Tuesday, July 2, 2013

The Curse of the Pharaoh

The Curse of the Pharaoh
Agatha, Girl of Mystery, Book 1
by Steve Stevenson
Grosset and Dunlap, 2013.  133 pgs. Mystery

    The biggest mystery associated with The Curse of the Pharoah is why Amazon chose it as one of its best children's books of the year so far, unless they have a warehouse-load of them they are looking to unload.   It's not a bad book, but seems not particularly noteworthy, either.  A workmanlike story of a young girl who uses her friend's enrollment in a junior spy school, and her aunt's beefy butler as cover for her own investigative activities, The Curse of the Pharaoh tells the story of a missing tablet at an excavation in Egypt. Agatha uses her knowledge of Egyptian history and lore (interesting tidbits mixed in the narrative) to figure out who lifted the loot. Stereotypical dissing of an obese member of the archaeological team, and a bit of condescension towards servants and native workers cast a bit of a shadow over an otherwise clever mystery.

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