Elizabeth Peters is best known (at least as far as I’m concerned) for her wonderfully captivating Amelia Peabody books, but I stumbled across this rich and vibrant short story in The Mammoth Book of Historical Whodunnits.
The story centres on the funeral of Senebtisi, who leaves her son penniless by ordering an overly lavish funeral and grand funeral goods, which subsequently becomes the talk of the town as it were. A year after her death, a spate of tomb robbing occurs in the vicinity of her tomb, and the dutiful son orders it opened to ensure that robbers haven’t tunnelled in and desecrated it.
Once the tomb is opened, it is revealed that it has been disturbed and many of the grave goods have in fact been stolen. However, mystery surrounds how it could have been possible. The tomb was sealed, and no tunnel was found.
Pharaoh orders Amenhotep Sa Hapu to investigate. It is through his conversations with Wadjsen, the narrator, that Amenhotep explains exactly how the crime was committed.
I loved this short story and could quite happily have read much more. I would recommend it to anyone with an interest in Ancient Egypt for it was brought to life immediately due to the depth of historical detail woven throughout the story.