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Mystery with Some History by Sharon Bruni

Recently I have been giving considerable thought to sharing suggested resources for making the best of these times. I have been thinking a lot about escapist and immersive reading experiences. I realize for many of you, a well-crafted mystery is the perfect solution.  I confess I am not an avid mystery reader, although I have a few favorites. My plan for the next few weeks is to use classic mysteries as the embarkation point for meandering reading adventures of related histories and places.  

For those of you that have already read the suggested mystery novels, it is my hope that you find comfort in returning to them now, and perhaps listening to them for the first time being read. Or if you are simply just interested in exploring the history suggestions, all of the paths will include non-fiction audiobooks, films and podcast recommendations. Please join me for our first adventure to Egypt. 

Egyptian Mysteries: 

Part one takes us to Egypt, with two classic mysteries: one set in Victorian times, the other in the late 1930’s. Crocodile on the Sandbank launched Elizabeth Peters’ award-winning Amelia Peabody series in 1975. The series included 20 novels published between 1975- 2010, and one published posthumously in 2017. American author Barbara Mertz, writing under her famous pseudonym of Elizabeth Peters, held a PhD in Egyptology from the University of Chicago. This background allowed her to convincingly incorporate prominent Egyptologists as characters, provide unique insights into archeological digs, and weave real geo-political events into her plots. 

Agatha Christie’s Death on the Nile was a hit when it was released in 1937. The novel has been adapted multiple times for stage, screen, television and radio. The story stars Christie’s beloved Belgian detective Hercule Poirot, with most of the action, as expected, taking place on the Nile.  

Both audiobook titles are available for immediate checkout in Hoopla. Just click on any linked title below to be taken to Hoopla. I have also included a link to the television series Agatha Christie’s Poirot, Episode 9, which features Death on the Nile. This is available for you to watch now on ACORN TV.  

Crocodile on the Sandbank by Elizabeth Peters read by Susan O'Malley 

Death On The Nile By Agatha Christie read by David Suchet 

Agatha Christie’s Poirot, Episode #9: Death on the Nile 

Egyptian History: 

I have included two non-fiction audiobooks, several documentary films, an adaptation of Shakespeare’s Antony and Cleopatra, and a fabulous podcast for you to explore the history of ancient Egypt. All of the titles referenced include links for immediate access. The audiobooks are available in Hoopla, while the films are available on Hoopla and Kanopy (all are free to you with a Mt Lebanon Public Library card); the podcast is available for free online. 

Hoopla Audiobooks: 

Mountains of the Pharaohs: The Untold Story of the Pyramid Builders by Zahi Hawass read by Simon Vance 

Antony & Cleopatra by Adrian Goldsworthy read by Steven Crossley 

Hoopla Film: 

Cleopatra's Lost Tomb Director Paul Olding 

Part of PBS’ Secrets of the Dead series 

King Tut's Final Secrets 


Kanopy Egypt Watch List: 

The History of Egypt Podcast: 

The History of Egypt podcast is written and produced by Dominic Perry. Dominic lives in Auckland, New Zealand, where he earned a PhD in Ancient History at The University of Auckland. I highly recommend this thoroughly enjoyable podcast that breaks up Egyptian history into bitesize portions of fascinating stories. Dominic Perry is a riveting narrator. 

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