The Mingrelian Conspiracy by Michael Pearce
(Mamur Zapt Mysteries)

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In the Cairo of 1908, the city lives--and dies--by its cafi culture. But for all restaurant businesses, then and now, the protection rackets pose a problem. And the city's cafis are experiencing a sudden upsurge in threats from various gangs. But who are they? More importantly, who's behind them? Is the money being channeled to some big crook, or is its use political, say for the purchase of guns? With some sixty nationalities, one hundred and twelve ethnic groups, and over two hundred religious sects, not to mention the Nationalists on the rise, policing the capital is no easy matter. When Mustapha, one cafi proprietor, is attacked by men with clubs, his legs broken for non- compliance, everyone is worried. The attacks may be escalating towards the international community. The Russian Chargi makes a complaint. Are the Mingrelians, a very small Christian group from the Caucasus, formenting a real conspiracy aimed at the visit of a Russian Grand Duke? This royalty is coming to replicate the visit his uncle paid to Egypt at the opening of the Suez Canal. Heading off any such incident is the task of Gareth Owen, Head of the Secret Police. But will the Mamur Zapt find answers to so many arcane questions in time?...

About Michael Pearce

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Michael Pearce lives in London and is the author of fourteen Mamur Zapt novels, including The Mamur Zapt and the Spoils of Egypt, for which he was awarded the Crime Writers' Association's prestigious Last Laugh Award.
Published October 19, 1995 by Collins Crime. 192 pages
Genres: History, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction, Action & Adventure, Crime. Fiction

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In Pearce's latest entertaining historical (after 2003's The Snake Catcher's Daughter), set in 1908 colonial Egypt, Captain Gareth Owen, aka the Mamur Zapt who heads the British secret police, tackles two problems.

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Reviewing the Evidence

Cairo is a city under two governmental systems: the British secret system and the Egyptian system.

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