This is the seventeenth book in the popular Amelia Peabody mystery series by the late great Elizabeth Peters.
It is 1922, and the winds of nationalist fervor are blowing hard against the status quo of European domination in Egypt, where the British and the French are vying for control of the country and its ancient antiquities. Amelia and her husband, the great Egyptologist Radcliffe Emerson, and their extended family and friends have returned to Egypt for another season of excavation. The Countess Magda von Ormond, a melodramatic novelist with an eye for publicity, brings them a solid gold ancient statue of unknown antecedents acquired by her late husband. She claims the statue is cursed and brings death to its possessors, and she wants the Emersons to find out where it came from and return it to the tomb from which it was stolen. Only then, she insists, will she be safe.
Of course the Emersons don't believe in curses or the Countess Magda's histrionics, but they do believe the statue is genuine. In fact Emerson is convinced the statue could lead him to the find of a lifetime, an undiscovered tomb hidden in the Valley of the Kings.
Another great story from one of the Grand Masters of Mystery. Elizabeth Peters was one of the pseudonyms of American writer Barbara Mertz (1927-2013). Mertz received her Ph.D. in Egyptology in 1952 from the University of Chicago's Oriental Institute. She published several scholarly books on ancient Egypt in addition to her work as a novelist. The twenty books of her Amelia Peabody series cover what is considered the "Golden Age" of Egyptian archeology, from the 1880s through the discovery of the tomb of Tutankhamun in 1922.