River Heights Book Review

The books you'll want to read.


death ex machinaDEATH EX MACHINA by Gary Corby
Soho Crime
May 2015

Ancient Greece has never been so much fun to read.

The festival of the Great Dionysia, the largest arts festival of the world, is about to start and people have traveled from all over the ancient world to the city of Athens to attend. Expectations of great theatre are high, but there is a problem—the theatre appears to be haunted, and the actors won’t go near it.

Nicolaos, the only professional investigator in Athens, along with his beautiful wife Diotima, are called in to rid the theatre of its ghost. Or at least to make the actors believe that the ghost is gone so the actors can get back to rehearsing and the city can avoid embarrassment. Except that the “ghost” looks more like the work of a saboteur, and one of the actors soon turns up dead. Nicolaos has to find the culprit and save the city from the wrath of the gods…and the most powerful men in Athens. Can he save the festival…and himself?

I don’t know how Corby manages it, but he has created a world with fun characters spouting witty repartee, intriguing mysteries and vivid yet supremely interesting history. I’ve found series set in similar time periods to be stiff, but this manages to be humorous, fun and educational all at the same time. Many names recognizable from dusty history tomes are brought to life on the pages—and Corby does an excellent job of breathing life into all types of characters. But you don’t need to be a student of Greek history to enjoy this series—although Corby does include a fair amount of sly winks (Socrates plays Nicolaos’ “pesky” younger brother, for example) that add to the rich flavor.


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This entry was posted on August 21, 2015 by in Crime Fiction, Reviews and tagged , , , .
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