I just finished (about 10 seconds ago) Inquest on Imhotep by Derek Adie Flower, and I would recommend it to anyone who really likes Egyptology. In brief, the book is a murder mystery that intersects with the hunt for an ancient Egyptian Tomb of Imhotep, a great figure from early Egypt. There’s also a love story thrown in, and secret sects for good and evil make appearances as well.

I enjoyed the major throughline of the book – the hunt for the tomb – but while I really like learning about Ancient Egypt, the book sometimes waxes too far into Egyptian history and into the mythologies that arise out of that history. At moments, I was just lost because the writer assumes a level of knowledge about Ancient Egypt that the lay reader simply doesn’t have. Thus, if you have great knowledge of Ancient Egypt – this book is for you.

Additionally, the book could have used one more edit where both typographical and grammatical errors were cleaned up, the plot tightened, and the description clarified. The story here is very engaging, but the writing – with shifts in point of view and time sequence – just isn’t quite there to hold the story up well. Finally, the ending – which I won’t give away – left me a bit disappointed, like I was going to have to look for a sequel to get satisfaction (or perhaps that the writer simply didn’t know how to sum it up).

All in all, it’s worth a read if you’re interested in the setting, but if you’re picking it up as a mystery, I would go with Elizabeth Peters instead.

If you’d like another opinion, check out this review from Bookshelf Reviews. And if you’ve reviewed this book yourself, let me know, and I’ll link to it here.
Inquest on ImhotepInquest on Imhotep: Beyond the White Walls by Derek Adie Flower

On other notes, I’ve been doing a lot of writing during the past twenty-four hours; in addition to my usual writing practice – which is creative in nature – I’m working on this Dave Chappelle thing, a wholly academic enterprise. And while I find academic work intellectually rewarding, I find the false veneer that I have to put up in terms of my language choice and syntactical decisions (see I even slipped into that voice here) makes me kind of nuts. I just like to say things clearly and directly, and honestly, I don’t think the academic genre allows for that. What do you guys think? Can you write straightforwardly in academic writing? Why or why not?