Shadows on the Nile

( 1 )


1912, London. Jessie Kenton hears her young brother, Georgie, scream in the middle of the night and wakes up the next morning to find him gone. Her parents never speak of him again.

1932. Twenty years later, Jessie is haunted by the same nightmare. Her other brother, Timothy, has inexplicably vanished from her parents' home. Wracked by guilt because of her failure to ever find Georgie, and convinced that the two events must be related, she sets out on a quest to find Timothy. ...

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Shadows on the Nile

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1912, London. Jessie Kenton hears her young brother, Georgie, scream in the middle of the night and wakes up the next morning to find him gone. Her parents never speak of him again.

1932. Twenty years later, Jessie is haunted by the same nightmare. Her other brother, Timothy, has inexplicably vanished from her parents' home. Wracked by guilt because of her failure to ever find Georgie, and convinced that the two events must be related, she sets out on a quest to find Timothy. She plunges into a mysterious world of séances and mystics, nebulous clues and Egyptian artifacts.

With the help of a dashing and impoverished aristocrat, Sir Montague Chamford, Jessie follows the trail into the alien, swirling sands of the Egyptian desert. Amid the ancient intrigue and blistering heat, a powerful romance sparks between Jessie and Monty. But they must first confront the demons of Jessie's past—and reveal the dark secrets that threaten not only Timothy's life but theirs as well.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
At age seven, Jessie Kenton’s upper-middle-class London world revolved around her emotionally disturbed younger brother, Georgie. One night, with no explanation, their parents took Georgie away, “replacing” him with an orphan boy named Timothy, whom they had adopted. After the initial pain of separation, Jessie gradually warmed to Timothy, but never forgot Georgie. Twenty years later, in 1932, Timothy, now an up-and-coming archaeologist, has disappeared, leaving behind cryptic clues for Jessie taken from their favorite Sherlock Holmes novels. She quickly deduces that he’s in Egypt and leaves for Cairo to try and track him down. With Egypt shaking off the last footholds of British colonialism and artifact smugglers lurking in the shadows, Jessie faces danger at every turn. What’s more, she doesn’t yet know that Timothy has forged a strange, but durable, bond with Georgie, and that finding answers to one brother’s disappearance will lead to a new understanding of what happened to the other. Furnivall laces this fast-paced historical adventure with surprisingly poignant interludes that ultimately connect to the family mystery at its heart. There are a few awkward plot twists, and a largely superfluous romantic subplot, but that won’t keep readers from connecting deeply with the Kenton siblings. Agent: Teresa Chris, Teresa Chris Literary Agency. (Oct.)
From the Publisher
"Alison Larkin engages listeners with a story that is part complex historical mystery, part charming romance, and part fascinating travel adventure. . . . Larkin captures the young Jessie beautifully and tackles the many different accents and viewpoints in this book with obvious pleasure. " —-AudioFile
Kirkus Reviews
Furnivall's plucky-as-usual heroine finds adventure and love from London, England, to Luxor, Egypt, in this formulaic romance/adventure (The Russian Concubine, 2007, etc.). Little Jessie loves her brother Georgie, although her parents find him loathsome. Mentally disturbed and difficult to handle, Georgie is spirited out of the house in the middle of the night, and when Jessie awakens the next morning, she finds another blond, blue-eyed cherub in his bed. Her mother and father introduce him as her new brother, Tim. Jessie is adamant that she wants Georgie back, but Tim, who is even stuck wearing Georgie's left-behind clothes, grows on her; despite the fact that Jessie never forgets or gets over losing Georgie, she dotes on Tim and they grow close. When Tim, an archaeologist specializing in Egyptian relics, disappears following a mysterious séance, Jessie is determined to follow the clues she believes Tim left her, all derived from the Sherlock Holmes mysteries she used to read to him when they were children. Along the way, she meets a handsome, struggling nobleman of little means who is trying to hold onto his family's ancestral home, a batty older woman traveling alone, a shifty doctor and a poor Egyptian boy. Jessie and the nobleman, Monty, follow the trail from 1932 London to Cairo and on to Luxor, where they find a complex conspiracy and a surprise awaiting them. Furnivall, beloved by her fans for her romantic historical thrillers, has written a book her followers will like, but the thinly constructed plot barely holds together, especially where the relationship between the two brothers is concerned. Furnivall populates her book with memorable characters, but the story's just so-so.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781452615288
  • Publisher: Tantor Media, Inc.
  • Publication date: 10/1/2013
  • Format: CD
  • Edition description: Unabridged CD
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 6.40 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Kate Furnivall was born in Wales and currently lives in Devon, England. Married and the mother of two sons, she has worked in publishing and television advertising. She is the national bestselling author of The White Pearl, The Jewel of St. Petersburg, The Girl from Junchow, The Red Scarf, and The Russian Concubine.

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Reading Group Guide


London, 1932. Jessica Kenton, twenty-seven, thinks she has her life firmly under control, but it is torn apart when she learns that her brother, Timothy, a renowned young Egyptologist with the British Museum, has inexplicably vanished. Twenty years earlier, during a night that still haunts her, Jessie's adored brother Georgie also disappeared. Driven by her childhood guilt at never having found him, she sets off on a quest to track down her second missing sibling. She is helped in her search by clues left in mysterious places-clues based on the beloved stories of Sherlock Holmes, whose novels she shared with both of her lost brothers when they were young. And the clues convince her, in the face of evidence to the contrary, that Tim must still be alive.

Desperate to solve the mystery of his disappearance, she decides to travel to Egypt, accompanied by a dashing, if impoverished, aristocrat. But in this strange and alien place of dust and desert, Jessie also falls helplessly, deeply in love-and as her defenses are stripped away, she is forced to face the demons that drive her.


Kate Furnivall was born in Wales, has worked in publishing and TV advertising, and now lives by the sea in Devon, England, with her husband, with whom she has two sons. This is her sixth novel.


  • Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes books play a prominent role in Shadows on the Nile. When Tim took Jessie to the British Museum, she said, "Lead on, my intimate friend and associate." How is this Sherlock Holmes quote a theme for the book? How are the stories of Sherlock Holmes a catalyst for the plot development?
  • Timothy Kenton's girlfriend tells Jessie that her brother considers her his uraeus, the cobra on a pharaoh's headdress to protect him from harm. How is Jessie Tim's protector? Are there other protectors in the story?
  • Shadows on the Nile is set in 1932. Would the story be different if it took place in the present day? If so, how?
  • Jessie and Monty witness a riot in London protesting the Means Test. Fareed and his men are rebelling against British colonialism in Egypt. How is Jessie caught in the middle of both rebellions? How does each affect the plot?
  • When Jessie finds out that Tim is missing, she thinks, "You have no idea what my brother means to me. You have no idea that losing Timothy is like losing part of myself." Is there anyone in your life who you would risk your life to save? Why do you think Jessie feels so strongly, and how does it affect her actions? Discuss.
  • How are parent-child relationships portrayed in Shadows on the Nile? Sibling relationships?
  • Why do you think the author chose to include chapters from Georgie's point of view? How does this make the book different than if it had all been in an objective voice?
  • At the end of the book the reader discovers that Georgie believes he needs to earn back Jessie's love. Why do you think he feels this way?
  • Would you describe this book as a historical romance, a mystery, or both? Which genre do you think is most relevant? Why?
  • Jessie's mother says about Georgie, "That boy is incapable of love." Do you agree or disagree? Why?
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 25, 2014

    Wonderful as is everything by Kate Furnivall!!  One of my favori

    Wonderful as is everything by Kate Furnivall!!  One of my favorite authors!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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