Saturday 22 August 2020

Short Story Review: A Dead Djinn in Cairo By P Djèlí Clark

A Dead Djinn in Cairo

A Dead Djinn in Cairo by P. Djèlí Clark
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Long story or novelette,  depending on your terminology, but above all a squashbuckling detective thriller of a steampunk story. It is available online

The author has created a fantastic world, set in an alternative early 1900s Cairo which has been opened up to magic and djinns and possibly angelic beings from another world. The Ministry of Alchemy, Enchantments and Supernatural Entities now investigates disturbances between the mortal and the divine.

Our adventure is led by special investigator Fatma el-Sha'arawi, a dashing precence with her black bowler hat, light gray Englishman's suit, matching vest, chartreuse tie, red-on-white pinstriped shirt and black steel walking cane capped by a lion's head silver pommel. The call out of this night's work for her is to a dead djinn found dead in his home, apparently a suicide. But that cannot be. So begins a tour of the world the author has begun to create, to the old Khedive’s summer palace, to the fortune teller at the House of the Lady of the Stars, to the murky underworld where the beings meet, hints at the backstory of al-Jahiz who 40 yrs earlier had opened the hole to the Kaf, the realm of the djinn.

This is the second piece in two days that I have read by this P Djèlí Clark and I will be reading more. I listened to Audible's version, very well narrated by actress Suehyla El-Attar who I hope continues to be the voice of Fatma if Clark writes more about this world, which I sincerely hope he does.

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