Michael Pearce (author)

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Michael Pearce (born 1933) is an award-winning author of historical fiction and police procedurals.


Pearce was raised in Anglo-Egyptian Sudan. As an adult, he trained as a Russian interpreter during the Cold War,[1] and subsequently became involved with Amnesty International.

His first novel, The Mamur Zapt and the Return of the Carpet, was published in 1988. That was the start of a "Mamur Zapt" series of mysteries.

He has also published a number of "A Dead Man in..." mysteries, set in the period preceding the First World War and featuring Sandor Seymour, an officer of Scotland Yard's Special Branch who is sent by the British Foreign Office to deal with various crimes involving members of the British diplomatic service. These mysteries are notable for their attention to period details and settings.

Pearce's novel The Mamur Zapt and the Spoils of Egypt (1992) won the Crime Writers' Association's Last Laugh Award for funniest crime novel,[2] and his Death of an Effendi (1999) was shortlisted for the Ellis Peters Award for best historical crime novel.[3]


# Title Year Series
1 The Mamur Zapt and the Return of the Carpet 1988 Mamur Zapt
2 The Mamur Zapt and the Night of the Dog 1989 Mamur Zapt
3 The Mamur Zapt and the Donkey-Vous 1990 Mamur Zapt
4 The Mamur Zapt and the Men Behind 1991 Mamur Zapt
5 The Mamur Zapt and the Girl in the Nile 1992 Mamur Zapt
6 The Mamur Zapt and the Spoils of Egypt 1992 Mamur Zapt
7 The Mamur Zapt and the Camel of Destruction 1993 Mamur Zapt
8 The Snake Catcher's Daughter 1994 Mamur Zapt
9 The Mingrelian Conspiracy 1995 Mamur Zapt
10 The Fig Tree Murder 1997 Mamur Zapt
11 Dmitri and the Milk-Drinkers 1997 Dmitri Kameron'
12 The Last Cut 1998 Mamur Zapt
12a "The Mamur Zapt and the Catherine Wheel" 1998 Short story, Past Poisons
13 Death of an Effendi 1999 Mamur Zapt
14 Dmitri and the One-Legged Lady 1999 Dmitri Kameron
15 A Cold Touch of Ice 2000 Mamur Zapt
16 The Face in the Cemetery 2001 Mamur Zapt
17 A Dead Man in Trieste 2004 Seymour of Special Branch
18 A Dead Man in Istanbul 2005 Seymour of Special Branch
19 The Point in the Market 2005 Mamur Zapt
20 A Dead Man in Athens 2006 Seymour of Special Branch
21 A Dead Man in Tangier 2007 Seymour of Special Branch
22 A Dead Man in Barcelona 2008 Seymour of Special Branch
23 The Mark of the Pasha 2008 Mamur Zapt
24 A Dead Man in Naples 2009 Seymour of Special Branch
25 A Dead Man in Malta 2010 Seymour of Special Branch
26 The Bride Box 2013 Mamur Zapt
27 The Mouth of the Crocodile 2014 Mamur Zapt
28 The Women of the Souk 2016 Mamur Zapt

(Note that some reprint editions of the Mamur Zapt series retitle the books by dropping the opening phrase "The Mamur Zapt and...".)


  1. ^ Michael Pearce at Tangled Web UK.
  2. ^ List of Winners of the Last Laugh Award at the Crime Writers' Association
  3. ^ Richard Lee, The CWA Ellis Peters Historical Dagger for Historical Detective Fiction 1999/2000: A Judge's Report, Solander: The Magazine of the Historical Novel Society, Issue 7, Spring 2000; archived at historicalnovelsociety.org.