A mummy, mystery and murders. A mini-review for The Curse of the Blue Scarab by Josh Lanyon

The Curse of the Blue Scarab Book Cover The Curse of the Blue Scarab
Josh Lanyon
Mash-up, murder mystery, mystery, historical
Self-published
December 9, 2016
307
my own private colletion

Who or what is responsible for the gruesome deaths of members of the secret society known as the Order of Osiris?

Dr. Armiston, an irascible, confirmed bachelor who believes in medicine not mysticism, is certain the deaths are only tragic accidents.

The members of the Order of Osiris suspect something more sinister is at work. They profess to believe an ancient curse has been visited upon their society. Handsome and mysterious Captain Maxwell requests Armiston’s help.

Tarot cards? Egyptology? Spiritualism? Armiston has little patience with the superficial and silly pastimes of the rich, but he does love a good puzzle. Or could it be that he is more drawn to young Captain Maxwell than he wishes to admit?

Either way, Armiston must solve the secret of the cursed sarcophagus very soon, for Captain Maxwell is the next slated to die…

There were high hopes for this book because I loved Mummy Dearest, also by this author. Going into this book there were certain expectations of mummies, monsters, romance, adventure. What I got was a monster mash-up (which combines a pre-existing text – often from the public domain – with another genre) without the monster, but with a mystery and a slow-burn not really there romance.

This book was certainly not bad, but it reads more like a Sherlock Holmes mystery with a doctor for a sleuth combined with a little drama and a whole lot of hints as to who the murderer is. There is a mummy, but it’s more for show than actually part of the story. It provides the setting. So hence, no horror or monster, but a mystery with a likeable, older character and a colourful cast of secondary characters.

The story is certainly enjoyable. I liked how this story was slow to progress as we really got to know the characters. Doctor Armiston is a confirmed bachelor for a reason and rather set in his ways, but then there is Captain Maxwell to shake things up and with a secret of his own. They were both flawed, fun, mysterious and strong characters with a mind of their own.

My guess is that is story will be an acquired taste.

My main reason for the rating is not that this story didn’t fulfil my expectations, but rather the execution of the mystery itself and the ending of it. It just didn’t fit in with the rest of the story.

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