I have an entire bookshelf dedicated to the original stories, retellings, and new adventures of Sherlock Holmes. I just can't get enough of the character! My shelf, of course, has an old hardback copy of The Seven Percent Solution by this author. When I saw this new book by Meyer, I knew I had to read it. I enjoyed his 2019 book The Adventure of the Peculiar Protocols, and I enjoyed this new story too!
It is 1910. Dr. Watson heads to Egypt with his wife, who suffers from Tuberculosis. While his wife is resting and receiving treatment, Watson unexpectedly bumps into his old friend, Sherlock Holmes. Holmes is investigating a case....and Watson (of course) gets sucked into it with him. With the help of a soon-to-be-famous archeologist, the two old friends are on the case!
Loved this book! Lots of descriptions of Egypt, archaelogy in the early 1900s, the political climate at the time....all wrapped up within a great Sherlock investigation!
I'm definitely on-board to read more of these Watson's Journals/Sherlock mystery tales by Nicholas Meyer. They have the feel of the originals by Arthur Conan Doyle and always keep my attention from start to finish! And, the front cover is awesome!
**I voluntarily read a review copy of this book from St Martins Press. All opinions expressed are entirely my own.**
The Return of the Pharaoh by Nicholas Meyer
David Robb, Narrator
Part of the Sherlock Holmes Pastiche Series.
Thanks to Netgalley for the book and the audiobook. So this is my opinion for both.
This was very enjoyable for me because I love Sherlock Holmes and also the Egyptian setting of 1910. The author is a film writer and director and the book does have a somewhat cinematic quality.
The narration was good. The only thing I disliked about the audiobook was the addition of footnotes which were an annoying interruption to the story for me. They were mostly unneeded for anyone who is a student of the Holmes canon or has an interest in Egypt or the history of the era. In the book they can be ignored but not with the audio.
I plan to go back and read earlier books in this series but this book could certainly be read as a standalone.
Watson and Holmes Meet in Egypt
It’s 1911. Watson is taking his wife Juliet to Cairo for treatment of her recent bout of tuberculosis. Watson is happy to support his wife, but her treatment regimen is very strict, and he’s hardly able to see her. He wanders around Cairo becoming bored until he goes into a bar and sees a fellow who he is sure is wearing his regimental tie. He can tell by the spot.
Of course, the man turns out to be Holmes in disguise. He’s on the trail of the Duke of Uxbridge. He came Egypt to search for a missing tomb. His mistress hasn’t heard from him and believes that the circumstances of his disappearance are suspicious. Holmes has been tasked with the investigation and now that Watson has appeared he is a welcome addition to the team.
It’s an interesting time in Cairo. Not only are numerous adventurers looking for hidden tombs, but the international situation comes into play. The British, French and the Egyptians themselves want to control the country, not to mention the importance of the Suez Canal. It’s ripe for a good Holmes adventure with overtones of international intrigue.
Nicholas Meyer does a good job recreating the Holmes era. This book is reminiscent of his first novel, the Seven Percent Solution. I am not a fan of many recreations of the Holmes Watson partnership, but this is a good one.
The story starts slowly with Watson’s travel to Egypt and getting Juliet settled, but it quickly picks up when Holmes comes on the scene. The pace accelerates to that of a thriller. The history is accurate and the glimpses of the Nile and Egyptian archaeology are well done. If you’re a fan of Sherlock, this is a good one.
I received this book from St. Martin’s Press for this review.
Nicholas Meyer's "The Return of the Pharaoh" takes place in 1910-1911. Dr. John Watson, who did well financially from his published accounts of Sherlock Holmes's exploits, sails from London to Egypt with his wife, Juliet. Upon arrival, she checks into the Al-Wadi sanitarium, where she will be treated for tuberculosis. Over a month later, Watson is touring Cairo when he unexpectedly runs into Holmes, who is in disguise and traveling under an assumed name. Soon, the two team up to locate Michael, Duke of Uxbridge, who had shown an interest in excavating Egyptian tombs for the gold that might be hidden within. The duke's wife, Lizabetta, hired Holmes to find her husband, who vanished approximately three months earlier. She had previously appealed in vain to Scotland Yard and London's Foreign Office for assistance in finding Michael.
Holmes and Watson consult Egyptologist Howard Carter (who would later achieve worldwide fame for discovering King Tut's tomb). Along the way, an informant is murdered, Holmes and Watson take a harrowing train ride to Luxor, and both nearly lose their lives in a grisly manner. Meyer vividly describes the sights and sounds of Egypt, and he deftly incorporates the theme of stolen treasures into his narrative. Over many years, unscrupulous fortune-hunters have looted ancient Egyptian tombs of their precious artifacts.
"The Return of the Pharaoh" is not as exciting or intellectually stimulating as Meyer's earlier novels. The first half is particularly talky and slow-moving. Fortunately, when Holmes and Watson are close to reaching their goal, the plot picks up somewhat. One of the liveliest scenes takes place during a khamsin, a violent sandstorm, and the concluding confrontation pits Holmes and his associates against a band of merciless killers. Overall, however, this mundane mystery adds little of interest to the Holmes canon.
I received a complimentary ARC copy of The Return of the Pharaoh, From the Reminiscences of John H. Watson, M.D. by Nicholas Meyer from NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press/Minotaur Books in order to read and give an honest review.
” …I found it an interesting and intriguing read that I would definitely recommend …”
I have always been a fan of author Arthur Conan Doyle and have always loved stories that bring the brilliant duo of Sherlock Holmes and John Watson back to life. I previously reviewed The Adventure of the Peculiar Protocols by Nicholas Meyer and thoroughly enjoyed it and I am glad to say that The Return of the Pharaoh did not disappoint. Studying Egyptology, I am always drawn to fiction that pays homage to the topic I love. The author did brilliantly, intertwining ancient Egyptian history with a well written complex mystery true to the Sherlock Holmes legacy.
Nicholas Meyer’s The Return of the Pharaoh takes Sherlock to Egypt in 1911, hired by a Duchess to find her missing husband the Duke of Uxbridge who was hunting down the undiscovered tomb of Thutmose V. While not immediately on the case Dr. John Watson also happens to be in Egypt with his wife while she is receiving treatment for her damaged lungs. Watson joins Sherlock on the case and as always, the game is afoot. The story is full of twists, turns and double crosses as the plot builds at a slow (albeit at times too slow) rate but with a brilliant pulse-pounding ending. Meyer gives the readers a dynamic cast of characters one of which is the infamous Egyptologist, Howard Carter who becomes a central character in the book and Holmes is rendered a more “human” and multifaceted character than we’ve seen him before.
I have to say, although as I mentioned it was slow to get into at first, I enjoyed it and found it an interesting and intriguing read that I would definitely recommend!
1910 November Due to the illness of his wife Juliet, she and Dr Watson arrange to stay in Cairo for her treatment. Several months later Dr Watson discovers Holmes, disguised as a Colonel Arbuthnot, on a case. That of the missing Duke of Uxbridge. And so the adventure begins.
An entertaining and well-written historical mystery, with its cast of likeable and varied characters. Another good addition to the series which can easily be read as a standalone story.
An ARC was provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
The Return of the Pharaoh by Nicholas Meyer is possibly the last published work of fictional character, Dr. John H Watson, assistant to the great Sherlock Holmes. Although they end up being in Egypt for different reasons, Watson is once again at Holmes side has he looks for a missing man. Watson is there with his second wife, Juliet, who is suffering from tuberculosis and is in Egypt seeking dry air and a curative retreat. Watson is only able to see his wife for small periods of time and so is thankful for Holmes' appearance. Holmes is being shadowed by his quarry's wife, which is an inconvenience, to be sure. There is a huge divide between the English in Egypt and the native population and their Turkish overlords. Holmes is, however, hot on his trail.
Meyer is able to write pretty much as Watson would have: very formally. He has an imagination much like that of Conan Doyle and leads all readers on a merry chase. The ins and outs of the case, and the interesting characters are simply a portion of what makes this work fascinating. Maybe is foreignness? May be exotic characters, foreign or otherwise? Whatever the reason, the journey is compelling and certainly exemplifies the interest the world had in Egypt and its treasure at this time. It is a true journey into the past.
I was invited to read a free e-ARC of The Return of the Pharaoh by Minotaur Books, through Netgalley. All thought and opinions are mine. #netgalley #minotaur #nicholasmeyer #thereturnofthepharaoh
What a treat, a new Holmes and Watson from the pen of Nicholas Meyer. Watson and his wife, Juliet have traveled to Egypt in 1910 because of her TB and a warm dry climate is advised. This is the time of Howard Carter, King Tut, tombs and pharaohs. Watson is delighted to discover that Holmes is on a case and while Juliet rests, Watson joins in the investigation.
Holmes is trying to find the 11th Duke of Uxbridge, an amateur Egyptologist on his annual dig. His wife hasn't heard anything from him for several months and she has hired Holmes. The Duke was on the hunt for an undiscovered tomb in the Valley of the Kings. As Howard Carter found King Tut, the Duke wants one of his own. Has he run afoul of others on the same quest? Another adventure for Holmes and Watson takes the reader on a wonderful tour of Cairo, tombs, pyramids with many surprises on the way.
Many authors have written the further cases of Holmes and Watson - some better than others - but Nicholas Meyer is, to this reader, top notch. I enjoyed every page and will eagerly read the next book.
My thanks to the publisher Minotaur and to NetGalley for giving me an advance copy in exchange for my honest review.
After the death of his first wife, Dr. Watson married Juliet, who was later diagnosed with tuberculosis. With a recommendation from her doctor, Watson takes her to a sanitarium in Cairo for treatment. As Juliet works with the doctors Watson sets out to explore the city. At one bar he meets Colonel Arbuthnot. Watson recognizes his regimental tie, which he had left behind on Baker Street. Sherlock Holmes is once again in disguise as he searches for the Duke of Uxbridge, who disappeared while looking for the tomb of Thutmose. The Duke is not the first egyptologist to disappear and Sherlock has been hired by his wife to find him. She is arriving shortly in Cairo and demanding a quick resolution. Juliet is not happy that Watson has joined Sherlock in his search, but he promises that he is not getting involved in anything dangerous. Some promises, however, are impossible to keep.
Sherlock discovers that the duke was involved with an exotic dancer named Fatima, who has also disappeared. With the help of Howard Carter, Sherlock and Watson trace the duke to the Valley of the Kings. Joined by Carter and his client, Sherlock and Watson depart by train for Karnak. Their arrival is delayed when the train is stopped by a khamsin, a tornado of sand that leaves several passengers dead and Watson injured. The duke was searching for a previously undiscovered tomb and the possible treasures to be found but the question remains whether he found a treasure and disappeared or did he become a victim like the other egyptologists?
Nicholas Meyer has brought back the Sherlock Holmes that fans love. His deductions and disguises continue to amaze Watson. While Watson tries to shield Juliet from some of the dangers they encounter, he underestimates her awareness. She knows that working with Sherlock comes with peril and insists that he be honest with her and proceed with caution. Meyer’s story also raises the problem of cultural items that are taken from the country of origin for display in foreign museums or for private collections. From the back alleys of Cairo to the grand pyramids this is a story that will please Sherlockians. I would like to thank NetGalley and St. Martin Press/Minotaur for providing this book fo my review.
Another fine entry in the pastiche of Arthur Conan Doyle. Watson is Eygpt bound in 1910 seeking warmer, dryer air in hopes of curing his wife of tuberculosis. While Juliet is undergoing treatment Watson bumps into Holmes undercover on a case seeking a missing Egyptologist. Finding that their clients husband isn’t the first Egyptologist to go missing or be killed Holmes and Watson find themselves drawn into an intriguing case. Given ARC copies of the audio book and ebook from the publisher through Netgalley I found myself returning to the audio book more than the ebook. David Robb with occasional footnotes from author Nicholas Meyer nails Watson’s voice.
I really enjoy Nicholas Meyer novels and this was no exception. Lots of twists and turns, leaving you guessing throughout. The plot was complex until the end. Great read. Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for the advance read copy!
Nicholas Meyer's The Return of the Pharaoh is an adventure set in the later years of the illustrious detective and his faithful friend that takes them to Egypt in 1911 to track down the missing Duke of Uxbridge, who was on a treasure hunt of a never-opened pharaonic tomb. Nicholas Meyer, of course, is a celebrated author and director who has penned his own unique Sherlock Holmes mysteries and has helped Captain Kirk navigate through equally turbulent voyages.
In The Return of the Pharaoh, Meyer’s writing is top notch. His style is completely immersive not only of the period but also of the location. And man, is it terribly boring.
While Dr. Watson finds himself in Egypt with his wife, he learns that Sherlock Holmes is also there on a case helping a Duchess tracking down her missing husband. Instead of finding the duke, the pair find a trail of corpses leading them to the sealed tomb of pharaoh Tuthmose V.
The plot could have been loaded with enough snares and traps to make Indiana Jones jealous of Holmes’ remarkable intelligence as each is thwarted. The long Star of Egypt train ride the heroes embark upon could have thick with an Agatha Christie mystery. Alas, other than a rather exciting sandstorm they become trapped in, neither of those instances occur. Holmes sips tea and postulates. Watson complains and stays loyal. The story is overall entertaining but well short of magnificence.
Perhaps modern-day fans are too comfortable with Robert Downey, Jr’s pugilist Holmes, or Benedict Cumberbatch’s Sherlock with the hip scarves and Siri-like recall. And both, by the way, are fantastic adaptations. The Return of the Pharaoh is akin to seeing movie action heroes well past their prime trying to perform in one last escapade. Like Eastwood, Sutherland, and Garner in Space Cowboys. The memory of their tales are broad and snappy and, when needed, menacing. Unfortunately, time dulls any such danger. And a Sherlock Holmes mystery should be anything but dull.
Many thanks to NetGalley and St. Martin's Press for an advanced copy of this new mystery. I remain a steadfast fan of Nic Meyer.
Holmes and Watson in Egypt – what a treat…
Nicholas Meyer has been “editing” the posthumous memoirs of John H Watson, MD, for decades, albeit rather sporadically, starting with The Seven-Per-Cent Solution, which came out in 1974, and won a Gold Dagger Award. Now he’s come out with a fifth rip-roaring Holmes and Watson tale, The Return of the Pharaoh, which, as you might guess, is set in Egypt in the early part of the 1900s. And although I was a little nervous about whether this most recent book could keep up with my fond memories of Meyer’s earlier ones, I needn’t have worried. The Return of the Pharaoh grabbed me at (almost) the beginning and kept me amused and intrigued to the very end.
As the case opens, Watson is travelling with his wife, Juliet, to Cairo, where they hope the regimen at the Al Wadi sanitarium will help her overcome her recent bout of tuberculosis. But Juliet’s treatment schedule is quite strict, so Watson finds himself somewhat at loose ends. Until, of course, he runs into Sherlock Holmes, who is (gasp! horror!) wearing Watson’s old regimental tie as part of a disguise. It seems that Holmes has been retained to look for yet another English aristocrat, the Duke of Uxbridge, who apparently was bitten by the mania for Egyptology (or perhaps just the mania for gold), before disappearing in suspicious circumstances.
But there may be more to the tale. As Meyer points out (via Mycroft Holmes), Cairo at the time was a hotbed of international intrigue: although the Khedive nominally owed allegiance to the Ottoman Sultan in Istanbul, England wielded vast influence, rendering Egypt practically a colony. And all the while the Egyptians quite understandably wanted their country for themselves. In addition, there was still a big French presence from Napoleon’s days, and of course, everybody wanted control of the Suez Canal. Whew! Against this backdrop, was Uxbridge really the bumbler he appeared to be, or something more? And what about his mysterious mistress, who appears to have disappeared along with the Duke? I followed along with pleasure as Holmes and Watson tracked down clues, visited archaeological sites, headed up the Nile, and finally figured it all out.
I had only one minor issue with The Return of the Pharoah, which was that the introduction detailing the present-day history of Watson’s journals seemed a bit labored to me. But I forgot all about it as soon as the case got going, and thus it wasn’t a big deal. And one bit of advice - don’t forget to read the brief footnotes as you go. These range from merely informative to downright funny, but shouldn’t be skipped – even if you normally hate footnotes!
All-in-all, The Return of the Pharaoh is well worthy of Watson and Holmes, and gets five-stars from me. And finally, two disclosures. First, I received an advance review copy from the publisher, Minotaur Books, and from NetGalley. My thanks to them. And second, I myself am a fan of Egypt and Egyptian history, and thus probably predisposed to like The Return of Pharaoh, just for its setting and historical background alone. But I think Meyer does a great job making sure all readers have the background they need, and the book will appeal to Egyptophiles and non-Egyptophiles alike.
I enjoyed this Sherlock Holmes take off. The book had all the twists and turns of a Doyle novel. I was immersed until the last page.
What I Enjoyed
The Return of the Pharaoh by Nicholas Meyer is another Sherlock Holmes mystery from the reminiscences of Dr. John H. Watson. What I enjoyed the most about this book, as I have other Nicholas Meyer's Sherlock Holmes stories, is how well the tone, atmosphere, verbiage, and more reflect the original series by Sir Conan Doyle. Yet, it adds an extra intangible Myers-ness that I especially enjoy.
Dr. Watson is married to the lovely Juliet. She is having a reoccurrence of tuberculosis, so she must go to a better climate to heal. At her doctor's advice, the couple heads to a hospital in Cairo, Egypt, a spa-like facility for ex-military and their families. The exchanges between the loving couple provide a foundational element that makes the notoriously cerebral tale more relatable and humanizes in unexpected ways. And Juliet having consumption gives a little touch of relatedness to today's covid pandemic. I loved that small little relatable touch.
Watson forgets to contact Sherlock Holmes to let him know about the trip. But, surprise surprise, one night when he decides to go to a bar in the city after Juliet retires for the evening - who is sitting next to him at the bar and wearing his military uniform tie – none other than his dear friend Sherlock Holmes. Watson's annoyance and Holmes' logic meet in some of the funniest exchanges in the story. I love these little bits of humor that come from minor annoyances that only true friends can have.
I also enjoyed how the story picks up to thriller speed as Watson and Holmes face peril after peril while figuring out what happened to the duke that Holmes is hired to find. The adventure to solve the mystery leads them all over Cairo and to an illegal archaeological dig in the Valley of Kings. The setting is brilliant and lends to the thrills as I was reminded of great action adventures stories that have also taken place in the exact location.
Dr. Watson is the ever-present unflappable foil to Sherlock Holmes' intense logical mind. Whereas Holmes is so logical that he doesn't understand the intricacies of human emotion, Watson understands perfectly and yet is just as astute in discerning clues as the detective. Together, they make a formidable investigative team.
To Read or Not to Read
If you are looking for a Sherlock Holmes mystery with lots of thrills and plenty of Holmes-ness, you must pick up this book today. You are going to love it!
I thoroughly enjoyed this mystery written in the style of the original Sherlock Holmes mysteries.
The book is so well written that I felt like I was in a Sherlock Holmes mystery, complete with murder and intrigue and plenty of potential suspects. The scene where Watson meets up with Sherlock in Egypt is hilarious in the entertaining way it unfolds on the page. It reminded me of some of the more recent Sherlock episodes I have seen on PBS.
I appreciated the rich detail and history surrounding several archeologists’ search for artifacts in 1910 Egypt. Also, a reference to Dickens’ beloved Bleak House litigation Jarndyce v Jarndyce was a nice touch.
This book is a must read for historical mystery fans!
There are very few better ways to spend time, than in the company of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson. I love how the story is presented. Author Nicholas Meyers takes from one of Dr. Watson's journals, details from a case that Watson never got to publish and writes the account we read here.
The presentation is very authentic to the original adventures and I enjoyed the footnotes that explain references to other past adventures and historic details.
Watson is in Egypt with his wife, as she recovers from tuberculosis. As he gets restless he decides to explore and stumbles into Sherlock Holmes, in disguise on a case. Watson is definitely annoyed when he first meets his friend because Holmes has "borrowed" Watson's regimental tie for part of his disguise. Soon Watson finds himself pulled into Holmes's Investigation as in the old days. At first the case is just a missing person, but as the bodies begin to pile up it is obvious there is something much greater at stake.
I also enjoyed the interactions between Watson and his wife Juliet. Watson is very close with the details he gives his wife about Holmes's case and she sees right through him. When she confronts him and pins his ears back about it that was fun.
I will most definitely read more of Nicholas Meyer's Sherlock Holmes stories, this one is the first one I've experienced and I'm sure I've been missing out.
Thank you to St Martin's Press and Netgalley for the opportunity to experience this adventure filled e-ARC.
This book held dual interest for me: I am a fan of Sherlock Holmes and (well done) modern versions, and I have been to Egypt and enjoy a book that takes me back to the marvels of that trip. The premise is that the author has been given exclusive access to Dr. Watson's journal, which includes this previously unpublished Holmes story. Set in 1910, Watson and his second wife, Juliet, travel to Egypt for Juliet to receive treatment for tuberculosis. By coincidence, Sherlock Holmes is in Cairo to investigate the disappearance of an English Duke, who believed he had a map to the unopened tomb of an Egyptian pharaoh. After Watson bumps into Holmes at the famed Shepheard's hotel, he joins the detective on the case. During the course of their investigation, the two visit a number of Egyptian antiquity sites and encounter the famous Egyptologist Howard Carter. The characters are well-drawn, the plot is fast paced and entertaining, and the solution to the mystery was not obvious until the reveal. A highly enjoyable, quick read.
"In Nicholas Meyer's The Return of the Pharaoh, Sherlock Holmes returns in an adventure that takes him to Egypt in search of a missing nobleman, a previously undiscovered pharaoh's tomb, and a conspiracy that threatens his very life.
With his international bestseller, The Seven Per Cent Solution, Nicholas Meyer brought to light a previously unpublished case of Sherlock Holmes that reinvigorated the world's interest in the first consulting detective. Now, many years later, Meyer is given exclusive access to Dr. Watson's unpublished journal, wherein he details a previously unknown case.
In 1910, Dr. John Watson travels to Egypt with his wife Juliet. Her tuberculosis has returned and her doctor recommends a stay at a sanitarium in a dry climate. But while his wife undergoes treatment, Dr. Watson bumps into an old friend--Sherlock Holmes, in disguise and on a case. An English Duke with a penchant for egyptology has disappeared, leading to enquiries from his wife and the Home Office.
Holmes has discovered that the missing duke has indeed vanished from his lavish rooms in Cairo and that he was on the trail of a previous undiscovered and unopened tomb. And that he's only the latest Egyptologist to die or disappear under odd circumstances. With the help of Howard Carter, Holmes and Watson are on the trail of something much bigger, more important, and more sinister than an errant lord."
It's Sherlock Holmes and Egypt, I'm sold.
Set in 1910 Egypt, Dr. Watson and his wife, Juliet, go to Egypt where Juliet takes the cure for tuberculosis. Whilst there he is surprised to meet his dear friend Sherlock Holmes whom he hasn't seen for ages. Good thing they are both there at the same time as mystery is afoot and secrets swirl. A duke goes missing and the search for clues takes the pair to the Valley of the Kings with vivid descriptions of people, transportation and findings.
My favourite aspects of this book are the Egyptology descriptions such as cartouches, how to read glyphs and pharaoh talk as well as the witty footnotes. Meyer's writing style is different than Doyle's, as it should be, but is compatible and complementary, evoking nostalgia. Beautifully done for those of us who adore anything Sherlock Holmes! The mystery itself is quite simple but to me there is more than that here...we get to learn more about the characters and fascinating Egypt.
Look no further for your next Sherlock Holmes/Dr. Watson fix. Well worth it.
My sincere thank you to St. Martin's Press and NetGalley for the privilege of reading this delightful book.