When newly widowed Jane Wunderly is offered a chance for an Egyptian vacation with her Aunt Millie, she jumps at the chance. The Mena House resort offers many chances to mingle with visitors, and Jane catches the eye of Redvers, a gentleman whose last relationship was undone by his banker’s hours, and the scorn of Anna, a flirt who also might have her sights on Redvers. But the whirl of socializing can be a bit exhausting, especially when it is packaged with card sharks, blackmailers, antiquities thieves, and at least one murderer. This delightful new historical mystery series highlights a charming heroine, albeit one with secrets up her sleeve, and features colorful characters, a picturesque setting, sparkling wit, and a healthy dose of suspense.— Daniel Goldin
A roaring ‘20s vacation to an Egyptian resort is marred by murder, and our intrepid heroine, being herself implicated, must engage in a bit of serious sleuthing to clear her name, all the while avoiding the company of handsome men. While this novel will fit in well for readers of historical mysteries, don’t let the cozy trappings fool you – Neubauer isn’t afraid of the dark. She leans into themes drawn from classic noir, revealing the dark intentions and everyday evils hidden beneath charming exteriors and slick veneers. Here’s a mystery that’s a cut above the rest of its class, and with a first adventure this pitch-perfect, you’ll want to book passage ASAP to follow Jane Wunderly to the ends of the earth.— Chris Lee
Well-heeled travelers from around the world flock to the Mena House Hotel—an exotic gem in the heart of Cairo where cocktails flow, adventure dispels the aftershocks of World War I, and deadly dangers wait in the shadows . . .
Egypt, 1926. Fiercely independent American Jane Wunderly has made up her mind: she won’t be swept off her feet on a trip abroad. Despite her Aunt Millie’s best efforts at meddling with her love life, the young widow would rather gaze at the Great Pyramids of Giza than into the eyes of a dashing stranger. Yet Jane’s plans to remain cool and indifferent become ancient history in the company of Mr. Redvers, a roguish banker she can’t quite figure out . . .
While the Mena House has its share of charming guests, Anna Stainton isn’t one of them. The beautiful socialite makes it clear that she won’t share the spotlight with anyone—especially Jane. But Jane soon becomes the center of attention when she’s the one standing over her unintentional rival’s dead body.
Now, with her innocence at stake in a foreign country, Jane must determine who can be trusted, and who had motive to commit a brutal murder. Between Aunt Millie’s unusual new acquaintances, a smarmy playboy with an off-putting smile, and the enigmatic Mr. Redvers, someone has too many secrets. Can Jane excavate the horrible truth before her future falls to ruin in Cairo . . . and the body count rises like the desert heat?
About the Author
Erica Ruth Neubauer spent eleven years in the military, nearly two as a Maryland police officer, and one as a high school English teacher, before finding her way as a writer. She has been a reviewer of mysteries and crime fiction for publications such as Publishers Weekly and Mystery Scene Magazine for several years, and she’s a member of Sisters in Crime and Mystery Writers of America. Erica Ruth lives in Milwaukee, WI, with her husband.
Advance Praise for Murder at the Mena House
With deft characterizations, an engaging plot, and the most compelling heroine I’ve found since Amelia Peabody, Erica Ruth Neubauer’s Murder at Mena House is the best book you’ll read this year. I can’t wait for the next installment of this phenomenal series.”
—Tasha Alexander, author of In the Shadow of Vesuvius
“What a refreshing surprise to be back on the Nile in this confident and accomplished debut. Neubauer pays proper homage to the Golden Age, but her crisp style and witty heroine ensure that Murder at the Mena House zips along in a thoroughly modern manner. I hope plucky Jane Wunderly has a long sleuthing future ahead; I, for one, am already looking forward to her next adventure.”
—Catriona McPherson, author of Go To My Grave
“A thrilling new series!”
—Victoria Thompson, national bestselling author of Murder on Union Square
“It’s no small feat to bring 1920s colonial Egypt to life, but Murder at the Mena House does far more than that. It’s an elegant mystery—written with wit, style, and heart—and Jane Wunderly is an unforgettable sleuth. Erica Neubauer’s debut is an absolute delight.”
—Hilary Davidson, Anthony Award–winning author of Don’t Look Down
“Murder at the Mena House is impossible to put down. A pitch-perfect mystery, with an exotic locale, and an unforgettable main character I hope to encounter again in future books. Erica Neubauer has created one of the most impressive debut novels I’ve read.”
—Alex Grecian, author of The Saint of Wolves and Butchers
“An exotic trip back in time to 1920s Egypt, with a cast of winning characters right out of the Golden Age of crime fiction. Murder at the Mena House is a charming adventure cum murder mystery set in a luxury hotel at the foot of the great pyramids. Gigolos, card sharps, smugglers, rich aunts, and one achingly handsome romantic interest surround our plucky, irresistible, complex heroine, the young widow Mrs. Jane Wunderly. An auspicious start to what promises to be an exciting and compelling series.”
—James W. Ziskin, Anthony and Macavity Award-winning author of the Ellie Stone mysteries