The Great Scarab Scam
Dava Books (2009)
Reviewed by Ben Weldon (age 11) for Reader Views (4/09)
“The Great Scarab Scam” by Valerie Storey is an enticing modern-day Egyptian mystery. This is a very riveting mystery that includes a conspiracy, a lost treasure trove worth millions, and a new turn on every page. You never know what will happen next!
When eleven-year-old Lydia Hartley goes on a trip to Egypt with her mother, father and two brothers, it is not a trip she will forget. Lydia’s archaeologist father has come on the trip to try to help solve a mysterious “scarab scam” that has even Egypt’s highest ranking authorities totally stumped. (The scarabs are rare, valuable carving of beetles and are made of materials such as gold, stone, and wood. They have been mysteriously disappearing from museums and private collections across the country). The family decides to stay with one of Dr. Hartley’s old friends, Farid Malik, in Luxor. At first Farid Malik’s daughter Sima takes coldly to Lydia, but after an accident near an ancient tomb where Sima nearly breaks her arm, the tension between the two loosens.
While Lydia’s father is staying in Cairo to investigate a series of thefts, communication from her father mysteriously ceases. At the same time in Luxor, Lydia and her siblings discover seemingly counterfeit paintings in Farid Malik’s study; Lydia is suspicious. Is Farid Malik running the scarab scam? And if not who is? Where is Lydia’s father? So many questions too few answers!
I would recommend this book to people who like mysteries. I think this book would especially appeal to people ages nine to twelve. As the conspiracy unfolds, the suspense grows, and by the time you put down the book you’ve finished it. “The Great Scarab Scam” by Valerie Storey was a great book and I think that everyone who reads this book will like it as much as I did.