The Curse of the Blue Scarab: A Monster Mashup
by Josh Layon
In this retelling of the original 1912 classic “The Mummy”, Dr Quentin Armiston is a middle-aged physician whose Edwardian-era London practice consists mainly of the cooks, chauffeurs, housekeepers and other assorted servants of the upper classes. He is single, but has never really felt lonely, and besides, his true desires are the kind that could land you in jail.
One day, a young gentleman comes to get Armiston to attend the death of his friend. Maxwell is much younger, and walks with a pronounced limp due to an army injury, but Armiston seems drawn to him. The death seems accidental. The only thing unusual about the scene is the mummy case propped in the next room. Not long after there's another death, and Armiston is drawn into Maxwell's circle of friends to try and solve the mystery. Are the deaths due to the mummy's curse, or are there more earthly motives behind them?
“The Curse of the Blue Scarab” is a classic mystery thriller that will definitely put you in mind of old movies based on the stories of Conan Doyle and others. While being very true to the original, the book also manages to introduce the idea of an attraction between two of the main characters very believably. Maxwell and Armiston are all too aware of the risks they take trying to have any kind of a relationship.
The characters are quite realistic and engaging. None of them are perfect, and in fact they're far from it, but their flaws aren't exaggerated or manufactured. They are from a bygone era that we can't personally have known, but the conform to the ideas we have from literature, not to mention the numerous class B-movies based on the original story and other detective thrillers of the time.
“The Curse of the Blue Scarab” is available from Amazon.