In the Cairo of 1908, the city lives-and dies-by its café culture. But for all restaurant businesses, then and now, the protection rackets pose a problem. And the city's cafés are experiencing a sudden upsurge in threats from various gangs. But who are they? More importantly, who's behind them? Is the money being channeled to some big crook, or is its use political, for, say, the purchase of guns? With some sixty nationalities, one hundred and twelve ethnic groups, and over two hundred religious sects, not to mention the burgeoning Nationalists, stewing, policing the capital is no easy matter. When Mustapha, one café proprietor, is attacked by men with clubs, his legs broken for non-compliance, everyone is worried. Could the attacks be escalating towards the international community? The Russian Chargé makes a complaint-the Mingrelians, a very small Christian group from the Caucasus, may be targeting a Russian Grand Duke. This royal figure is coming to replicate the visit his uncle paid to Egypt at the opening of the Suez Canal. Heading off any such incident is the task of Gareth Owen, Head of the Secret Police. But will the Mamur Zapt find answers to so many arcane questions in time?