A classic historical mystery from the award-winning Michael Pearce, set in the Egypt of the 1900s. When gang violence strikes the city, the inimitable Mamur Zapt is called in to investigate.
In 1908, the city of Cairo lives - and dies - by its cafe culture. But for restaurant businesses, the protection rackets pose a problem. And the city's cafes are experiencing a sudden upsurge in threats from various gangs.
When one cafe proprietor is attacked, his legs broken for noncompliance, everyone is worried. Then the Russian Charge files a complaint - the Mingrelians may be targeting a Russian Grand Duke. Now the Mamur Zapt, Head of the Secret Police, must find a way to prevent an international incident...
Praise for Michael Pearce:
`Pearce takes apart ancient history and reassembles it with beguiling wit and colour' Sunday Times
`As ever, Owen is wordly-wise, droll, and eminently at home in his adopted city' Sunday Times
`Enjoyable ... original and charming' Independent
`The Mamur Zapt's sly, irreverent humour continues to refresh the parts others seldom reach' Observer
Michael Pearce was raised in Anglo-Egyptian Sudan, where his fascination for language began. He later trained as a Russian interpreter but moved away from languages to follow an academic career, first as a lecturer in English and the History of Ideas, and then as an administrator. Michael Pearce now lives in London and is best known as the author of the award-winning Mamur Zapt books.