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Michael Pearce - Page 1
Michael Pearce
The Face in the CemeteryThe Face in the Cemetery
A Cold Touch Of IceA Cold Touch Of Ice
Death of an EffendiDeath of an Effendi
Dmitri and the One-Legged LadyDmitri and the One-Legged Lady
The Last CutThe Last Cut
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About the Author (Photo (c) Chris Thomas)

First British Edition HarperCollins (2001)
Buy at The Face in the Cemetery
Egypt, 1914. The outbreak of war in Europe casts ripples that can be felt even in Cairo. Gareth Owen, Mamur Zapt and Head of the Khedive’s Secret Police, is given the unhappy task of rounding up enemy aliens. But in a land where the adoption of foreign nationality is a popular means of avoiding trial by an Egyptian court, determining who counts as a German proves contentious.
And then there’s the face in the cemetery. A cat cemetery, at that. Who disturbed the mummified remains by placing a human corpse amongst then? Is the villagers’ talk of a mysterious Cat Woman mere superstitious nonsense, or something rather sinister?
Owen would prefer to leave these matters in other hands. He has a more pressing concern in the shape of missing rifles (missing? in war time?) and dubious gun-toting ghaffirs. Villages usually, elect the local idiot as their ghaffir or watchman (who else would want to take on the brigands?), so what are these toughs doing here? Not to mention a heavily armed, thumb-sucking girl. The face in the cemetery, though, refuses to go away, and Owen comes to realize that it poses questions that are not just professional but uncomfortably personal.

First British Edition HarperCollins (2000)
Buy at A Cold Touch Of Ice
See Review by J.O.
The world is changing aroung the Mamur Zapt, British Chief of Cairo's Secret Police. It's 1912 and there's a war on that no one's heard of. When an Italian man is murdered in the city’s back streets, there is concern that this could be some kind of ethnic cleansing. 'One of us' Morelli may have been, but was he 'one of us' enough? And were the guns in his warehouse anything to do with it? Gareth Owen - the Mamur Zapt - has to find out fast.
And then, as external pressures crowd in, there are other difficult questions. What is Trudi von Ramsberg really doing in Cairo? Not to mention that other noted traveller, Gertrude Bell, or the irritating little archaeologist, T. E. Lawrence? And why has the post of Khedive's Librarian suddenly become so important?
Owen is just the man to solve these problems. He is less successful, though, in his relationship with Zeinab, especially now that she's approaching thirty.
As Cromer's Egypt gives way to Kitchener's Egypt, Morelli is not the only one who has problems over where his allegiance lies. Maybe the solution is for Owen to go to Zanzibar...

Paperback - HarperCollins (2000)
First British Edition HarperCollins (1999)
Buy at Death of an Effendi
Shortlisted for the Ellis Peters Award for Best Historical Crime Novel of the Year
The latest in Michael Pearce's charming, award-winning series set in Edwardian Egypt.
Cairo, 1909.The murder capital of the world, where deaths are two a piastre. But the death of an effendi? That is something different. Because effendis - the Egyptian élite - are important. Especially if - in a country ruled by foreigners - they happen to be foreign.
When Tvardovsky, an effendi and a foreigner, is shot at a gathering of financiers, Gareth Owen - the Mamur Zapt, Chief of Cairo's Secret Police - is called in to investigate. But is he the right man for the job? In some countries, if someone goes for a walk, or a boat ride, with the Head of the Secret Police and doesn't come back, it's best not to ask any questions. And there are powerful people who might have preferred Tvardovsky dead.
As the maverick financier said, before going on the fatal shooting party, there were still crocodiles in Egypt. Of all kinds. And perhaps the place to look for them was Crocodilopolis, the ancient City of the Crocodiles, where the financiers were to hold their meeting. It is when the crocodiles start cooperating, said Tvardovsky, that you really have to watch out…

'Sheer fun' Marcel Berlins, The Times
'the beguiling Mamur Zapt sleuths around turn-of-the-century Cairo with verve and panache' Maxim Jakubowski
Once again Michael Pearce has effortlessly brought to life the city and surrounding background. His dialogue is particularly good' Susanna Yager, Sunday Telegraph
'Pearce writes with a delicious wit and a firm sense of background' The Times

First British Edition Null (1999)
Paperback - HarperCollins (1999)
Buy at Dmitri and the One-Legged Lady
The second novel in the new series which pits the wily and determined Dmitri Kameron against the oppressive forces of the Tsarist regime.
A dreamy province of Tsarist Russia. An ambitious young lawyer of Scottish-Russian descent anxious to make his way. And the One-Legged Lady goes missing. A nasty case of kidnapping? Not quite, for the One-Legged Lady is just the popular name of one of the most important icons in the district. Exactly how important, the sceptical Dmitri, whose task it is to track her down, comes to see.
Who has taken her and for what reason? Is it someone interested in adding to his art collection? Is it, as some darkly suggest, just the monastery cashing in on its assets? Or has it something to do with a wave of popular feeling at a time of famine? The sinister Volkov, from the Tsar's Corps of Gendarmes, suspects the latter - which means trouble for some innocent people unless Dmitri gets there first!
Dmitri finds, to his surprise, that the icon, which he had taken merely as an irrelevant relic from the past, raises some awkward issues about the present and that the One-Legged Lady is very much alive and kicking.

Paperback - HarperCollins (2000)
First British Edition HarperCollins (1998)
Buy at The Last Cut
Everything in Egypt depends on the waters of the Nile. So when an attempt is made to blow up a key regulator in the Cairo Barrage, Gareth Owen - the Mamur Zapt, Chief of Cairo's secret police - is hurriedly called in.
What exactly is a regulator, though, Owen doesn't know. But then, there are many things he doesn't know. Who is the Lizard Man, for example, and why does he appear to have a grudge against Egypt's irrigation system.
Quite unconnected - or is it - is the ceremonial cutting of a dam which allows water to flow through the city. It is a ceremony which always requires careful policing, but on this occasion more than ever, for it is going to be the Last Cut.
Which makes the discovery of a young woman's body at the site of the dam extremely embarrassing. Is this the traditional ritual sacrifice! Definitely not, says Owen - but this could be another of the things he doesn't know …

'An entertaining story in which the author has cleverly woven a mystery into the background of the city, bringing it and its varied population to noisy life' Susanna Yager, Sunday Telegraph
'The whole of the novel is a joy' Gerald Kaufman, Scotsman
'Pearce takes apart ancient history and reassembles it with beguiling wit and colour.’ Sunday Times
"Irresistible fun" Maxim Jakubowski, Time Out
'Marvellously convoluted ... Dryly and deeply funny' Literary Review
'Plot and dialogue as perfectly pitched as ever' Philip Oakes, Literary Review
'Urbane, intelligent and never patronising, Pearce writes about Egypt with the observant eye of the lover who sees yet forgives all faults' Val McDermid, Manchester Evening News

About The Author
Michael Pearce grew up in the (then) Angle-Egyptian Sudan among the various tensions he draws on for his award-winning Mamur Zapt series. He returned there later to teach and was trained as a Russian interpreter during the Cold War for military intelligence work, and has retained an active human rights interest in the area ever since. He believes that there was a brief period towards the end of the Tsarist regime and before the coming of the Communists when democratic institutions and an independent legal system might have got off the ground in Russia, and that if they had, the whole course of history would have been different. It is this period, the 1890s, that he makes the setting for his new Russian series.
He now 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 for the funniest crime novel of the year.


N.B. dates and publishers in dark red indicate British First Editions. Dates and publishers in black indicate recent reprints.

  • The Face in the Cemetery (HarperCollins, 2001) ( Mamur Zapt)
  • A Cold Touch Of Ice (HarperCollins, 2000) ( Mamur Zapt)
  • Death of an Effendi (HarperCollins, 1999) HarperCollins Pbk Jun 00 ( Mamur Zapt)
  • Dmitri and the One-Legged Lady ( 1999) HarperCollins Pbk Nov 99 (Dmitri Kameron)
  • The Last Cut (HarperCollins, 1998) HarperCollins Pbk Mar 00 ( Mamur Zapt)
  • Dmitri and the Milk Drinkers (HarperCollins, 1997) Pbk 1998 (Dmitri Kameron)
  • The Fig Tree Murder (HarperCollins, 1997) HarperCollins Pbk 1998 ( Mamur Zapt)
  • The Mingrelian Conspiracy (HarperCollins, 1995) ( Mamur Zapt)
  • The Snake-Catcher’s Daughter (HarperCollins, 1994) ( Mamur Zapt)
  • The Camel of Destruction (HarperCollins, 1993) ( Mamur Zapt)
  • The Mamur Zapt and the Spoils of Egypt (HarperCollins, 1992) (winner of the CWA's Last Laugh Award for funniest crime novel ( Mamur Zapt)
  • The Mamur Zapt and the Girl in the Nile (HarperCollins, 1992) ( Mamur Zapt)
  • The Mamur Zapt and the Men Behind (HarperCollins, 1991) ( Mamur Zapt)
  • The Mamur Zapt and the Donkey-vous (HarperCollins, 1990) ( Mamur Zapt)
  • The Mamur Zapt and the Night of the Dog (HarperCollins, 1989) ( Mamur Zapt)
  • The Mamur Zapt and the Return of the Carpet (HarperCollins, 1988) ( Mamur Zapt)

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