Ra the Mighty: Cat Detective of Pharaoh's Court

216p. Holiday House. Sept. 2018. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780823440276.
Gr 2–5—Ra is Pharaoh's cat: a position of great honor, privilege, and feline laziness. Set in ancient Egypt, this lightly humorous mystery follows Ra's growth from self-centered lethargy to a true detective—with help from his friends. A precious amulet belonging to Pharaoh's wife has been stolen, and a young servant girl named Tedimut was framed for the crime. A kitchen cat approaches Ra seeking justice. Ra reluctantly accepts the challenge, with some prodding from his scarab beetle friend Khepri. Time is running short though; Pharaoh declares the theft treasonous, which is tantamount to a death sentence for the thief. The story is enhanced by delightful black-and-white illustrations. Ra's initial vanity is well balanced with the apparent steadfastness of his friendship with a dung-loving beetle. Proud and lazy as Ra may be, his unwavering loyalty to a vulnerable friend makes him a multidimensional character from the outset. An author's note and list of sources help clarify fact and fiction.
VERDICT A charming page-turner of a mystery; recommend to cat lovers and young Egyptologists.

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