In Murder at the Mena House, Jane Wunderly and her aunt Millie are escaping Prohibition and the post-WWI shadows at the Mena House Hotel in Cairo. The hotel is filled with Agatha Christie characters, including honeymooning actors with a surprising amount of cash, and Redvers, a man who claims to be a banker, although he never seems to go to work in a bank. There’s also a gallant who seems to make a living charming wealthy older women, Anna Stainton, a young woman on the hunt for either a husband or a good time, and two new young women taking up almost all of Aunt Millie’s free time.
When Jane discovers a murder in the hotel, she teams up with Redvers to investigate. Their snooping reveals so many secrets about the hotel’s guests, and of course they visit the pyramids and do that kind of exploring too. (Look, I know that excessive visitors destroyed a lot of historical information, but I still imagine how awesome it would be, visiting the pyramids and actually walking inside and touching things.) But Redvers himself is hiding something, and Jane’s own aunt can’t seem to stay away from her “new” friends…
A small warning, with as a few spoilers as possible: There are a couple scenes that don’t seem great at first. One scene is a little cringey, with certain Europeaon tourists being entitled jerks towards an Egyptian hotel staffer. There’s also another scene, where Jane finds a Giant Clue in a really obvious place, with everything but a big light-up arrow pointing her there. These are actually subtle leads towards the actual mystery, and not bad writing!
Overall, it’s a fun historical mystery, with an ending that makes a sequel pretty clear