Thursday, February 18th, 2010

For all my fellow mystery lovers

noel in shepheard's hotel

Before arriving here, one of my closest connections with Cairo was through reading mysteries.

At first it was Agatha Christie’s Death on the Nile.

Later, I got a tip from J.I. Packer, a fellow mystery reader. He got me started with Elizabeth Peters’ books featuring Amelia Peabody, like Crocodile in the Sandbank and  The Curse of the Pharoahs. There are a bunch and I recommend reading them in order.

Anyway, from the Victorian era of the non-Victorian-type Amelia Peabody through 1952 (when the original building burned down), Shepheard’s Hotel was the place to see and be seen when you visited Cairo.

old shepheard's hotel building

So, when we were within steps of  Shepheard’s my husband catered to my strange touristy request to step inside for a few moments. I wanted a photo in an elegant chair, but they were all taken.

noel in shepheard's hotel

Just as in those old fictional days, the hotel overlooks the Nile.

pilot of felucca

A few steps from the front door the feluccas are docked.

noel on felucca

You can sail for only about $10 an hour. . .

noel & John on felluca

. . .and imagine yourself sailing up the Nile with Hercule Poirot or Amelia Peabody, except your journey ends again all too soon at Shepheard’s Hotel. And actually for a longer voyage, they would have been on a dahabeeyah, with living quarters.

shepheards hotel

(Note to self–Add to Dream Journey list: Sailing by dahabeeyah to Luxor and Aswan)

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9 Responses to “For all my fellow mystery lovers”

  1. Amelia Peabody books are my favorite mysteries! I love that you went to Shepherds!

  2. It fun to follow this trip. I’ll have to try one of Elizabeth Peters’ books.

  3. How fun. Try to avoid all the Amelia complications though! You’re not there long enough to solve crimes and catch master criminals!

  4. Karin Livingston

    So I am intrigued by the “dahabeeyah” . I thought you might take a night and sleep on a boat! Maybe next time….So glad you have a dream Journey list! Or maybe you could call and say we are staying another week! Since you are already there! Love you…

  5. Your trip is really interesting. I would have to get hold of Amelia Peabody books!

  6. I haven’t read any about Amelia and I have been looking for a new series to start so this is perfect! Thank you! I can’t wait.

  7. Normand G Lavoie

    Mystery is about murder, right? Since when has GOD given His children approval to glamorize the breaking of “Thou shall no kill?” Why are Christians in love with the things of this world? We are breaking I John 2:15 as well! I love everything Pastor John is teaching about the supremacy of God in all things, but I am angry at reading an ungodly “To all my fellow mystery lovers!” I see this as a blatant inconsistency, a major theological faux-pas. Either we “keep seeking the things above… not the things that are on earth” or else we become liberal Christians that blend in with the world. When Christ said, “You have heard that it was said, ‘Do not commit adultery.’ But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” Since lusting is breaking one of the commandments, just like the actual adultery; and murder is breaking another, shouldn’t thinking about or being entertained by murder be equally breaking the law and abhorring to our LORD? I, for one, will not spend one iota of time reading about or watching murder, for it is one of the sins my Savior died for, and I refuse to commit murder by dwelling on it, no matter how Hollywood packages it!

  8. Mrs. Piper,

    I was also somewhat perplexed by your love of mysteries. I would love to hear your Biblical opinion of them! I am a fellow mystery lover and yet have recently had thoughts similar to those of the commenter above me (Normand G. Lovoie).

    Now, I have not actually read any of the books on this list (yet), but I have read other books by Agatha Christie. I do not know if murder mysteries are your interest or if you choose other types of mysteries. Christie and Mary Higgins Clark were the one I enjoyed the most.

    I have yet to actually find solid truth one way or the other, but I am currently wrestling with this very topic: As a Christian are mysteries, and especially murder mysteries, a profitable use of my time? Or, are they something that God would abhor and so be something that I should feel the same way about?

    I’ve loved reading your traveling posts! Keep them coming…Perhaps you can talk on this issue when you’re back home!

    ~Victoria

  9. I so enjoyed this post! A little over a year ago you suggested several mysteries for my daughter and they are all wonderful, but the Amelia Peabody ones are especially enjoyable. When I was young, I remember reading Phyllis Whitney mysteries and I think that it was one of her novels that made me very interested in everything Egyptian – I, too, wanted to study archeology! By the time I reached college, though, I had given up that dream and settled for one much less exciting… By the way, do have any new mystery writers to share with us?

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