Catastrophe in Cairo

All of Cordelia Smythe's mysteries come complete with no additional printing or assembly required. Read more.

Mystery Overview

Set in the winter of 1922, The Egyptian archaeological season is about to begin. Two rival archaeologist hunt for the find of the century.  One knows where the Lost Pharaoh’s Tomb is, the other has digging rights, but no clue. One last dinner in civilization before the parties venture into the African desert – someone will become a permanent Egyptian artifact.

Main Characters

Gertrude Campbell: Famous English archaeologist granted concessions to dig in the Valley of the Kings in 1914, then put on hold until after the Great War. Very well educated from a wealthy, well respected English family. However, because of her gender, most people don’t take her intellect or accomplishments seriously. She has developed the controversial theory that western civilization began in the Middle East – most of her colleagues, and the public, consider this notion outrages.

Sir Arthur Bingham: Famous adventurer and dolt. He has a heart for daring, but not a head for study. His is an image of excitement and sophistication. He supports the common belief that a dynastic race had invaded the Nile Valley during Egyptian prehistory and that they brought civilization from outside of Africa.

Stephen (or Stephanie) Stonefella III: Wealthy American benefactor who has sponsored Bingham’s exhibitions since 1917 – with no results.

Larry of the Sudan: Cousin to the infamous Lawrence of Arabia – not near as brave or talented. He is however, very good with women; most particularly married women.

Captain Charles “Ace” Limburger: WWI flying Ace. Not sure what to do with himself now that the Great War is over. He is slowly dying of “boredom and booze.”

Colonel Smythe: Recently sent to Egypt via India. His first wife, Cordelia, died from a mysterious tropical disease which caused her to foam at the mouth in her last moments. He has recently re-married.

Emma Smythe: New bride of Colonel Smythe. This is her first travel experience outside of England.

Mr.(Mrs.) Simms: Owner of the Inn at Cairo and host of this evening’s dinner.

Dimitris Tsaknakis: Greek business man who also dabbles in archaeology.

Ahmed Mahdi Ali: Director of Egyptian Antiquities. His job is to encourage foreign excavators to come and work in Egypt. He controls the issuance of firman – an exclusive contract with the Antiquities Service to excavate a specific site. All unique finds were to be the property of Egyptian National Museum, with all else belonging to the excavator.

Charles Leavenworth: Long suffering assistant to Sir Bingham and the one that truly deserves the credit.