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A 2020 Agatha Award Nominee 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 t A 2020 Agatha Award Nominee 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?


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A 2020 Agatha Award Nominee 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 t A 2020 Agatha Award Nominee 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?

30 review for Murder at the Mena House

  1. 5 out of 5

    Julie

    Assigned- 4 stars- Solid start for this new cozy series! Jane Wunderly is going to be a great book friend- I can already tell. 😊😊

  2. 5 out of 5

    Brenda

    Jane Wunderly accompanied her Aunt Millie to Egypt in 1926, looking forward to her holiday and seeing the pyramids as had been her dream. She was recently widowed and determined to never marry again, but Aunt Millie was equally determined to see she did. When the two women encountered Mr Redvers at Mena House, Millie was smug while Jane was wary. As the guests mingled while getting to know one another, Jane could see there were some strange and different people among the guests. The Colonel for Jane Wunderly accompanied her Aunt Millie to Egypt in 1926, looking forward to her holiday and seeing the pyramids as had been her dream. She was recently widowed and determined to never marry again, but Aunt Millie was equally determined to see she did. When the two women encountered Mr Redvers at Mena House, Millie was smug while Jane was wary. As the guests mingled while getting to know one another, Jane could see there were some strange and different people among the guests. The Colonel for example was a lovely man, while his daughter immediately made eyes at all the men. Jane wasn’t the only woman to feel her glare. But when Jane found a body in one of the guest rooms, she was totally in shock. And when she was declared a suspect by the local police, Jane knew she had to find the killer to clear her name. Could she trust Mr Redvers to help? Between the staff and all the guests, there were many who would fit on Jane’s list of suspects. She needed to eliminate to find the murderer… Murder at the Mena House is the 1st in the "A Jane Wunderly Mystery" series by Erica Ruth Neubauer and I loved it! Jane is an excellently crafted character, strong and determined and although she did some foolish things, she knew they were but did them anyway. I can’t wait for the next in the series and recommend this one highly. With thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for my digital ARC to read in exchange for my honest review.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Natalia R

    It's 1926, and American Jane Wunderly is vacationing with her aunt at Mena House, a luxurious Egyptian hotel overlooking the pyramids. When Anna Stainton, a hotel guest who dislikes Jane, is found murdered, and Jane's missing Scarab is discovered in her room, she immediately becomes a suspect in Anna's death. Jane is determined to prove her innocence and teams up with another guest, the handsome and mysterious, Mr. Redvers, to find the culprit. Murder at the Mena House by Erica Ruth Neubauer is a It's 1926, and American Jane Wunderly is vacationing with her aunt at Mena House, a luxurious Egyptian hotel overlooking the pyramids. When Anna Stainton, a hotel guest who dislikes Jane, is found murdered, and Jane's missing Scarab is discovered in her room, she immediately becomes a suspect in Anna's death. Jane is determined to prove her innocence and teams up with another guest, the handsome and mysterious, Mr. Redvers, to find the culprit. Murder at the Mena House by Erica Ruth Neubauer is a great start to a new series. This is a fun and delightful historical cozy mystery, with interesting characters and a puzzling mystery that kept me on the edge of my seat. The story is well-paced, and the author does a wonderful job with the setting. Her descriptions make it very easy to feel like you are right there with Jane, looking at the gorgeous views surrounding the Mena House, visiting the museums and the pyramids, enjoying the camel races and you could almost feel the heat on your skin. Jane is a likable and relatable character and you can't help but cheer her on and admire her determination to not let the past stop her from enjoying life to the fullest. I enjoyed my time with this book and look forward to solving more mysteries with Jane. I received an ARC from Kensington Books through NetGalley. The opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Joan Happel

    In this delightful debut cozy mystery, we are introduced to Jane Wunderly, a recent war widow. It is 1926, and Jane has traveled to Cairo, Egypt with her Aunt Millie for a vacation at the luxurious Mena House. Although her husband was killed in the war, Jane is keeping secret the truth about her marriage with a man who was not all he seemed. She is more interested in visiting the pyramids, than in the single men at the hotel bar. Jane is introduced to Anna Stainton, a British colonel’s daughter, In this delightful debut cozy mystery, we are introduced to Jane Wunderly, a recent war widow. It is 1926, and Jane has traveled to Cairo, Egypt with her Aunt Millie for a vacation at the luxurious Mena House. Although her husband was killed in the war, Jane is keeping secret the truth about her marriage with a man who was not all he seemed. She is more interested in visiting the pyramids, than in the single men at the hotel bar. Jane is introduced to Anna Stainton, a British colonel’s daughter, and the two get off to a bad start. When Anna is found shot to death, Jane becomes the number one suspect. Realizing she needs to find out who murdered Anna before she winds up in jail, Jane begins to investigate her fellow hotel guests in order to find the real killer. Is it the hotel doctor who disappears into the opium dens; the vaudeville couple who should not be able to afford so expensive a vacation; or could it be her own aunt who has been acting strangely since they arrived. Jane is soon joined in her detecting by the handsome, but mysterious Redvers, who seems anything but the banker he claims to be. Will Jane be able to find the murderer before he or she strikes again? This was an entertaining cozy mystery, chock full of intrigue, romance and history! The dialogue is fast and witty, and the smart plot moves along at a quick pace. Cairo of the 1920's comes alive with pyramids, camels and antiquities. This was and enjoyable read and I am looking forward to the next installment. Thank you to Kensington Books and NetGalley for the e-ARC.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Tasha Alexander

    When I got a copy of this manuscript to read for a blurb, I was delighted--as a huge Amelia Peabody fan, I love mysteries set in Egypt. The book blew away my high expectations. Jane is such a compelling heroine! And Neubauer has a sublime talent for incorporating accurate historical details. An absolutely fabulous read. Can't recommend highly enough. When I got a copy of this manuscript to read for a blurb, I was delighted--as a huge Amelia Peabody fan, I love mysteries set in Egypt. The book blew away my high expectations. Jane is such a compelling heroine! And Neubauer has a sublime talent for incorporating accurate historical details. An absolutely fabulous read. Can't recommend highly enough.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Mark Baker

    Jane Wunderly, a war widow, is accompanying her aunt Millie on a trip to Egypt in 1926. She has always dreamed to seeing the Great Pyramids, so this trip is a dream come true. The only hiccup might be her aunt’s not so subtle attempts at matchmaking. That is, until she has some run ins with Anna Stainton, a beautiful socialite who has decided Jane is a rival. When Jane finds Anna’s dead body, the local police think Jane has a good motive for murder. Reluctantly teaming up with the mysterious Mr. Jane Wunderly, a war widow, is accompanying her aunt Millie on a trip to Egypt in 1926. She has always dreamed to seeing the Great Pyramids, so this trip is a dream come true. The only hiccup might be her aunt’s not so subtle attempts at matchmaking. That is, until she has some run ins with Anna Stainton, a beautiful socialite who has decided Jane is a rival. When Jane finds Anna’s dead body, the local police think Jane has a good motive for murder. Reluctantly teaming up with the mysterious Mr. Redvers, Jane begins to hunt for the real killer. Can she figure out what happened? This book is fun, and it captured me from the first couple of sentences. Jane, Redvers, and the rest are a delight to spend time around. I definitely laughed at some of Jane and Redvers’s scenes together. Yet the characters do have layers, and I enjoyed seeing those emerge as the book progressed. I was having so much fun, it took me a while to see the plot was a little weak. While there are clues and twists, it felt like we could have used a few more of them. Still, the writing kept the pages turning, and the climax was suspenseful. I enjoyed this debut, and I’m very curious to find out where Jane goes next. Read my full review at Carstairs Considers.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Lynn Horton

    I wanted to love this book, but it never engaged me enough to move beyond a flirtation. Because it’s a debut novel I’m bumping my rating up a star. In fiction I read historical and contemporary suspense and mystery, and thriller. My favorite books, written by authors whose work I read again and again, emerge from a place of knowledge and experience that talent, imagination, and skill supports. The authors know their subjects and environments intimately, bringing an integrity and depth to their wo I wanted to love this book, but it never engaged me enough to move beyond a flirtation. Because it’s a debut novel I’m bumping my rating up a star. In fiction I read historical and contemporary suspense and mystery, and thriller. My favorite books, written by authors whose work I read again and again, emerge from a place of knowledge and experience that talent, imagination, and skill supports. The authors know their subjects and environments intimately, bringing an integrity and depth to their work—a depth that research alone can't replicate. As a fan of Elizabeth Peters' Amelia Peabody series I had high hopes for Murder at the Mena House. Peters, an Egyptologist of some regard, embedded layers of richness in her stories that Neubauer never achieves. I seriously doubt that Neubauer has ever visited the Middle East, particularly Egypt. Because of this distance from her subject a lot of Murder at the Mena House doesn’t ring true if you know anything about Egypt, the Middle East, archaeology, looted antiquities, or the history of exploration in the region. The missing idiosyncrasies—sights, sounds, encounters, and certainly smells—of the region, which color anyone's time there, undermine the story itself. The other problem I have with this book is that editing is inconsistent. That translates to a lot of “telling, not showing,” and pacing that suffers from too many details. Some of her characters are engaging, but details, dialogue, and inner dialogue bog them down. This is particularly true of her protagonist. I kept waiting for the story to take off, and it never did for me. It's not that Murder at the Mena House is a bad story. It's light and entertaining, so maybe perfect for some readers. But I don't think it ever reaches its potential, and that's a shame.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Barb in Maryland

    3.5 stars for this promising start to a historical mystery series. The author has a good command of plot and characters. I loved Jane, who finds herself number one suspect in the death of not-so-nice girl Anna. Jane doesn't trust the police to do a good job and decides she needs to conduct her own investigation. I appreciated that Jane's investigation efforts were sensible, realistic, and well within the scope of a non-professional. The author also gives her an interesting backstory re: her short 3.5 stars for this promising start to a historical mystery series. The author has a good command of plot and characters. I loved Jane, who finds herself number one suspect in the death of not-so-nice girl Anna. Jane doesn't trust the police to do a good job and decides she needs to conduct her own investigation. I appreciated that Jane's investigation efforts were sensible, realistic, and well within the scope of a non-professional. The author also gives her an interesting backstory re: her short-lived marriage. I also liked our mystery man, 'Mr Redvers'. He's introduced to us as a banker, but seems to have skills beyond those needed to manage money. He and Jane get along quite well together, even as Jane insists to herself that she is not interested in him romantically. The reader can be forgiven for thinking the lady doth protest too much. The author gives the reader a nice feel for tourist Egypt in the mid 1920s. We get camel rides, pyramid tours; and a visit to the museum, to go with a secondary plot involving antiquities smuggling. There are some nice twists to the 'whodunnit', with the identity of Anna's killer coming as a bit of a surprise to me. All in all, I had a good time. I am looking forward to reading the next Murder at Wedgefield Manor and I hope the author is working a third.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Juli

    Agatha Christie has been my favorite author since I was 9 years old. So I am definitely a Golden Age Mystery fan. When I first saw the blurb for this book, I was immediately intrigued. Egypt. 1926. Cairo. Fancy Hotel. Murder. Sounds like a setting Agatha would have applauded! So...yep....had to read it! :) I'm glad I did! Jane Wunderly and her Aunt Millie are enjoyable characters. The setting and time period made for a great backdrop for a murder mystery. There were plenty of suspects and twists Agatha Christie has been my favorite author since I was 9 years old. So I am definitely a Golden Age Mystery fan. When I first saw the blurb for this book, I was immediately intrigued. Egypt. 1926. Cairo. Fancy Hotel. Murder. Sounds like a setting Agatha would have applauded! So...yep....had to read it! :) I'm glad I did! Jane Wunderly and her Aunt Millie are enjoyable characters. The setting and time period made for a great backdrop for a murder mystery. There were plenty of suspects and twists, and the story is well written. Just a very entertaining reading experience for a golden age fan! The cover art is very eye-catching! It pulled me right into the story. Awesome artwork! Murder at Mena House is the first book in the Jane Wunderly mystery series and is Erica Ruth Neubauer's first book. I'm definitely looking forward to more stories in this series....and more books by this author! I wonder what adventures and travels Jane will be having next? :) **I voluntarily read a review copy of this book from Kensington. All opinions expressed are entirely my own.**

  10. 4 out of 5

    Anissa

    I'm rounding up from a 2.5. This is a good beginning to a cozy series. The setting was rendered a bit thin unfortunately but the main character, Jane Wunderly was pretty winsome. I didn't even mind the obvious love interest because he had a personality and things to do (hurrah for him not being a Boyfriend Blank). The writing had some quirks and awkwardness which many firsts in a series of cozies do that detracted a bit but I would read another in hopes that they get smoothed out. I'm rounding up from a 2.5. This is a good beginning to a cozy series. The setting was rendered a bit thin unfortunately but the main character, Jane Wunderly was pretty winsome. I didn't even mind the obvious love interest because he had a personality and things to do (hurrah for him not being a Boyfriend Blank). The writing had some quirks and awkwardness which many firsts in a series of cozies do that detracted a bit but I would read another in hopes that they get smoothed out.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Kristina

    Murder at the Mena House by Erica Ruth Neubauer is the debut of A Jane Wunderly Mystery series. This historical cozy mystery takes us back in time to 1926 (the Roaring Twenties) where prohibition is in full swing in the United States, dress lengths are shorter than ever, and women are bobbing their hair. Jane Wunderly is traveling with her Aunt Millie to Egypt where Jane cannot wait to visit the pyramids. They are staying at Mena House which has a golf course and a pool along with a variety of i Murder at the Mena House by Erica Ruth Neubauer is the debut of A Jane Wunderly Mystery series. This historical cozy mystery takes us back in time to 1926 (the Roaring Twenties) where prohibition is in full swing in the United States, dress lengths are shorter than ever, and women are bobbing their hair. Jane Wunderly is traveling with her Aunt Millie to Egypt where Jane cannot wait to visit the pyramids. They are staying at Mena House which has a golf course and a pool along with a variety of intriguing guests. Aunt Millie is quick to send an eligible bachelor in Jane’s direction the first evening (much to Jane’s annoyance). Jane was widowed at age twenty-two when her husband died in the Great War. She is not interested in finding a new husband after her experience with the first one. Jane must admit, though, that Mr. Redvers is enigmatic and dashing. Alcohol flows freely in Egypt much to Aunt Millie’s delight. Anna Stainton, a female guest, takes a dislike to Jane and is quick to cause discord between them. When Anna is found shot in her room, Jane becomes Inspector Hamadi’s top suspect. Jane sets out to prove her innocence and gets assistance from Redvers. There are a variety of suspects in Anna’s death. Jane follows each lead searching for the guilty party. It depends on your sleuthing level whether you find this mystery a cinch or perplexing. I liked that there was more than one mystery to solve. I was unable to get into Murder at the Mena House. I believe part of the problem was the first-person narrative. Jane’s descriptions of her facial expressions were awkward, and I was unsure why she would describe her own expressions in the first place. The author is a detail-oriented writer which does allow a reader to visualize the character and scenes, but it also slows down the pace of the story. I did enjoy the descriptions of the clothing and Egyptian sites. I thought the author captured the time period especially with the attitudes and manners (an example is “I should have had security tackle her on the way out, but it seemed improper.”) I wanted the book to have more action and a peppier pace. I did like Jane Wunderly with her natural curiosity, the mysterious Redvers and the gregarious Aunt Millie. Who knows where their adventures will take them next time! Murder at the Mena House has murder, mystery and mayhem in Egypt.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Ell

    Murder at the Mena House is the debut book in a new cozy mystery series. I love that it doesn’t follow the cookie cutter setting, characters and plots of many contemporary cozy mysteries. It’s set in Egypt in the 1920s. Author Erica Ruth Neubauer takes the mystery and character depths to a new level. If your looking for a book to get lost in and to do a bit of arm-chair sleuthing with – this is your book!

  13. 4 out of 5

    JoAn

    This was an excellent start to a new historical mystery series. Ms. Neubauer's descriptive writing of the time period and characters kept my attention throughout the book. A quickly paced plot with skilled twists and turns, numerous suspects and well developed characters kept me reading until I reached the end. I really liked Jane and was amazed at how well she has recovered from her deplorable marriage. Her aunt Millie irritated me every time she appeared on the page and I hope that eventually This was an excellent start to a new historical mystery series. Ms. Neubauer's descriptive writing of the time period and characters kept my attention throughout the book. A quickly paced plot with skilled twists and turns, numerous suspects and well developed characters kept me reading until I reached the end. I really liked Jane and was amazed at how well she has recovered from her deplorable marriage. Her aunt Millie irritated me every time she appeared on the page and I hope that eventually she will be "rewarded" for her rude behavior. Redvers was intriguing and a perfect model for a "hero" of the story. I've already put the second book on hold with my library so I can return to Jane's world

  14. 5 out of 5

    Niki (nikilovestoread)

    Murder at the Mena House by Erica Ruth Neubauer is the first in the Jane Wunderly series. The story takes place in Egypt in 1926. Jane is traveling with her aunt to Cairo. As a lover of history, she is ecstatic to be in a place the offers so much to study and learn. Unfortunately, a murder at their hotel throws a wrench in her plans as Jane finds herself the prime suspect of the local police. I loved everything about this one! The characters are so fun and the mystery is intriguing. I love that i Murder at the Mena House by Erica Ruth Neubauer is the first in the Jane Wunderly series. The story takes place in Egypt in 1926. Jane is traveling with her aunt to Cairo. As a lover of history, she is ecstatic to be in a place the offers so much to study and learn. Unfortunately, a murder at their hotel throws a wrench in her plans as Jane finds herself the prime suspect of the local police. I loved everything about this one! The characters are so fun and the mystery is intriguing. I love that it is set in Egypt as that setting is not used often in historical mysteries. Redvers and Jane are such a fun pair. They have such great chemistry and I love that he never doubts her abilities even though she is a woman. My favorite scene was when they finally danced together. I won't give any spoilers, but the whole scene made me laugh so much! I can't wait to read the next in the series! Thanks so much to Bibliolifestyle and Kensington for the gifted book!

  15. 5 out of 5

    Gail C.

    Just enough murder, just enough romance, and just enough of ancient Egypt at the height of acheological discoveries in the roaring twenties. This book offers a peak at it all without going into depth on any one subject. It is well balanced between the characters, the mystery, and the atmosphere. This is the first book in the proposed Jane Wunderley series and here’s hoping there are more to follow. It is engaging from the first sentence and does an excellent job of giving the reader enough inform Just enough murder, just enough romance, and just enough of ancient Egypt at the height of acheological discoveries in the roaring twenties. This book offers a peak at it all without going into depth on any one subject. It is well balanced between the characters, the mystery, and the atmosphere. This is the first book in the proposed Jane Wunderley series and here’s hoping there are more to follow. It is engaging from the first sentence and does an excellent job of giving the reader enough information to become acquainted with the characters without bogging them down with so much history as to slow the pace of the book. Jane is a delightful somewhat complex character who hints at a tragic history without giving it all away in the first chapter. She is joined in this book by her irascible Aunt Millie, a tart tongued woman who is paying Jane to be her companion on this trip and by Redvers, the inevitable “handsome stranger who manages to be captivating and entertaining none-the-less. If the series continues, one can only hope we will see and learn more about these three. In this novel, Jane meets the very epitome of the old fashioned British Colonel, Colonel Stainton, his daughter, the ravishing Anna Stainton and several other characters often found in cozy mystery novels. To her credit, Erica Ruth Neubauer, author, writes them with such good prose and freshness that they feel unique and entertaining. The conclusion of the book was not a surprise to me, nor were the several reveals throughout the book. I suspect that will be the case for most experienced cozy readers. That in no way spoiled the enjoyment of the book. It is an excellent way to escape to another era, another continent, and engage in a little armchair sleuthing just for the fun of it. Easy to read, it would make great entertainment for a rainy day or a vacation read. I hope there is a second in the series and look forward to the opportunity to read it. My thanks to Kensington Books Publishing and NetGalley for providing me with an advanced digital read copy in exchange for an unbiased review.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Alisha

    A very impressive debut novel by Erica Ruth Neubauer! I could barely bring myself to put this down. The plot moves swiftly along and the two main characters, Jane and "Redvers," are easy to like but with just enough mystery to leave you wanting more. There will be a lot to explore in succeeding books! Set in the 1920's, the bulk of the action takes place within Mena House, a hotel sitting in the very shadow of the pyramids of Egypt. Jane has come on a vacation with her aunt after being widowed in A very impressive debut novel by Erica Ruth Neubauer! I could barely bring myself to put this down. The plot moves swiftly along and the two main characters, Jane and "Redvers," are easy to like but with just enough mystery to leave you wanting more. There will be a lot to explore in succeeding books! Set in the 1920's, the bulk of the action takes place within Mena House, a hotel sitting in the very shadow of the pyramids of Egypt. Jane has come on a vacation with her aunt after being widowed in the first world war. Jane's story of life with her husband comes trickling out within the novel, and though she appears confident and secure, the reader learns about her weaknesses as they pop up in context. Within the first few pages, she meets a diverse cast of characters at the hotel. Some can be trusted; others have ulterior motives. A murder discovered early one morning lands Jane squarely on the radar of local investigators, and purely in self-defense she finds herself doing a little investigating on her own...well, not entirely on her own! The banter and chemistry between her and Redvers lights up every page. Can't wait for more! Thanks to NetGalley and Kensington Books for this advance review copy.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Chaitra

    I read a fair amount of fluff, and I don’t usually have high standards when it comes to cozy mysteries. But I do need some reasonable semblance of competence. If not, I need humor or heart. Or I need a heroine I like. Or some side characters I want to actually spend time with. Or a compelling mystery. Or a decent love interest. This one had not a single one of the above.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Lori

    1920s Egypt provides the setting for this debut novel featuring Jane Wunderly. Jane accompanied her Aunt Millie to Cairo where they stayed at the Mena House. When Anna, a colonel's daughter, dies, Jane becomes a suspect. She meets Redvers, an intriguing man who assists her in her sleuthing efforts while pursuing his own interests which remain mysterious for much of the novel. A second murder occurs. Guests' travel plans force Jane and Redvers to step up their sleuthing efforts before parties of 1920s Egypt provides the setting for this debut novel featuring Jane Wunderly. Jane accompanied her Aunt Millie to Cairo where they stayed at the Mena House. When Anna, a colonel's daughter, dies, Jane becomes a suspect. She meets Redvers, an intriguing man who assists her in her sleuthing efforts while pursuing his own interests which remain mysterious for much of the novel. A second murder occurs. Guests' travel plans force Jane and Redvers to step up their sleuthing efforts before parties of interest leave the country. This is the best debut mystery I've read in a long time. I wish the author many more well-written and well-plotted mysteries featuring Jane and Redvers. The Egyptian setting for this one reminds me of the Amelia Peabody series, but I suspect similarities will not be present when the series moves from that location. I listened to the audio book well read by Sarah Zimmerman.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Joann

    This was a fun read as you can tell the author was having fun writing this novel. The novel was full of wit and charm. Traveling to Egypt as a companion to her wealthy aunt in the years after WWI, a young woman, Jane Wunderly, is accused of murdering a flapper at the luxurious Mena House hotel. This is a great start to a new series by this author and it was well written with an ending I didn't expect. It reminded me of the old Amelia Peabody series that I loved. And what is not to like about the This was a fun read as you can tell the author was having fun writing this novel. The novel was full of wit and charm. Traveling to Egypt as a companion to her wealthy aunt in the years after WWI, a young woman, Jane Wunderly, is accused of murdering a flapper at the luxurious Mena House hotel. This is a great start to a new series by this author and it was well written with an ending I didn't expect. It reminded me of the old Amelia Peabody series that I loved. And what is not to like about the setting of Egypt? An exotic and sun filled country. .

  20. 4 out of 5

    Jean

    Delightful cozy mystery set in Egypt in the 1920s. The pace was fast with strong characters. Looking forward to more by this author.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Rebekah Giese Witherspoon

    This cozy mystery is set in Egypt in 1926 and I enjoyed the sensory details that transported me to a posh hotel with balcony views of the great pyramids. Jane Wunderly travels with her aunt Millie from the US to Egypt to see the ancient sites and to drink some “quality liquor” – anything better than the bathtub gin of prohibition America. I found Jane’s first-person narrative a delight to read. But her frequent descriptions of her own facial expressions felt stilted and unnatural to me (we tend This cozy mystery is set in Egypt in 1926 and I enjoyed the sensory details that transported me to a posh hotel with balcony views of the great pyramids. Jane Wunderly travels with her aunt Millie from the US to Egypt to see the ancient sites and to drink some “quality liquor” – anything better than the bathtub gin of prohibition America. I found Jane’s first-person narrative a delight to read. But her frequent descriptions of her own facial expressions felt stilted and unnatural to me (we tend to notice other people’s mannerisms but not our own) and I found myself getting impatient and scanning for the next line of dialogue. Examples: “My eyes widened slightly in shock.” “Disgust crossed my face.” “I raised my eyebrows in amusement.” A good debut. Thanks to NetGalley and Kensington Books for a digital advance review copy. Opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Mackenzie - PhDiva Books

    The setting and characters are so fun! A perfect quarantine read! RTC

  23. 5 out of 5

    The Cozy Review

    A new historical cozy series, "A Jane Wunderly Mystery," published by Kensington Books from Erica Ruth Neubauer, Murder At The Mena House, will have readers begging for more, falling in love with traveling through the past, and Egypt. I love Egypt and anything to do with Egypt. A historical cozy series set in this beautiful country makes me happy. Placing this mystery within view of the pyramids and visiting the Cairo museum makes this book very special. Add in wonderful storytelling and you ha A new historical cozy series, "A Jane Wunderly Mystery," published by Kensington Books from Erica Ruth Neubauer, Murder At The Mena House, will have readers begging for more, falling in love with traveling through the past, and Egypt. I love Egypt and anything to do with Egypt. A historical cozy series set in this beautiful country makes me happy. Placing this mystery within view of the pyramids and visiting the Cairo museum makes this book very special. Add in wonderful storytelling and you have the makings of a hit series readers will crave for years to come. The characters in this new historical cozy series are very memorable. Jane is someone most modern women can empathize with, while older women recognize the insecurities and cruelties from their own life or that of their mothers. This story is set in a time when women were still considered possessions when they were treated as stupid, incapable of understanding anything more than cooking, cleaning, raising children, and doing what men told them to do. I like aunt, Millie, and understand why she is always acting tough; it isn’t an act, she has to be hard on those she loves. Redvers is a character that makes the reader's heart flutter and long for the days of foreign travel and romantic adventures. The victim(s) in Murder At The Mena House are not surprising; may even have deserved to be murdered. A young woman who is selfish and obviously conceited may not deserve to be killed, or so you might think, but there are secrets to be revealed. Not everyone is who they seem to be, even when they are dead. When the killer is revealed, readers may be more than a bit surprised. Suspects are plentiful, the action subtle but towards the end more upfront. The description of the location, namely Mena House and the surrounding famous sites, make this historical cozy worth the read. Readers will get a real sense of being back in the '20s in Egypt. Readers of historical cozy books will enjoy this new series, and I am thrilled to have read it and happy to recommend it to all readers. Ms. Neubauer brings the characters and the era to life. This book is an adventure into the past and a land that even today holds its mysteries close.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Dawn Michelle

    A good start to a new historical mystery series - I was a little unsure at the beginning, but as the book went on and I settled in, it became a very good read. Set in Egypt, Jane and her slightly embittered, widowed, drunk of an Aunt arrive for a vacation [picked because the United States was knee-deep in Prohibition and Aunt Millie wanted a place where she could *ahem* drink freely [and drink she does]. They are barely there when a young, tarty socialite is murdered and Jane finds the body and A good start to a new historical mystery series - I was a little unsure at the beginning, but as the book went on and I settled in, it became a very good read. Set in Egypt, Jane and her slightly embittered, widowed, drunk of an Aunt arrive for a vacation [picked because the United States was knee-deep in Prohibition and Aunt Millie wanted a place where she could *ahem* drink freely [and drink she does]. They are barely there when a young, tarty socialite is murdered and Jane finds the body and the game is on. Filled with a pretty good mystery [I did not know who the bad people were -there WERE so many to pick from], an excellent set of supporting characters and a really well-written male MC that wants to take care of Jane, but realizes early on how impossible that is and is willing to give her the lead [though rarely content with that and is often exasperated with her shenanigans] and doesn't push the romance button *TOO* hard, and secrets that are both sad and slightly obvious [in the case of one person, not Jane's. Hers are revealed slowly over the story and really adds to the character development]. One of my few issues with the story [and they were very few, which was totally enjoyable as well. It doesn't always happen that way] was that at one moment, Jane seems like a 40 year old "Old Maid" and then the next minute she is "giggling helplessly" and it, for a while, grated on my nerves. And then the light-bulb went off - she is a 23 year old widow who has deep secrets - of COURSE she is going to act both ways. Once I figured that out [I tend to be slow sometimes. LOL], it went much better for me and I liked Jane even more. I really enjoyed this book and will be looking forward to the next one. Thank you to NetGalley and Kensington Books for providing this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Susan

    Young American widow Jane Wunderly is fascinated by ancient Egypt, so she's thrilled when her wealthy Aunt Minnie offers to take her there on a trip, even if it means dealing with Minnie's bossy ways and bitter tongue. They stay near the pyramids at the Mena House, a luxurious hotel a short tram ride from Cairo. Jane finds the dead body of a flighty young hotel guest, and that's just the start of the novel experiences, which include being suspected of murder. She's also taken by an Englishman wh Young American widow Jane Wunderly is fascinated by ancient Egypt, so she's thrilled when her wealthy Aunt Minnie offers to take her there on a trip, even if it means dealing with Minnie's bossy ways and bitter tongue. They stay near the pyramids at the Mena House, a luxurious hotel a short tram ride from Cairo. Jane finds the dead body of a flighty young hotel guest, and that's just the start of the novel experiences, which include being suspected of murder. She's also taken by an Englishman who claims to be a banker, but who seems to have a lot of sway with the local police. She makes friends with a pair of vaudeville artists and an Egyptian woman who owns a dress store. And she learns that Minnie has secrets of her own.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Marisa

    Absolutely wonderful start to a new series! Jane Wunderly is a fabulous character, with so many layers that the author slowly brings out, teasing us with little bits of information, until we see who Jane really is! The exotic setting, colorful characters, and vivid descriptions make this a must read! My only critique is, the murderer became too obvious as the suspects ran out. I can forgive the author that for the (hopefully) developing relationship between Jane and Mr. Redvers. I can’t wait to Absolutely wonderful start to a new series! Jane Wunderly is a fabulous character, with so many layers that the author slowly brings out, teasing us with little bits of information, until we see who Jane really is! The exotic setting, colorful characters, and vivid descriptions make this a must read! My only critique is, the murderer became too obvious as the suspects ran out. I can forgive the author that for the (hopefully) developing relationship between Jane and Mr. Redvers. I can’t wait to see what their next adventure will be!

  27. 5 out of 5

    Kaitlyn Dunnett

    I kept starting and stopping with this one, but I have a feeling the problem was with my inability to focus rather than with the writing. The last half definitely picked up the pace and led to a satisfying conclusion.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Lee

    Read this right before I checked into this hotel outside of Cairo. Very Agatha Christie style book.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Cheryl

    I didn’t really enjoy this book but it could be because it was set in 1926 and in Egypt.I like books in a later time frame.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Kylea

    Purely enjoyable mystery with lovely characters and all the glamour of the 20s.

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