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The Return of the Pharaoh

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Member Reviews

Nicholas Meyer spent his Covit-19 lockdown writing a new mystery featuring Sherlock Holmes and John H. Watson, M.D. The Return of the Pharaoh takes us to Egypt and the search for unfound tombs in the Valley of the Kings. Holmes is contacted by the wife of one of the many neophytes with Egyptian mania who hoped to discover an unopened tomb and its gold, but who has gone missing.

Watson’s second wife is battling tuberculosis and her physician has suggested he take her to a sanitarium in a dry climate– like Egypt. They see each other at meal times, but otherwise Watson must entertain himself. So, when Holmes shows up undercover on a case, it doesn’t take much to convince him to join in. The problem is that Watson has promised his wife Julia that he would not succumb again to his addiction to Holmes and his cases!

It is 1910 and Holmes’s hair is now silver and Watson’s bad leg plagues him, but the intrepid duo are game. They find themselves in dire straights, caught in a sand storm, and later buried alive. We meet an exotic dancer and spy, travel to the Pyramids of Giza by camel, and board a posh train.

I was excited to meet Howard Carter in the book. Egyptology, Tut’s tomb, the Valley of the Kings, Akhenaton, Queen Nefertiti–they have fascinated me since I was a teen. For those who are have not suffered from Egyptian mania, the history of the Tuthmose dynasty and Egyptology is worked into the story.

It’s a fun romp, a nostalgic revisiting of beloved literary characters, and a great read for those of us suffering from pandemic fatigue and needing a few hours to escape.

Meyer has been entertaining us with new Holmes/Watson stories since 1974 and The Seven-Per-Cent Solution.

I received a free egalley from the publisher through NetGalley. My review is fair and unbiased
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Did something today I've always sworn I'd never do, which is to say I read a piece of fiction longer than just a couple pages on my computer screen. However, I have no regrets (my lower back may develop other ideas), as it meant I got to spend the day in the company of Nicholas Meyer's always entertaining iterations of Holmes and Watson on a straight-up adventure tale set in 1911 Egypt. 

When Watson takes his ailing wife to Cairo in an effort to combat her consumption, and heads to the legendary Shepheard's Hotel for a drink, he encounters, of all people, a disguised Sherlock Holmes on the trail of a missing duke who may, or may not, have a lead on the location of an undisturbed tomb in the Valley of the Kings. So he falls-in alongside his old companion on a quest that will involve Howard Carter, a belly dancer of dubious distinction, the Duke's Brazilian wife and curious brother, and, of course, the mummy of a pharaoh. 

While probably the least complicated of Nick's Sherlock Holmes tales to date, it's one hell of a fun romp and a fast-paced page turner, and with his distinctive take on Holmes (he reminds me of Wilmer's Holmes more than any other) and Watson coupled with his uncluttered cinematic writing style, it's a joy from start to finish. Easily one of the top Sherlock Holmes books to be released this year.
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I love anything connected to Sherlock Holmes and liked this book about Watson a lot. Well written it keeps you guessing all the way through.
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Great story, wonderful historical mystery, and a terrific take on the Sherlock sub-genre.  Well crafted, well plotted, great characters, terrific dialogue, and an easy recommendation.
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It’s 1911 and the game is afoot!  Dr. John H. Watson has married once again and is living apart from Sherlock Holmes.  For reasons of his wife’s health, Dr. Watson finds himself in Egypt during the heyday of Egyptology and the search for an unopened pharoah’s tomb.  Little does he know it but he will soon find his old friend Holmes hot on the trail of a missing English duke.  Murder, mayhem, and a natural disaster follow, of course.  

When I saw that Nicholas Meyer had penned a new Sherlock Holmes novel, I jumped on it.  Many years ago, I read “The Seven Per Cent Solution” and “The West End Horror;” I still have the paperbacks and will re-read them this year I think.  That was followed by “Black Orchid,” a novel which although had nothing to do with Sherlock Holmes, transported me to another time and place.  I have been a fan for years.  

I have also been a huge fan of Sherlock Holmes since before I was 10 years old.  By my 10th birthday, I had read all of the original canon and had gleefully discovered the 1940’s wartime movies.  Ever loyal to Basil Rathbone as being “my” Sherlock Holmes, I later branched out to Christopher Lee and Jeremy Brett as Holmes.  I read whatever I could analyzing Holmes and his methods as well.  And finally, when the series “Sherlock” arrived with Benedict Cumberbatch, I was at first skeptical, and then laughed with delight during the first episode.    

Having been a voracious consumer of everything Sherlock for over 45 years, I can say with utter confidence that this is a novel right at the heart of everything Holmes and Watson.  There is action and adventure…and then there is painful frustration as the trail goes cold and Holmes is fidgeting around.  There is an engaging plot line with a historically well-known person.  And there is detail…oh so much detail about the exotic surroundings of turn-of-the-20th-Century Egypt under Ottoman rule.  Are there spies?  There are certainly greedy foreigners trying to find and carry-away golden treasures while the Turks allow it, with angry locals perhaps more than looking on.

I absolutely and wholeheartedly recommend this book for a fast-paced, page-turning adventure read.   

With great thanks to author Nicholas Meyer, St. Martin’s Press, and NetGalley for allowing me the opportunity to read this new offering.  It was just what I needed!
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Sherlock Holmes is back! As is his sidekick Dr. Watson, who leads us through this Egyptian mystery. Watson travels with his wife to Egypt to recover from an illness at a health resort. While there, he meets Holmes, rather coincidently, and proceeds to follow him in his investigations as Mrs. Holmes undergoes her treatments in quarantine (shades of our current situation). Well done; it was great to be back in the company of these familiar figures. Recommended.
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Delightful story! I couldn’t put it down and read it in two days. I loved the interplay between Holmes and Watson. Having been to Egypt and seen the Sphinx and the Great Pyramids, I greatly enjoyed the setting for the story. A wonderful read.
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Juliet Watson has a cough which is all too familiar to her husband, Dr. John Watson. Encouraged by her physician to take her to a warmer climate, Watson picks Egypt, where Juliet is enrolled in a severe course of treatments at a noted clinic, leaving Watson on his own much of the time. It's then he runs into Colonel Arbuthnot—in reality, an undercover Sherlock Holmes, trying to discover the whereabouts of an English duke who's become enamored of Egyptology, but has vanished, leading to inquiries from his wife and the Home Office. As part of his investigation Holmes has discovered several other Egyptologists have died, or gone missing, as well. The story follows Holmes' and Watson's search, from a hotel with a disappearing room to finally end in a railway trip that nearly turns deadly, and then, with the help of Howard Carter (several years before he became famous for discovering "King Tut"), tracking down a tomb which has apparently remained untouched and is full of gold and other riches.

The pros of this book: Meyer has his Victorian vocabulary pretty much down pat, so it sounds like something Arthur Conan Doyle might have written. His Holmes/Watson badinage is fair; it doesn't sound quite as good as in his previous works. Meyer also brings Edwardian-era Egypt to life, from the heat to the smells and sounds of the streets and the marketplaces to the vintage treatments Juliet has in the sanatorium to the realities of the environment to the sensations of crawling inside tombs thousands of years old. The cons: to me it just kind of ambles along, with no suspense until the second half, a little like a Rick Steves' travelogue. So I enjoyed it, but there were certainly bits where it dragged in spots, especially in the first half of the novel.

(Also wondered if Meyer's reference to the wallpaper at the duke's hotel was a tip of the hat to Charlotte Perkins Gilman...)
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The Return of the Pharoah by Nicholas Meyer  is his most recent addition to the list of his Holmesian homages. Meyer is most well-known for his book The Seven-Per-Cent Solution. In The Return of the Pharoah, Watson takes his wife to Egypt for the winter in the hopes that the climate will help her recovery from tuberculosis. Holmes joins them in Cairo as they are asked to help a fellow British noble woman whose husband has disappeared. The search for the missing man is made even more exciting by being set admission the search by Egyptologists for an undisturbed tomb of an ancient Egyptian Pharoah. 
This book resonates on so many different levels as Meyer has given us an authentic feeling Holmes and Watson adventure set at the time that Howard Carter was searching for the tomb of Tutankhamun. The two parts of the book work well together and I thoroughly enjoyed the story.
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Wow! This book is incredible! It is gripping, mysterious, full of twists and turns, quick-paced, intriguing, and so much more! Whenever I picked up "The Return of the Pharaoh", I was whisked back in time, and went on quite the adventure with this story.

This is the first book I have read by Nicholas Meyer, and it certainly will not be my last, as his writing style is visceral, brilliant, and engaging. His storytelling is spectacular, and each element in his novel, from the characters, various locations, mysteries, and pieces of the different puzzles spring to life right off of the page. As the reader, I felt like I was right there with the characters, and often forgot I was reading on the couch! I can only imagine the amount of research Mr. Meyer must have done for this book, as he seamlessly weaves history and fiction. Both the historical figures he brings to life as well as the fictional characters in this book, feel so very real, and each moves the plot forward in one way or another.

Dr. Watson and Sherlock Holmes are reunited in Egypt. The two are searching for a missing Egyptologist, and this search leads them through much of the action of the book. Along the way, they meet Howard Carter (historically, one of the people who found Tutankhamun's tomb), find spies, discover murder, encounter a sandstorm, and much, much more. Will they be able to find out what is really going on? Are some things different than how they truly seem? You will just have to read to find out. 

If you enjoy historical mysteries, I highly recommend this book! It kept me turning the pages into the early hours of the morning to see what would happen next, and I look forward to reading what Mr. Meyer writes next. 

Thank you so much to Minotaur Books and NetGalley for the ARC of this book, and to Minotaur Books for the physical ARC as well, it is great! All opinions expressed in this review are my own.
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This was a nice addition to the Sherlock Holmes saga. The book revolves around Dr Watson and his wife until he runs into Holmes disguised as someone else. Their  adventure takes them into Egypt through an intense sandstorm.
While I enjoyed the story but at times I found myself getting distracted. I think it was a bit wordy.
Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for the early copy
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Sherlockians will rejoice to know that the grand master of Sherlock Holmes spinoffs has written a delightful new “reminiscence” by John H. Watson, M.D. in The Return of the Pharaoh, which appears this fall. I have a deep personal affection for Nicholas Meyer's Watson novels: I still remember how much I loved Meyer’s The Seven-Per-Cent Solution in 1974, and also how intrigued I was by my introduction to the idea that a contemporary author could extend an earlier author’s work. Meyer is in fine form with his fourth Holmes novel, which reunites Holmes and Watson in Egypt, where an aristocratic Egyptologist has disappeared. The world of famous archeologist Howard Carter and his peers, as well as that of Holmes and Watson, are done full justice in Meyer’s engaging novel.
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Who doesn't love a good Sherlock Holmes mystery, with all its twists and turns, and surprises? In this novel we find Dr. Watson who is in Egypt with his wife at a sanitarium where she is recovering from tuberculosis. Dr. Watson  has free time on his hands and wanders into town to check out the sights. While there he sees a familiar face, which turns out to be none other than Sherlock Holmes who is there under an assumed name so as not to be known that he is there working on a case. He is there looking for a woman's lost husband who presumably has gone to Egypt  in search of gold within a pharaoh's tomb. Several mysteries envelop, including a sealed off hotel room where the husband and his mistress had stayed. At the same time, Sherlock enlists the aid of museum director to determine what the husband may have been searching for. This takes them to Luxor and Cairo where they barely survive a major train wreck in a sandstorm and are then trapped within the tomb itself. 
This is definitely another Homes thriller that you can't put down and have to read to the end.
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The Return of the Pharaoh is based on another previously unknown case found in a Dr. John H. Watson journal. Exciting, right?

Holmes and Watson find themselves in Cairo, for separate reasons, and team up to find a missing man.

This is a great historical mystery. I loved the vibrant setting and plethora of descriptions. The travels across Egypt were entertaining, and I felt like I was right along with them and that same sense of adventure.

The Return of the Pharaoh has a fast pace, the locations were exotic and engaging, and the writing was smooth and clever. Overall, I think mystery fans will be happy to do this Holmes and Watson nod!
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The Return of the Pharoah  is another fun adventure in the satisfying series of Sherlock Holmes novels by Nicholas Meyer. 

This time out Holmes is under disguise in Egypt where he is assisting the wife of a gambler and explorer who has disappeared. As chance would have it, the narrator of the tale, Dr. Watson, is in the same area where he has taken his wife for a specialized health cure, unbeknownst that his partner in solving mysteries is present.

As soon as they accidentally meet, the adventure takes off.  And what an adventurous story it is, including
pyramids, hidden treasure, historical figures, and intrigue. Meyers’s Watson is my favorite if only for the use of language, which helps elevate the story above mere pulp, while retaining enough of those elements to keep one’s interest. Written during the pandemic, there are elements of the plot that remind the reader of the importance of relationship, and thus on many levels this book of “then” is very much a read for “now.”   

If you enjoyed any of the fine works from Meyer’s Holmes novels, title would not disappoint you and may, as it does for me, elevate to one of your favorites.
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History comes alive in the latest Sherlock Holmes adventure from Nicholas Meyer. Yes, historical figures from the past are featured prominently in this grand adventure which takes Holmes and Watson to Egypt. If you're alert, you'll notice nods to some more modern figures too. The Return of the Pharaoh, as you'd expect, is well-written. Meyer has not lost his grasp on the Holmes and Watson characters. As with the Conan Doyle stories, they're the "flesh-and-blood" characters you know and love. There is some derring-do and some great action in this one which I think helps propel it to loftier heights than the preceding tale from Meyer. If you like historical adventures, you can't go wrong with this book. Thank you to St. Martin's Press, Minotaur Books, and NetGalley for the advanced reading copy! #TheReturnofthePharaoh #NetGalley
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Meyer’s pastiche is predictably excellent; his writing takes great pains to match Doyle’s, and his footnotes “explaining” discrepancies and references in “Watson’s journal” add a delightful touch of reality to the scene.

The setting is the real star of the show. Beautifully painted by “Watson’s” excited prose, Egypt, from the health clinic to the Khan El-Khalili to the desolate sands of the desert, is a fabulous setting to drop the famed Holmes and Watson into, and Meyer clearly appreciates that. The only downside is that Holmes and Watson are complete Egyptological novices, and so any reader familiar with late Victorian Egyptology will probably cringe as experts in the field are forced to spend time during the digging season explaining the most basic of concepts to them, which I rather feel Holmes might have acquired by skimming a book. That said, most readers will not be familiar, so this should not be a detriment, and it is fun to see a cameo from Howard Carter.

The very best part of this book, however, is the relationship between Holmes and Watson. As the two are thrown into one of their most dangerous cases yet, we get to see the deep and fervent friendship between the two men in a way that nonetheless stays perfectly true to their characters.
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“The Return of the Pharaoh: From the Reminiscences of John H. Watson, M.D.” is another lost case “discovered” by Nicholas Meyer that continues our love affair with Sherlock Holmes.

It is 1910.  Dr. John Watson travels to Egypt with his second wife Juliet; she has tuberculosis and has to stay at a sanitarium in Cairo to get better, leaving Watson bored and roaming the city. So who does he happen to run into?  Sherlock Holmes, of course, on the trail of a missing English Duke who considerers himself an Egyptologist.  The Duke has disappeared, along with a female dancer who may be more than she seems.  Watson tries to stay faithful to his wife, but the lure of Holmes proves too strong.  The game is afoot!

And off we go.  Holmes and Watson pursue their leads and run into Howard Carter, pre-discovery-of-Tut’s tomb, who offers key guidance (and happens to be a secret fan of the Holmes stories).  We also have a waiter who is murdered before he can give Holmes his clue, a Duchess who seems to be hiding something along with her secretive brother-in-law, a mysterious Turk in charge of the police with his own agenda, a sandstorm that threatens to wipe out our heroes, hidden hotel rooms, spies with multiple identities, a nighttime visit to the Valley of the Kings, and assorted other fun adventures as Holmes gets to the bottom of the Duke’s disappearance.

This was a fun romp, but it didn’t really feel like a Sherlock Holmes story.  From the first improbable coincidence that both Holmes and Watson independently were in Cairo at the same time, to the threat of being buried in a mummy’s tomb, this felt like a run of the mill adventure story, not a newly discovered case from the world’s greatest detective.

I requested and received a free advanced electronic copy from St. Martin's Press / Minotaur Books via NetGalley. Thank you!
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This book did not measure up to Nicholas Meyer's previous books in my opinion. The characterizations, the dialog, the location were just somehow "off" to me,  it seemed more like a movie script than a novel with depth .
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Sherlock Holmes’ lasting popularity is a rarity among fictional characters. Most fall out of favor within years, not decades. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle died in 1930, but his stories about the English detective Sherlock Holmes have lived on. Sherlock Holmes and all his companions, as penned by Doyle, are now in the public domain and as a longtime fan of Holmes and Dr. John Watson, I’ve been looking forward to reading the inevitable adaptations. That’s why I was so keen to read The Return of the Pharaoh by Nicholas Meyer when I discovered it. If, like me, you’re a Sherlock Holmes fan, this novel won’t disappoint.
 
Just like the original Doyle novels and the brief adventures published in monthly issues of The Strand Magazine from 1891 to 1892, a Sherlock you are sure to recognize fascinates the reader with his keen observations, quick deductions, and encyclopedic recall of the history of crime. In The Return of the Pharaoh, set in 1910 Egypt, an English duke with an interest in Egyptology disappears and his wife engages the intrepid Holmes to find him. Dr. John Watson travels to Egypt with his wife Juliet after her doctor recommends a stay at a sanitarium in a dry climate to treat Juliet’s tuberculosis. By chance, Watson bumps into his old friend Sherlock in Cairo, who is in disguise, traveling under an assumed name. Curiosity pulls Watson into the case when Holmes reveals the duke has vanished from a luxury hotel in Cairo while on the trail of an undiscovered and unopened Pharaoh’s tomb rumored to be filled with gold. Once gain Holmes and Watson join forces to investigate a case, soon to discover that there is something going on far more sinister than a missing duke.
 
The mystery is straightforward, simple, and easy to enjoy. The story follows a similar formula that has worked for millions of readers these past 120-odd years, Holmes arriving at a solution by spotting a clue no one else notices, asking the right questions, or using his encyclopedic knowledge of human nature and similar cases from the past.
 
This book is very good and if you’re a Sherlock Holmes fan or someone who enjoys classic mysteries, I recommend adding The Return of the Pharaoh by Nicholas Meyer to your reading list. There is nothing elementary about this new Sherlock Holmes adaptation.
 
I received an advance copy of the book from the publisher via NetGalley.
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