“The Secret of the Lost Pharaoh”- Carolyn Arnold

Welcome to Egypt! A traveler’s dream and an archaeologist’s playground; where the sand is hot and the sun is brutal. Over the years the mysteries of the sands have been discovered, but how could one map where every single secret lies? In this realistic fiction novel, author Carolyn Arnold gives hope that not all knowledge has been found.

Matthew is a world renowned treasure hunter who wishes to leave his mark on the world.

“. . .legacies came in many forms, and they weren’t always flesh and blood.”

It’s Matthew’s tenacity that garners a phone call from Alexandria (Alex) Leonard; an archaeologist with a passion for Egyptology, on the brink of a major discovery that could rewrite history and have an everlasting impact on the world. Matthew isn’t a lone wolf: his team consists of his best friends. Robyn; a curator at the Royal Ontario Museum (emphasis on the enthusiasm for Egyptian history) and Cal a renowned photographer. With little information the three musketeers pack it up for a month and head out to help Alex and her team.

Originally thought to be aqueducts diverting water from tombs, imagine the shock when that tunnel yields a cartouche referencing one of the sons of Khufu. Everyone is there for a different reason; Alex is there for fame- to make history. Matthew is there with the enticing reference to the Emerald Tablets (ancient tablets containing knowledge that can effect the future). Robyn is there because Egypt is on her bucket list. Cal is there for his absolute love of adventure. And the Egyptian director of antiquities has been invited for obvious reasons. Even though everyone is here for different reasons, they are solidified on being professionals on the dig site.

Once in the tunnel, our group meanders, each at their own pace. Rada, the director of antiquities pauses at the cartouche. Astonishment doesn’t last long as the ground starts to shake, and  an enormous “CRACK” is heard throughout the tunnel. Robyn, Cal, Alex, Matthew, and Jasper are separated from Rada, and the group decides to follow the map on the cartouche into unexplored territory.

Our group of five continues on a tumultuous, Indiana-style adventure. Each part of the adventure has breathtaking moments as well as sighs of relief. As they continue through the only path available, it seems there is more to this dig site than was originally thought. Untouched rooms filled with priceless treasures linked to the past, and of course, hints towards an even larger treasure.

Radio contact is finally made, and the group is rescued from underground. Like true adventurers, they cannot wait to get back underground to start cataloging everything they found. However, Robyn, Matthew, and Cal are on borrowed time, and must return to the states. It isn’t until the cops, and Reda show up at the airport, accusing the three of stealing from Egypt, that they realize they won’t be going home anytime soon.

“The Secret of the Lost Pharaoh” is the second book of the Matthew Connor series by Carolyn Arnold. I’ll be honest, I have not read the first book, “City of Gold”, but I felt as though a few inside jokes are lost on the reader because of NOT reading the first book.

In this review, I detailed the main outline of the story. What I did not include is what annoyed me the most about the book. I felt the story was MORE concentrated on a man’s (Matthew) indecisiveness to which woman he wanted a relationship with, causing unnecessary drama that overshadowed what could have been a brilliant plot. I’m not kidding when I say that this indecisiveness was on every other page of this book. At first I did not mind it, but as the book continued, I really wanted to skip over some parts and be more involved with the archaeology standpoint rather than the high school drama.

While I wouldn’t completely write “The Secret of the Lost Pharaoh”, OR Carolyn Arnold off, I don’t believe I will be picking up this book again anytime soon. I am interested, however, in reading “City of Gold” JUST to see if this series can be redeemed.



 I was chosen to receive an advanced reader’s copy in exchange for an honest review. Given that fact, it has not altered my opinion on the book at all. “The Secret of the Lost Pharaoh”  by Carolyn Arnold is available now!


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