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Publisher's Summary

A journalist in nineteenth-century New York matches wits with a serial killer in a gripping thriller by the prizewinning author of the Ian Hamilton Mysteries.

New York, 1880. Elizabeth van den Broek is the only female reporter at the Herald, the city’s most popular newspaper. Then she and her bohemian friend Carlotta Ackerman find a woman’s body wrapped like a mummy in a freshly dug hole in Central Park - the intended site of an obelisk called Cleopatra’s Needle. The macabre discovery takes Elizabeth away from the society pages to follow an investigation into New York City’s darkest shadows.

When more bodies turn up, each tied to Egyptian lore, Elizabeth is onto a headline-making scoop more sinister than she could have imagined. Her reporting has readers spellbound, and each new clue implicates New York’s richest and most powerful citizens. And a serial killer is watching every headline.

Now a madman with an indecipherable motive is coming after Elizabeth and everyone she loves. She wants a good story? She may have to die to get it.

©2022 Carole Bugge. (P)2022 Brilliance Publishing, Inc., all rights reserved.

Critic Reviews

“The youthful, exuberant voice of narrator Kate Rudd brings to life reporter Elizabeth van den Broek, who becomes personally involved in the fiendish murders of a serial killer who is obsessed with Egyptian mythology.… The youthful photographer, Evans; the drink-impaired old seaman, Sea Dog; the sophisticated Cordelia are a few of the excellent portrayals that enhance this audiobook.”AudioFile Magazine

“Lawrence ("Ian Hamilton" mysteries) skillfully weaves social issues of the time into her story, and her characters depict the wide range of people making up the melting pot of the city and the challenges faced during the era. Narrator Kate Rudd presents a no-nonsense Elizabeth, along with many varieties of people involved in the mystery.”Library Journal 

“Lawrence makes New York City come alive with numerous colorful details…Fans of Victoria Thompson’s Gaslight mysteries will hope for a sequel.”Publishers Weekly (starred review) 

What listeners say about Cleopatra's Dagger

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Trigger Warning!!!!!

Books should have a notice when there is an assault... Just be advised, there is a sexual assault in the story.

The narrative is overly descriptive with a ton of alliteration. I don't know if it's a "good book". The mystery aspect worked for sure! There was just so much else...

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Great story, but needs a trigger warning IMO

I really enjoyed this book. Exciting mystery with a sting female protagonist. There is a rape scene in the book, so please beware. The story reminded me a bit of The Alienist (one of my favorite books of all time). Elizabeth is a very likable and relatable protagonist, and I particularly loved her budding friendship with Carlotta and her brother. Hoping that we will see more books featuring Elizabeth soon!

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Tiresome

Lawrence's Ian Hamilton books were good and the narrator appropriate. This reader's voice is too light--more suitable for children's books or maybe comedies--there is a pleasantness on top but there is no depth. She tries to have an upper class accent, but it leaves nothing under the words. And the writing is tiresome too. It feels more like a travelogue for turn of the century New York City and instead of mystery content, the story is full of social commentary.

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  • SS
  • 06-01-22

I couldn't put it down!!!

I did not want this to end! And honestly I was so sad when it did. I hope we get more adventures of Elizabeth! My only complaint about this book is that it ended too quickly for me. But relished every minute of it. so so good!

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pleasantly surprised

this was a recommended read, I don't usually deviate from my usual authors but I I took a chance and I'm glad I did.

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I Guess Harlan Coben Has Spoiled Me...

I love audio books so much I rarely give the narrator a bad review. In all honesty, I'm not sure the stilted style of speech was due to the narrator or the way the author wrote the book. I got that the primary female character came from money, and was educated, but who speaks without ever using any contractions? I found myself laughing at how silly it sounded!
This was not a book that I finished because I was even remotely curious about who the killer was. I was more curious about one of the side story lines.

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Promising but plot loses purposes

I liked the premise and setting of this novel. The author beautifully illustrates the landscape of late 19th century New York and the mystery itself starts out full of intrigue. It is only towards the end when one finds the self questioning great details throughout and their relevancy to the story. Why such details of the Asters? Why the sexual assault? None of these details weave into the end of the story, and the detective O’Grady who features so prominently in the first half of the book completely disappears by the end.

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Cleopatra journry

This was first book listened to by author ,a great story and good ending. kudos

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A modern historical thriller

I normally skip historical thrillers and stick with contemporary especially in American based books, but I have this book a chance and it was definitely well worth it. The author wrote the main character as a very modern, forward thinking female, ahead of her time but also practical about her current cultural limitations. Kate Rudd is an excellent narrator and this audible just spins a fascinating tale that keeps us guessing until the very end.

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unique story mixing historical fiction and murder

liked the main character and her determination to find the killer. a good mystery and engaging ending.

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  • The Curator
  • 04-24-22

Insufferable narrator

The story of yet another pampered American princess who thinks she’s living real life because her parents pay for an apartment but no servants. To be honest though my ire is largely reserved for the narration. I’ll forgive or at least be amused by attempts at regional British accents so what I thought was two Scot’s characters didn’t really faze me. What made this unbearable was the lack of pace, emphasis or any other humanising characteristic of the voice. It was like hearing a small child read. Also, didn’t 19th century Americans ever contract their words? A whole book of ‘I did not…I would not…I could not’ made for stilted conversations at best.