along with more riches from antiquity, which have been lost for centuries.
Emma is joined in her quest by a disparate, yet fascinating group of people, who all have their own agendas. Following the map, their adventure, which is exciting, fascinating and occasionally downright dangerous, takes them from Abu Simbel to the Valley of the Queens and everything in between.
Do they succeed? Is the Department of Antiquities happy with the result? Now that would be telling. You’ll just have to read it to find out 😉
This is a well-researched book, Jess Erin is obviously passionate about Egypt and it’s history and her book reflects this. Treat yourself to an delightfully engaging, fast paced, and at times very funny book. ‘Wrapped Up In Lies‘ is available worldwide through Amazon.