This is my least favourite book in the Inhetep fantasy/mystery trilogy with Death in Delhi being better and The Anubis Murders easily the best.
Gygax show's off the world of Ærth and never hesitates to rush into action. The Samarkand Solution is quickly paced and a masterpiece of classic mystery in an alternate Earth filled with magic (Heka/Magick).
The detective in this story (and the trilogy) is a mage-priest who, in his retirement, has taken on solving mysteries. Setne isn't exactly likeable and is missing his foil Rachelle (who is in the other two books) but he's eccentric much like many beloved mystery solvers.
The Samarkand Solution isn't as dynamic as the other two Fantasy-Mysteries however it is a more traditional whodunnit.
Much of the book is about picking up clues that aren't always shared with the reader. This may sound frustrating but works with the style. The little power battle between two protagonists is interesting and just as it starts to wear on you, things get pretty exciting with the climax.