Death of an Eye (Eye of Isis #1) by Dana Stabenow: A Book Review

Death of an Eye (Eye of Isis #1)
Author: Dana Stabenow
Genre: Historical Fiction, Mystery & Suspense
Publisher: Head of Zeus
Release Date: 2018
Pages: 231
Source: Netgalley/Publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Synopsis: For three centuries, the House of Ptolemy has governed the Kingdom of Egypt. Cleopatra – seventh of her name – rules from Alexandria, that beacon of commerce and learning that stands between the burning sands of the desert and the dark waters of the Middle Sea.

     But her realm is beset by ethnic rivalries, aristocratic feuds and courtly intrigues. Not only that, she must contend with the insatiable appetite of Julius Caesar who needs Egyptian grain and Egyptian gold to further his ambitions. The world is watching the young Queen, waiting for a misstep...

    And now her most trusted servant – her Eye – has been murdered and a vast shipment of newly minted coin stolen. Cleopatra cannot afford for the coins to go unrecovered or the murderers unpunished, so she asks childhood friend, Tetisheri Nebenteru, to retrace the dead Eye’s footsteps.

     Tetisheri will find herself plunged into the shadowy heart of Alexandria. As she sifts her way through a tangle of lies and deceit, she will discover that nothing can be taken at face value, that she can’t trust anyone – perhaps even the Queen herself.

    My Review: Tetisheri is Queen Cleopatra’s childhood friend. When Cleopatra’s most trusted friend is murdered and that a new shipment of minted coins has been stolen, the queen asks Tetisheri to solve the crime and bring the murderer to justice. As Tetisheri begins to investigate the crime, she realizes that there is more to the case than meets the eye. Soon, she starts to doubt everyone near her, including her dearest friend, Cleopatra.

  On paper, Tetisheri seems like an interesting character. She is smart, persistent, and strong. However, I could not get into her character. She focuses most of her time being infatuated with her co-worker than on solving the crime. Therefore, it was hard for me to buy her being a hard-working amateur detective that loves to solve mysteries. There was not a build-up in the mystery which made it seemed that she suddenly solved the case out of thin air rather than being led to the solution through a series of clues.

   Overall, this is about politics, lies, and corruption. The characters were a bland and was not given much character growth. There was only a little bit of mystery involved and focused more on the romance aspect. The reveal was predictable and not very surprising at all. Still, the story was well-written, and I found the setting to be the most interesting because it involves ancient Egypt. I also liked how Cleopatra, Ptolemy XIV, and Caesar were portrayed in the novel. Thus, I am looking forward to the next novel. I recommend this for fans of The Deadliest Sport, The Ides of April, and Crocodile on the Sandbank.

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars


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