The author of the wildly popular novel Doc here gives us a story with an unforgettable narrator: 40-ish Agnes Shanklin, an unmarried Midwestern schoolteacher and the only survivor of her family after the 1919 flu epidemic. She reveals how her vacation to 1921 Egypt with her dachshund Rosie thrillingly entangled her in the making of the modern Middle East.
"[Agnes] settles in at the Semiramis Hotel, where she meets and becomes involved with a number of members of the Cairo Peace Conference, including T.E. Lawrence, Winston Churchill, and Lady Gertrude Bell. As these luminaries begin to carve up the Middle East, the unassuming Agnes wins the confidence of the conference attendees and attracts the attention of a dashing German spy.... This atmospheric entrée into a bygone time and place provides a first-person peek into the international political machinations that forged the contemporary Arab world."—Booklist