Curse of the Kings by Victoria Holt

Despite her unknown parentage, Judith Osmond has a lovely childhood.  The local pastor and his sisters have provided a loving home for her at the rectory.  She has attended lessons with the local squire’s daughter and nephew.  That same squire, Sir Ralph, is quite pleased with her when she chances upon a Roman artifact; having a strong interest in archaeology himself, he finds her passion for archaeology worthy of indulging.

Years later, on an expedition in Egypt financed by Sir Ralph, his neighbor and close friend Sir Edward dies unexpectedly and without apparent cause.  As Sir Edward was a healthy man, rumors quickly spread of a curse.  Judith dismisses the rumors . . . at first.

Set sometime before the discovery of King Tut’s tomb, Curse of the Kings is a predictable but enjoyable gothic.  Judith is annoying but still likable.  This is actually a re-read for me; Victoria Holt was one of my favorite authors in high school and I decided it was time to revisit some of those titles.

For more about Eleanor Alice Burford Hibbert’s novels (written under various pseudonyms), please visit http://jeanplaidy.tripod.com/id19.htm .  Love the images of the old book covers!

And for another perspective, check out this review  http://www.davidchess.com/words/revs/tcotk.html

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