Egypt, 1912. In an alternate Cairo infused with the otherworldly, the Ministry of Alchemy, Enchantments and Supernatural Entities investigate disturbances between the mortal and the (possibly) divine. What starts off as an odd suicide case for Special Investigator Fatma el-Sha’arawi leads her through the city’s underbelly as she encounters rampaging ghouls, saucy assassins, clockwork angels, and plot that could unravel time itself.
The Fatma el-Sha’arawi is a series I have seen doing the rounds online recently, so when I heard that the best place to start is with the short novelette A Dead Djinn in Cairo, I decided to give it a go. This story might only be forty three pages, but it absolutely packs a punch. Set in Cairo in the 1900s, the story follows Special Investigator Fatma el-Sha’arawi as she works to uncover the truth behind an odd suicide case. As she digs deeper into the supernatural underworld of the city, she finds a much more sinister plot going on.
I honestly loved this. Fatma was a fantastic main character and even though this is short I completely fell in love with her. There’s quite a bit of character development in that short space of time and I can’t wait to see what Clark does with a full length novel. The world in this is fascinating and there is still a substantial bit of world building in this novelette. As expected the story is a quick one, but it comes to a very satisfying conclusion.
A Dead Djinn in Cairo is a fascinating tale and full of beautiful writing. It absolutely left me wanting more and I can say without a doubt this will not be my last book from P. Djèlí Clark.