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Is there a difference between coincidence and fate? Did John H. Watson, M. D., wintering in Egypt with his wife for her fragile health, accidentally encounter Sherlock Holmes in Cairo?
Or was it destiny?
Can two murders, separated by three thousand years, be related?
By 1911, Egypto-mania was all the rage. Rich Americans and titled Europeans are flocking to the land of the pharaohs in search of fame and gold. And one of them, Michael, Duke of Uxbridge, has gone missing. His strong-willed Brazilian wife (and her strikingly attractive brother-in-law), have hired Sherlock Holmes to locate the missing nobleman. It is a case that will take the detective into the bowels of pyramids, the wrappings of mummies, and a labyrinth of international intrigue as he attempts to navigate a power struggle between the British and Ottoman Empires, vying for hegemony in the region and, above all, control of the vital Suez Canal, with Egypt and her own national aspirations caught in the middle.
But behind and certainly before all, lurks the shadow of Akhenaten, pharaoh in the 18th Dynasty. Ahkenaten’s fanatic conviction that in place of many, there is only one god, has plunged ancient Egypt into civil war.
How far is the reach of a dead pharaoh? Is that the riddle of the Sphinx?
In a career of many sensational cases, Return of the Pharaoh, is as Holmes claims, “one for the books.” Certainly it was not a case that Watson ever anticipated would ultimately jeopardize his life as well as that of the great detective.