A memoir of desert travel—by camel and horseback—from a beloved author An internationally renowned writer of mystery fiction, Mary Roberts Rinehart knows her way around an exotic setting. When faced with the Pyramids, the Nile, and the sprawling Egyptian desert in her own life, she does not fall in with the crowd of tourists waiting in line at the tombs of the Pharaohs. Instead, she hikes up her skirt, plants her pumps in the sand, and hops on a camel. She has but one question: Where am I supposed to sit?
On a hundred-mile expedition into the Egyptian desert, Rinehart does her best to master the herky-jerk of this desert beast. But traveling with an entourage of well-mannered people, she finds that desert living is not completely stripped of the comforts of home. Upon returning to the United States, Rinehart makes an excursion out west, which, she finds, is where the true adventure begins.
Mary Roberts Rinehart (1876–1958) was one of the United States’s most popular early mystery authors. Born in Pittsburgh to a clerk at a sewing machine agency, Rinehart trained as a nurse and married a doctor after her graduation from nursing school. She wrote fiction in her spare time until a stock market crash sent her and her young husband into debt, forcing her to lean on her writing to pay the bills. Her first two novels, The Circular Staircase (1908) and The Man in Lower Ten (1909), established her as a bright young talent, and it wasn’t long before she was one of the nation’s most popular mystery novelists.Among her dozens of novels are The Amazing Adventures of Letitia Carberry (1911), which began a six-book series, and The Bat (originally published in 1920 as a play), which was among the inspirations for Bob Kane’s Batman. Credited with inventing the phrase “The butler did it,” Rinehart is often called an American Agatha Christie, even though she began writing much earlier than Christie, and was much more popular during her heyday. read more