torsdag den 19. november 2009

The Lord Meren Mysteries

Meet my guest blogger, Danish Louise from Lou´s Pages. Thank you so much, Louise, for combining two of your interests: crime and Egyptology!

Forfatteren og antropologen Lynda S. Robinson udgav mellem 1994 og 2001 en serie krimier, der alle foregår i det gamle Ægypten, nærmere bestemt i det 18. dynasti (1550-1292 fvt) under barnekongen Tutankhamon. 18. dynasti s sidste år var prægede af uro, og Tutankhamon besteg tronen i et land, mærket af det regime, der havde været under hans far, den kætterske Akhenaten. Akhenatens dronning var den navnkundinge Nefertiti.

Hovedpersonen er Lord Meren, der er faraos ”øjne og ører”, hvilket vel nærmest må siges at være en form for kriminalbetjent/detektiv. I Lynda S. Robinsons univers, var det oldægyptiske samfund fyldt med præster med skjulte dagsordener, skrivere, der befinder sig på det forkerte sted på det forkerte tidspunkt, gravrøvere, ludere, lommetyve og alskens andre lyssky typer.
Lord Meren og hans hjælper, adoptivsønnen Kysen, er naturligvis retskafne oldægyptiske borgere, der vil gøre alt for at opklare de forskellige forbrydelser. Farao ønsker at deltage i opklaringsarbejdet, men Lord Meren, der anser Tutankhamon som en slags søn, vil ikke tillade at farao kommer i fare. Under overfladen bobler også Lord Merens mørke fortid, der kaster lange skygger ind over hans nuværende liv. Vi aner, at der skete forfærdelige ting under Tutankhamons forgænger hans far Akhenaten. Og var der måske et eller andet mellem Lord Meren og Nefertiti?

Der er seks bøger i serien, men jeg har kun læst de første fire. De er letlæste og sådan set ganske velskrevne, men efter fire bøger orkede jeg ikke mere Lord Meren. Handlingen havde det med at skride en anelse for langsomt frem og efter et par bøger er det ikke så spændende at læse beskrivelserne af det gamle Ægypten. Holder man af krimier, der foregår i oldtiden er de fint underholdende.

Bøgerne skal læses som fiktion. Bortset fra beskrivelser af steder og enkelte personer, fx farao Tutankhamon, er der ikke noget belæg for at sige, at bøgerne bygger på virkeligheden eller virkelighedens personer. Lord Meren og de forbrydelser han opklarer, er fri fantasi.
Serien består som sagt af seks bøger. Ingen af dem er oversat til dansk.

Mange tak til Dorte for at lade mig skrive mit første gæsteblogger-indlæg på hendes blog.

The Lord Meren Mysteries

Writer and Anthropologist Lynda S. Robinson published six mysteries between 1994 and 2001, all taking place in Ancient Egypt, 18th Dynasty (1550-1292 BCE) during the reign of boyking Tutankhamun. The last years of the 18th Dyansty were tumultuous, and Tutankhamun took the throne in a country still marked by the regime his father and predecessor Akhenaten ruled Egypt under. Pharaoh Akhenaten, whose queen was the well known Nefertiti, was later named “The Heretic”

Protagonist is Lord Meren, Pharaoh’s ”Eyes and Ears”, which can best be described as a sort of detective or private eye. Ancient Egypt was, in Lynda S. Robinson’s books, a society brimming with priests with hidden agendas, scribes being in the wrong place at the wrong time, tomb robbers, whores, thieves and lots of other shady types.

Lord Meren and his helper, his adoptive son Kysen, are naturally fine and righteous men, doing everything they can to solve the mysteries and crimes. Young Pharaoh wants to join in on the work, but Lord Meren, who sees the boyking as some sort of a son, will not allow that Pharaoh gets into any sort of danger. Lord Merens dark past bubbles under the surface of it all, casting its shadows into his present life. Something terrible happened under the heretic Akhenaten. We also get the feeling that perhaps there was some unresolved business between Lord Meren and Nefertiti.

The series consists of six book, but I’ve only read the first four. They are easily read, and as such well written. But after four books I grew tired of Lord Meren. The stories tended to move a tad too slow, and after a couple of books, even the fine descriptions of Ancient Egypt became slightly boring. If you like mysteries taking place on an ancient scene, they are entertaining enough though.

The series must be read as fiction. Apart from the descriptions of places and a few persons, for instance Pharaoh Tutankhamun, the stories does not rely on anything which has happened for real. Lord Meren and the crimes he solves are products of the author’s imagination.

I want to thank Dorte for letting me post my very first guest-blogger post on her blog.

1. Murder at the Place of Anubis:

2. Murder at the God’s Gate:

3. Murder at the Feast of Rejoicing:

4. Eater of Souls:

5. Drinker of Blood:

6. Slayer of Gods:

15 kommentarer:

Margot Kinberg sagde ...

Thank you, Louise for sharing Lynda S. Robinson with us! I really enjoy historical mysteries, so this series fascinates me!

And thank you, Dorte, for introducing us to Louise : ).

Louise sagde ...

You are welcome, Margot. And thanks again to Dorte for letting me have this opportunity. It means a lot :-)

Søren sagde ...

Hi Louise, nice guest blogpost :-)

I like crime fiction in ancient settings, but never read this series by Robinson.

I have read "Nefertiti - The Book of The Dead" by Nick Drake which is set in the reign of Akhenaton, but I can't recommend it. It's not really a crime novel, more a thriller, and not a very exciting one.

Dorte H sagde ...

Margot: Louise is a good ´old´ blogger friend. She was the one who helped me into the English world of book bloggers so I owe her a lot (especially now she has also written a really fine post for me).

Louise, I really like the way you have combined your main interests in one post!

Søren: I really should invite guest bloggers more often :) Most of them say yes, and they write the most inspiring posts for me.

Martin Edwards sagde ...

Eater of Souls is an intriguing title...

Dorte H sagde ...

Martin: yes, isn´t it? I think I´ll have to put Robinson on my list.

Elizabeth Spann Craig sagde ...

Louise, thanks for introducing us to the Lord Meren series. It sounds like something really interesting and unique. I'm looking forward to reading them...thanks!

Elizabeth
Mystery Writing is Murder

Julia Smith sagde ...

I should mention this series to my sister. She loves both ancient Egypt and mysteries. In fact she's a fan of the Falco mysteries set in ancient Rome by Lindsey Davis.

Great to catch your first guest post, Louise! And thanks for hosting her, Dorte.

Leigh Russell sagde ...

Thank you very much for translating this. I had a look and was wishing I could understand the post when - hey! - there it was in English, and every bit as interesting as it looked.

Dorte H sagde ...

Leigh: Louise also blogs in English so she very kindly sent her post in two languages :)

Dorte H sagde ...

Elizabeth: I am glad Louise has been able to tempt you.

Julia: yes, this one should be your sister´s taste.

Louise sagde ...

Thanks all for your great comments. Eater of Souls refers to the Ancient Egyptian belief that after death, before you were allowed into the Netherworld, you had to weigh your heart against the feather of truth and justice. If there was an unbalance it meant that you had been a bad person in real life, and then your heart (soul) would be eaten by the Goddess Ammut who was a lion, crocodile and a hippopotamus mixed into one frightful monster :o)

Beth F sagde ...

Despite the flaws in accuracy, I think I'd like to give at least the first book a try. I haven't heard of this series. I love the Elizabeth Peters books involving archaeologists Emerson and Peabody -- they are great fun.

Skovlund og Henglein sagde ...

Undskyld, jeg lige bryder ind i jeres samtale, men Dorte: Vi er mange, der gerne ville kunne komme i kontakt med dig, eksempelvis for at sende dig et læseeksemplar — men du er den store mystiske og godt gemte dame! Så kan du ikke lokkes til at afsløre dine koordinater?

Din blog er superfed og blandt de allerbedste af slagsen.

Mange hilsener fra Susanne Staun (sus@susannestaun.com)

Dorte H sagde ...

Susanne Staun: Wow! En hilsen fra den cooleste danske krimiforfatter? Nu bliver jeg altså helt ...

Jo, jeg skal nok offentliggøre min mail her og på bloggen (jeg har også så småt opdaget, at man ikke bliver forfulgt af ondsindede terrorister bare fordi man nu og da skriver en knap så begejstret anmeldelse).

do.hu.ja (at) mail.tele.dk