Well-heeled travelers from around the world flock to the Mena House Hotel—an exotic gem in the heart of Cairo where cocktails flow, adventure dispels the aftershocks of World War I, and deadly dangers wait in the shadows . . .
WINNER OF THE 2021 AGATHA AWARD
Egypt, 1926.Fiercely independent American Jane Wunderly has made up her mind: she won’t be swept off her feet on a trip abroad. Despite her Aunt Millie’s best efforts, the young widow would rather gaze at the Great Pyramids of Giza than into the eyes of a dashing stranger. Yet Jane’s plans to remain cool and indifferent become ancient history in the company of Mr. Redvers, a roguish banker she can’t quite figure out . . .
While the Mena House has its share of charming guests, Anna Stainton isn’t one of them. The beautiful socialite makes it clear that she won’t share the spotlight with anyone—especially Jane. But Jane soon becomes the center of attention when she’s the one standing over her unintentional rival’s dead body. Now, with her innocence at stake in a foreign country, Jane must excavate an elusive killer before her future falls to ruin in Cairo, and the body count rises like the desert heat . . .
“Stunning revelations, romance, adventure, and intrigue abound in this multilayered, delightfully entertaining whodunit. Neubauer’s debut dazzles, with a smart plot, remarkable scenery, and skilled execution.”
—Library Journal (Starred Review)
In 1926, American widow Jane Wunderly, the narrator of Neubauer's promising debut, decides to vacation in Egypt with her matchmaking aunt, who's determined to find her a beau. Jane, who appears to be in her 20s, doesn't welcome those efforts, as she's still struggling with the emotional fallout of her marriage to a man who viewed her as a "trophy... to win" and then break. That trauma has led Jane to vow to stand up for herself going forward, and that resolve is soon tested at the Cairo hotel where she and her aunt are staying, Mena House. Fellow guest Anna Stainton, a British colonel's daughter, takes a dislike to Jane. Their public spat makes Jane the focus of the police inquiry after someone shoots Anna to death in her room. To clear her name, Jane sets about investigating on her own, even as she wrestles with feelings of attraction toward a handsome and mysterious stranger, who calls himself Redvers, whom she believes looks "too dangerous" to be the banker he claims to be. Mystery readers who enjoy a heavy dose of romance will be eager for the next installment.