Author Nick Pengelley has created a set of very smart mysteries. I’m telling you this right up front because I want you to pay attention. I say smart because these Ayesha Ryder mysteries will make various parts of your brain hum. And — they are new so I want you to read them now before everyone else does.
The books have clue-filled plots, great characters, mysteries involving history and politics in addition to a murder mystery. If I was looking for specific genres to put these into, I’d say historic-political-thriller with a good dash of spy novel, murder mystery and conspiracy theory thrown in.
Although I am a part of the TLC Book Tour featuring Ryder: American Treasure, the second book in the series, I’m going to include a little bit about the first book. I liked the second book so much that I had to go back and read the first novel.
First, let me tell you about the series’ heroine: Ayesha Ryder. She’s an academic researcher who is an expert in antiquities. Born in Palestine, she has a good understanding of the history, culture and issues in the Middle East. After inheriting a house in London, she lives and works in England. She’s also very well-connected. She’s on a first-name basis with the prime minister and the head of MI-5.
In both books the murder mystery ties in with something that occurred in history that also has an effect on contemporary events. In the first book, Ryder: An Ayesha Ryder Novel (September 2014), a colleague of Ayesha’s, who was an expert on T.E. Lawrence (Lawrence of Arabia), was murdered. Clues were left specifically for Ayesha. They led to speculation about a possible document that proved the Holy Land really belonged to Palestine. All this occurred just as Israel and Palestine were about to sign a new treaty at the Tower of London.
In the second book, Ryder: American Treasure (January 2015), Ayesha is asked to investigate an old rumor that the British confiscated treasured items from the White House during the War of 1812. An old gavel, purportedly belonging to James Madison, has surfaced and is said to be a part of that 1812 treasure. But then, the curator who discovered the gavel is murdered and Ayesha is somehow blamed for his death.
In Ryder: American Treasure, Ayesha is still intermingling with some pretty high profile people: the English prime minister, the head of MI-5, the home-secretary, the U.S. secretary of state and the president’s chief of staff. I like that high level people are a part of the story. They seem quite real. Also real are the supporting charters. There is a bad guy who is really evil. His mission in life is to kill Ayesha. I’m trying not to spoil this for you but, trust me, you’ll like hating this guy.
The publisher of both books is Alibi, a new division of Random House. Alibi publishes only e-books so don’t look for these books in your local bookstore. These books you’ll want to download to your kindle, nook or other e-reader. On top of being excellent mysteries, they are also a bargain. Each book is now $2.99 each! I don’t know how long that price will last. These are quality stories that are worth a lot more. (Don’t say I didn’t warn you.)
Book Three: Ryder: Bird of Prey will be published in May. This is one reader who can’t wait.
About the author: Nick Pengelley
Australian by birth, he’s had careers in Australia, Canada, and the United Kingdom as a law professor, legal consultant, and analyst on Middle East politics, which is his passion. Pengelley lives in Toronto with his wife, Pamela.