Book Review | The Embalmer by Alison Belsham #TheEmbalmer #BlogTour


Title: The Embalmer

Author: Alison Belsham

Publisher: Trapeze

Release Date: 18th March 2021

Source: Publisher

Has the ancient Egyptian cult of immortality resurfaced in Brighton?

When a freshly-mummified body is discovered at the Brighton Museum of Natural History, Detective Francis Sullivan is at a loss to identify the desiccated woman. But as Egyptian burial jars of body parts with cryptic messages attached start appearing, he realises he has a serial killer on his hands. Revenge, obsession and an ancient religion form a potent mix, unleashing a wave of terror throughout the city. Caught in a race against time while battling his own demons, Francis must fight to uncover the true identity of the Embalmer before it's too late...


I don’t know about you but I love the mystery of ancient Egypt, the Pyramids, the Pharaohs and their obsession with the afterlife and mummification.  I saw my first mummy in an exhibition many years ago and it was truly something else but it was also kinda creepy too.  

Now imagine you have a job in a museum and you are getting ready for the day only to discover you have new artefact on display.  It’s a new mummy but it’s not thousands of years old, in fact it turns out that it’s  a very very new mummy, possibly a month old, have I got your attention?!

Attention is definitely what the killer is seeking for indeed within the depth of the bandages are human remains.  The mummy has been treated in exactly the same way as those of old and a canopic jar is found contains organ remains.  It falls down to Detective Francis Sullivan and his colleagues in Brighton to figure out who is behind this gruesome and truly bizarre crime.

Sullivan also has other matters on his hands, Marni Mullins, a tattoo artist who had been integral to a previous case is locked up for a crime she quite possibly didn’t commit.  She has an ex husband and an ex lover who seem hell bent on making her life difficult.  Sullivan seems to be holding back feelings for her and along with her son Alex tries to prove her innocence.

But with all this going on, Sullivan is horrified when another canopic jar turns up and the another one.  He has a serial killer on his hands and when a note arrives it seems that the killer knows him.  Can Sullivan and his team solve both these cases?  

This was a great read, it didn’t wander, it just delivered a packed storyline with plenty of creepiness and quite a bit of mummification detail which is fascinating and gruesome at the same time.  To have the first victim physically mummified was a great idea, imagine coming across that, it would be terrifying.  

Now I didn’t realise this book is I think the third in a series but I quite happily read it as a stand alone.  There was hints as to what had happened in the previous books which piqued my interest enough to consider going back to them.

This book should appeal to all fans of good crime/murder mystery, I really enjoyed it.

Thank you to Orion Books for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.



24 comments

  1. I'm with you on this one! The combination of a body and the historical/Egyptian aspect are almost too much to resist.

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  2. I WANT TO READ THIS ONE!! But I will check out the series too. Great review!

    Elza Reads

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  3. This does sound creepy. And a clever way to hide a dead body!

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  4. The title alone caught my interest and then reading your thoughts - wow, on the list it goes.

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  5. Sounds creepy but will make for a good detective read

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  6. Good to know this is part of a series. I am definitely intrigued!!

    -Lauren
    www.shootingstarsmag.net

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    1. It was a very good read but definitely can be read as stand alone!

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  7. Any book with Ancient Egypt or mummies in it, I'm reading! This sounds great.

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    1. I’m fascinated by them so it was a no brainier to read this! I don’t think I’ll look at a mummy in the same light again!

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  8. It looks as though this is a complete change of tack for the author, as both the previous books in the series have a modus operandi which is tattoo related, so I like that this one will work okay as a stand alone story, as I am really bad at series sequence reading!

    The problem is that I like the sound of all three books, so they are all heading for my list. Thanks for featuring this book (I think! :) ) you have given a really thoughtful review :)

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    1. There is a slight mention of tattoos in this one but I definitely think this works very well as a stand alone but I’m the same I want to read the other two now!

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  9. I agree with the other comments!

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  10. Ancient Egypt, mummies, gods and curses are things that always fascinated me. The Mummy is one of my favourite films to watch.

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    1. It such a good film, I’m sure I went to the cinema to see it many many years ago!

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  11. I love Egyptian artifact histories, but not enough to get me to read a Murder Mystery. Ha ha. I'm happy to hear you loved it though. 😊

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  12. I think it will be hard to resist this one, so very tempting ^^

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