VALLEY OF OBSESSIONS
by Betty Gordon
Desiree Roberts talks her best friend Sandy Olson into sharing her lifelong dream of visiting Egypt. While there, the two take a boat drip down the Nile, where Desiree makes friends with mysterious Italian Mike Lapuccio and loner Richard Daniels, an advertising executive from Houston, TX, as well as two Egyptian couples. But Desiree provokes the ire of English businesswoman Amanda Pritchard, who is jealous of the relationship between Desiree and her niece. When Desiree and Sandy return to the Cairo Hilton, Desiree begins to date Lapuccio and Daniels. After clubbing with Lapuccio one night, she never makes it back to her hotel room. Lapuccio claims he left Desiree at the elevator after which she was seen getting into the taxi of her friend Femi, who holds a law degree yet makes his living driving a cab. Her body is found in Opet’s Chapel in Karnak dressed in authentic Egyptian clothing except for the head gear. Sandy hires Vicki Sanders to come to Egypt to investigate the murder, and Vicki finds herself mired in a plethora of suspicious characters who surrounded Desiree. When her life is threatened, her boyfriend, fellow investigator Paul Barlow, joins her in Egypt and Vicki, Paul and Sandy begin looking into the backgrounds of the people with whom Desiree had contact, upping the number of suspects and placing their lives in danger.
Betty Gordon has penned a fine mystery here packed with plenty of red herrings and nail-chewing suspense. Her descriptions of Egypt and its historical monuments are captivating and enhance the plot. Characterization is well-done and the page-turning story well-written.