Lead Review (Disappearance of a Scribe)

  • Book: Disappearance of a Scribe
  • Location: Alexandria
  • Author: Dana Stabenow

Review Author: Tina Hartas



Book 2 in the Eye of Isis series

Alexandria of 47BC is beautifully brought to life in this novel, full of historically – seemingly – accurate elements, the city is richly and vibrantly depicted. The author uses expressions used at the time and illustrates ways of being that enable the reader to feel they are in the era, which is a great talent. Good research is very important for creating a credible setting and it shines through: there are good references to the clothes worn, the social interactions, the culture, which are sumptuous and add texture, but may prove to be a bit of an impediment for some readers.

Caesar has gone back to Rome and now Cleopatra needs to build the city and her country. A body is found stuck deep in the sea, the feet embedded in concrete and it is to Vitruvius to whom Tetisheri (Celopatra’s “Eye”) turns in order to understand the nature and composition of the concrete, given that quite a rare component is seemingly part of the manufacture. It’s all about Pozzolan (when finely ground will react with calcium hydroxide to form a solid cement). Understanding more about the fundamental feature could lead to the perpetrator.

Many twists and turns – and a few irritating Americanisms along the way – later, this proves to be an immersive read that took my back in time and place.


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