Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Book Review: 'Cats in the Cradle of Civilization' by C.L. Kraemer


Glenda Nagel has ordered her life just the way she wants it. She enjoys her job as editor for Getty Museum’s monthly magazine, and she has a home far away from the Los Angeles congestion and smog, as she lives in the Juniper Hills with her three cats. But then a new Director of Egyptian Antiquities is hired, and while Glenda admits that he is very handsome, she finds something strange about him. She doesn’t trust him.
I liked Glenda from the very beginning. She is smart and capable, and she’s worked hard to get to her current position. All of a sudden everything is threatened when she discovers an ivory and emerald statuette of the cat goddess Bastet. She only discovers it because Pandora, her Persian cat, takes an instant dislike to the vase it was hidden in.
It can be hard to write a convincing mystery when the reader knows from the beginning who the villain is and what he’s up to, but C. L. Kraemer manages just that. Much of the story is told from Glenda’s point of view, but we also get to know Dr. Dabir Omar Ben Rashid Yacoub Riyadh, and he is definitely a villain that I really disliked. His character is well-fleshed out and he has very few redeeming characteristics. But then we also get the viewpoint of another level of villains and the suspense builds as the reader follows Glenda’s actions. There are curses and a long history of intrigue and injustice.
The descriptions of not only the scene, but the history of Egyptian archaeology is fascinating and brings a real richness to the story. I learned things while I held my breath as Glenda faced one situation after another. The pacing is excellent and the author really keeps her readers on the edge of their chairs.
Mystery lovers are sure to enjoy this glimpse into the world of archaeology as they watch Glenda trying to stay ahead of Dr. Riyadh.

Editor's note: This article was originally published at Long and Short ReviewsIt has been republished with permission. Like what you read? Subscribe to the SFRB's free daily email notice so you can be up-to-date on our latest articles. Scroll up this page to the sign-up field on your right.

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