Blurb: “I’ve heard all about you, Miss Denby. Everyone knows you have a nose for murder.” Poppy Denby is intrigued when she is invited to attend the auction for the Death Mask of Nefertiti. Held on the country estate of Sir James Maddox, a famous explorer, the auction promises to be a controversial and newsworthy affair. Representatives from the world’s leading museums are gathering to bid on the mask, which was discovered in Egypt. Poppy quickly sniffs out that the mask was not the only thing found that night: the underground chamber also contained a dead body. Poppy and her colleagues from The Daily Globe, who are trying to stay one step ahead of their rivals from The London Courier, dismiss rumours about the mask’s ancient curse. But when one of the auction party is murdered, and someone starts stalking Poppy, the race is on to find the killer before ‘the curse’ can strike again…
My Review: This is the fourth book in the Poppy Denby series and having read and enjoyed the first two (somehow I missed the third one) I was keen to read this one when I heard about it. An added interest was the fact that I love Egyptian history and while this book is not set in Egypt it does the main focus of the story because it centers around the Death Mask of Nefertiti and the doubt on the ownership claim of the person putting it up for auction.
As with the previous books I’ve read this was a brilliant read. The stories are easy to follow but get you hooked on what’s happening next and where the adventure is going to take Poppy.
While it may give more depth if you read the books in order there is enough background on the characters that this could be read as a stand alone. The characters are well rounded and leap off the page and while it’s not what I’d class as a psychological thriller there is definitely tension there and an underlying current of suspicion and intrigue.
I really enjoy these books, I need to get the third so I can catch up on the adventures I’ve missed. These are the sort of books you can curl up with on a horrible, wet evening (or weekend) and let them transport you back in time and forget about the real world for a while. Quite simply a joy to read and I hope there are many more of them to come.
About the author:
Fiona Veitch Smith has worked as a journalist in South Africa and the UK and is now an Associate Lecturer in Journalism at Newcastle University. She also teaches Creative Writing at Northumbria University.