Uh-oh, it looks like your Internet Explorer is out of date.

For a better shopping experience, please upgrade now.

The Cairo Codex

The Cairo Codex

4.6 3
by Linda Lambert

See All Formats & Editions

When an earthquake nearly buries anthropologist Justine Jenner in an ancient crypt, she finds what appears to be an ancient codex which, if real, could radically threaten the world's great religions.

The Cairo Codex is a riveting novel of two women, two millennia apart, set in the exotic cultures of ancient and present-day Egypt. Dr. Justine Jenner has


When an earthquake nearly buries anthropologist Justine Jenner in an ancient crypt, she finds what appears to be an ancient codex which, if real, could radically threaten the world's great religions.

The Cairo Codex is a riveting novel of two women, two millennia apart, set in the exotic cultures of ancient and present-day Egypt. Dr. Justine Jenner has come to Cairo to forge her own path from the legacies of her parents, an Egyptian beauty and an American archaeologist. After an earthquake nearly buries her alive in an underground crypt, she discovers an ancient codex, written by a woman whose secrets threaten the foundations of both Christian and Muslim beliefs. As political instability rocks the region and the Muslim Brotherhood threatens to steal the Egyptian Revolution, Justine is thrust into a world where even those she trusts may betray her in order to control the codex’s revelations.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Silver Medal for Fiction
2014 Nautilus Book Awards

Bronze Medal for Historical Fiction
2014 Independent Publisher Book Awards

The Cairo Codex is a riveting novel that portrays the unique bonds between two powerful women separated by millennia. Their relationship foreshadows a seismic shift in the Egyptian landscape. A splendidly researched and original historical novel that evokes the beautiful prose and exotic setting of The Red Tent.
-Jeffrey Small, Bestselling Author of The Jericho Deception and The Breath of God

This page-turner will keep you on the edge of your seat!
-Arab Vistas Today

The 2013 USA Best Book Awards; Fiction: Historical

Lambert’s life in Egypt was the stimulus for this multi-layered historical novel. The Cairo Codex combines the three great religions of the Middle East with modern and historical characters, suspense, and the challenges of life and politics in present day Egypt. This creates an altogether fascinating narrative that is hard to put down!
-Dr. Waguida El Bakary, Professor Emeritus, American University, Cairo

The most rewarding experience for any author is to know that you have written a great book and that perceptive readers will be able to share your story and enjoy your talent. Such is The Cairo Codex—a spell-binding novel of Egyptian history, religion, romance, and politics.
-David Appleby, composer, author of Bravo Brazil! and Music of Brazil

I loved The Cairo Codex. After reading the Prologue, I was hooked and immediately felt propelled into Cairo. The writing is strong, as are the characters and story. Bravo! I'm looking forward to the next adventure of Justine Jenner.
-Paul Williams, archaeologist, U.S. Department of Interior

The Cairo Codex takes us into two worlds, one of an ancient time when one notable woman began to influence history, and another when Dr. Justine Jenner discovers a connection between that world and her own. Readers gain insight into the world of archaeology—a world that, to the uninitiated, may seem a quiet, interesting and ordered world of discovery and scholars. Instead, we find the intrigue and thrill of a more sinister underworld where individuals will do almost anything to either steal the glory of a new discovery or hide a truth that may change the way we think forever. Is anyone right to trust anyone? The Cairo Codex can’t be put down until the end of the last page and leaves you wanting more.
-Baroness Miranda Taxi, Il Pero, Arezzo, Italy

The Cairo Codex merges the past and present into a brilliantly original story. Through an accident of fate, Justine finds herself with a stunning primeval text bound to disrupt the sensitive balance of religion, politics, and history. Lambert deftly weaves ancient and modern Egypt into a novel of intrigue, love, and adventure.
-Diane Zimmerman, author, The Power of the Social Brain and the forthcoming Cognitive Capital

In this compelling novel, the lives of two women, two thousand years apart, become intertwined when the ancient diary of one is found by the second, a young archaeologist, during a violent earthquake in a crypt in Old Cairo. Among the incendiary words contained in the lost diary is an indication of the impact of Buddhism on what would become Christianity and Islam. An original and splendidly researched work of fiction, The Cairo Codex encompasses religious and political intrigue in a riveting historical novel.
-Jacquelynn Baas, author, Smile of the Buddha and The Mind of the Buddha

With Egypt very much high profile in world events these days, The Cairo Codex is especially apropos, and Linda Lambert’s impeccable credentials for writing such a story include being a former U.S. State Department envoy to Egypt. Indeed her command of historical and cultural detail is most impressive. But she wears her learning lightly as she tells a good story that balances thriller, romance and historic plotlines with a sure hand.

The Vagrant Mood

Kirkus Reviews

A thriller/romance that intertwines a story of a young anthropologist in modern-day Cairo with that of a few crucial years in the life of Jesus Christ's family. Justine returns to Cairo for the first time since her childhood, when she lived with her Egyptian mother and her American father, who pursued an archaeological dig. Now an adult and a cultural anthropologist, Justine has come to observe the area's fledgling community schools for girls, but her memories of her previous time in Egypt, when her parents were still together and life was full of mystery and opportunity, have her in thrall. During a close encounter with an earthquake, she literally stumbles upon a little book, a codex, in an ancient crypt where she's nearly buried alive. It turns out to be a rather remarkable diary--one with profound implications for religious communities already roiling with discontent. The setup allows Lambert to tell all manner of stories, addressing the prospects for Egyptian women--"Am I heir of Isis or of today's Islamic women cloaked in hijabs?"--to the ancient desire, still with us, of established religions to destroy pagan documents. The prose can be uneven, and sometimes a bit overwritten: "Sunlight skims across the water beneath a pale lavender mist as I watch the Great River Nile come to life around me, warm sand rising between my toes." For the most part, however, the novel delivers a tautly suspenseful historical tale. In particular, Lambert sharply ties together early Christian beliefs with the plight of females in traditional societies, and effectively depicts the fears unleashed when entrenched beliefs are challenged. She also keeps a sure hand on the romance plotline, letting it percolate and flare within manageable boundaries. An often engaging thriller/romance, and a smart evocation of modern Egypt.

Product Details

West Hills Press
Publication date:
Justine Trilogy
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Sales rank:
File size:
955 KB

Related Subjects

Meet the Author

Linda Lambert, Ed.D. is Professor Emeritus from California State University, East Bay, and a full-time author of novels and texts on leadership. During Linda’s career extensive career, she has served as social worker, teacher, principal, district and county directors of adult learning programs, as well as university professor, state department envoy to Egypt, and international consultant. Her international consultancies in leadership have taken her to the Middle East, England, Thailand, Mexico, Canada, Thailand, and Malaysia. Linda is the author of dozens of articles and lead author of The Constructivist Leader (1995, 2002), Who Will Save Our Schools (1997), and Women’s Ways of Leading (2009); she is the author of Building Leadership Capacity in Schools (1998) and Leadership Capacity for Lasting School Improvement (2003). She lives with her husband, Morgan, a retired school superintendent, on The Sea Ranch, CA.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Post to your social network


Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews

The Cairo Codex 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a multilayered novel with a number of themes... The central plot line revolves around how various religious dominations (Christian, Coptic, Muslim, Essene, Buddhist) would react to and absorb (or, more likely fail to absorb) a document that changes religious history. Secondly, the novel is about the second class status accorded to women within religions and within the Muslim world. Finally, the novel is almost a travelogue about notable sites in Cairo and Alexandria. The novel is extremely informative. On that basis, I would award it five stars. On the other hand, in trying to be informative, at times the plot seems very forced. Characters seem to meet at various locations mostly to give the author an opportunity to describe another site or another dynamic in modern day Cairo. Overall, I would rate the plot at about two and a half to three stars. If you are looking for a sugar coated way to learn more about Cairo, think seriously about the tenets of various religions, etc., very much worth reading. If you are looking for the great American (Egyptian?) novel, then the book is so so.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The Cairo Codex, a wonderfully written, well-researched and thoroughly enjoyable novel by Dr. Linda Lambert, reflects her first foray into the world of fiction.  The protagonist, Justine Jenner, an anthropologist recently returning to Egypt to further women’s education and empowerment (a recurring theme through the writings of the author), discovers an ancient codex. The contents of this codex profoundly shakes the prevailing concepts of Christianity, and nefarious forces conspire against Justine to suppress its revelations. Justine is unable to discern the true motives of both her friends and foes.  This topic (lost scrolls and alternative religious visions) has been explored in numerous forums over the past 50 or so years, perhaps most famously in Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code.  The Cairo Codex, while not quite as dramatic as Mr. Brown’s book, has perhaps more to recommend it, which can be attributed to the author’s background and research.  The novel, in addition to a compelling plot, serves as a wonderful travelogue of both Cairo and Alexandria. (The author was a state department envoy to Egypt, and is a gifted observer of the local cultures and sites.) The book is also a sensitive social commentary, reflecting social and gender inequality in modern Egypt as well as conditions in biblical times.  A quite useful introduction to the lesser-known aspects of comparative religion, the novel points out the differences and similarities among Judaism, Christianity (including the Gnostics and the Essenes) and Buddhism. It also provides an insightful view into the current conflicts in the Arab world, including the underpinnings of the Arab spring uprising.  Dr. Lambert does a masterful job of examining women’s involvement in early Christian heresies, and the suppression of women by patriarchal institutions, both in early biblical times as well as the Egyptian present.  Unique dialogues between the long-deceased, but historically relevant, authoress of the codex and her equally legendary child, as well as among current Egyptian figures and Justine, impart knowledge of key themes. The novel is well founded in historical reality: based both on the Dead Sea Scrolls, and, of even more relevance, the Nag Hammadi discovery of 1945. One of the Nag Hammadi codices was, in fact, stolen, for similar reasons to those outlined in The Cairo Codex.   One of the best attributes of the novel is that it stimulates further exploration and discovery.  I found myself challenged to delve further into many of the ideas raised. This led, over a most delightful week, to readings ranging in diversity to academic texts (including Elaine Pagel’s delightful, but somewhat ponderous Adam, Eve and the Serpent [1982] and Joseph Campbell’s Mythos writings).  The Cairo Codex is easier reading, and serves as a wonderful entrée into the topic. Although lacking the superficial flare and fireworks of the The Da Vinci Code, ultimately Lambert’s novel was a more satisfying, enjoyable and informative novel—and is highly recommended.