Thursday, December 24, 2015

An Egyptian Affair (The Regent Mysteries #4), by Cheryl Bolen

Harper & Appleton, ISBN 9781939602428, December 2015

The Prince Regent asks his favorite investigators, Captain Jack Dryden and Lady Daphne Dryden, to take on another case. His long-time source of Oriental, especially Egyptian, artifacts for his collection, Prince Singh, has vanished. Even more annoying, he vanished before delivering the latest item he'd sold to the regent, the death mask of Amon-Re. So Jack  and Lady Daphne will go to Egypt and attempt to find both the man and the mask. For the protection of Lady Daphne, beloved eldest daughter of Lord Sidworth, For the benefit of the investigation, he also sends with them Dr. Stanton Maxwell, speaker of Arabic and expert on Egypt and its artifacts. For reasons that make no sense at all, Lady Daphne decides to take along her youngest sister, Lady Rosemary, who is very intelligent, very interested in Egypt, and as naive and susceptible as any stereotypical young Regency miss barely past her first Season.

Their investigation not only uncovers one murder; it triggers another, as well as a booby trap in an ancient pyramid, and the kidnapping of Lady Rosemary. There is also a love triangle involving Lady Rosemary, Stanton Maxwell, and Rosemary's crush from her Season, Captain Cooper, whose assets appear to consist of an excellent physique, a handsome face, and mastery of the basics of Regency manners. They do not include either an especially charming personality or much in the way of moral character. We know exactly where this is going from the time we meet Captain Cooper, if not from the moment Lady Rosemary and Stanton Maxwell meet.

This is a light, entertaining story without much substance, and a number of errors that aren't fatal to the story, but do detract from it. A pleasant enough way to spend a couple of hours, but not memorable.

I received a free electronic galley of this book from the publisher via NetGalley.