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Beware the Ides of February: Cupid, Eros and St Valentine's Day

Death ex Machina

Death Ex Machina (An Athenian Mystery) - Gary Corby

The latest addition to my little family of Athenian Mysteries.  This is #4 in the series.


The title is a pun on the literary device called deus ex machina.  Deus ex machina means a story in which someone or something suddenly appears to wind up the plot very quickly.


Death Ex Machina on the other hand means someone has died.  Now our heroes have to find the killer.


Book 4 of the Athenian Mysteries: The Marathon Conspiracy

The Marathon Conspiracy - Gary Corby

It's not out for another five months, but it's just appeared on the various book sites.  The fourth book in the Athenian Mysteries is The Marathon Conspiracy, written by some chap named Gary Corby, published by Soho Press (Random House).  


I love the cover on this one. In fact, all of them are great. The covers are done by a very talented man named Stefano Vitale who lives in Venice.  I the author am in Sydney, and the publisher's in New York.  So an international effort all round.



Reblogged from Ivana - Diary Of Difference:
"When you lend someone some books, you get them back. Except the ones you really want to keep."

Marphy's law

Congratulations to the giveaway winners!

The Ionia Sanction - Gary Corby Sacred Games - Gary Corby

Congratulations to the winners of my three lots of giveaways.


If you won a copy then you're about to get an email from me, just to confirm we've got you on the distribution list.  If you're on the list and you don't hear from me in the next few hours, do please let me know!




Sacred Games

Sacred Games - Gary Corby

The last tattered shreds of my self-modesty forbid me to comment about a book I wrote.   So I'll restrict myself to inserting the Publishers Weekly review.  (Click on the post title to take you to the original).


The Olympic Games of 460 B.C.E. form the backdrop for Australian author Corby’s third mystery featuring Athenian investigator Nicolaos (after 2011’s The Ionia Sanction), his best thus far.


Before they even begin, Nico’s oldest friend, Timodemus, a martial arts champion, is goaded into a public fight by his fiercest rival, a Spartan named Arakos. That confrontation makes Timodemus the prime suspect after Arakos is found battered to death.


Desperate to save his friend from summary execution, Nico manages to convince “the Ten Judges of the Games” to give him several days to find the truth. Doing so could avert a war between Athens and Sparta. Partnered with a Spartan, Markos, to avert bias in his findings, and aided by his feisty fiancée, Diotima, Nico has an especially twisted path to tread to reach an answer in time.


Corby integrates the political intrigue of the day with fair-play plotting and welcome doses of humor. Fans of Steven Saylor’s Gordianus novels will be enthralled.



In fact this whole post is a test to see if I can work out how to post anything on BookLikes.  All the other posts I have up here are imports from GoodReads Amazon.

Source: http://GaryCorby.com

The Pericles Commission

The Pericles Commission - Gary Corby I can't find any other way to do it, so I'm inserting here the review of The Pericles Commission from Publishers Weekly. It's a starred review!---Those who like their historicals with a touch of humor will welcome Australian author Corby's promising debut, set in fifth-century B.C.E. Greece. When the arrow-pierced body of Ephialtes, the main force behind democratic reform in Athens, literally falls at the feet of Nicolaos, a sculptor's son expected to follow in his father's footsteps, fate hands Nicolaos another career. Ephialtes's politician friend, Pericles, who appears on the scene moments after the murder, is impressed enough by Nicolaos's preliminary conclusions to hire him to solve the crime. Members of the Areopagus, the city's ruling council, had the most to lose from Ephialtes's policies, but the neophyte detective finds that not even his exalted employer is above suspicion. The bodies pile up as the investigation continues, leading to a dramatic climax in which Nicolaos's survival hinges on his cracking the mystery. Corby displays a real gift for pacing and plotting. (Oct.)

Jack Russell Dog Detective #3: The Mugged Pug

The Mugged Pug  - Daniel & Sally Odgers, Sally Odgers, Janine Dawson Here's one for the little people in your life. It can be quite tricky to encourage children to read mysteries; most of the crimes just aren'tappropriate for small children. So Jack Russell is a great idea, wellwritten. My 8 year old loved it. So did my wife. So did I. And it makes a terrific change from reading the interminable Rainbow Fairies.The story works well even for small children because it breaks for "Jack's Facts" along the way, which summarizes what Jack's discovered. And I loved the "Jack's Glossary" boxes which explain standard crime-terms in a unique way. Doggo obbo: an observation carried out by dogs. Steak-out: a place where detectives can watch suspects and eat at the same time.This from the jacket: "What's happening to the collars of Doggeroo? First Shuffle the Pug gets mugged. Then the ranger catches him without his collar. So when Red's collar is stolen, Jack knows he has a case on his hands. Will an attack of the Jack-pack be enough to nobble the mugger? Can Jack get to the bottom of -- THE MUGGED PUG?"

The Praise Singer

The Praise Singer - Mary Renault Mary Renault's series of Greek novels are an amazing rendition of the Greek world, and of them all I think The Praise Singer is possibly the best. Simple and direct, with vivid detail, it tells the life story of the poet Simonides. Simonides lived at a time of great upheaval: the period when the great tyrants of Hellas were falling, and Athens began her first important steps to democracy. Simonides' long life meant he was there for the Persian Wars, and he is credited by some with the famous epitaph over the graves of the fallen at Thermopylae, though interestingly Renault has it otherwise in her version. If I have any criticism to make of her books, it is that they concentrate heavily on the people, so that someone who isn't familiar with Greek history might not fully appreciate the important events unfolding about the characters. But you can't have everything, and she certainly delivers on what she promises. Read this book for a good look at life in ancient Greece, seen through the eyes of a great poet, as written by a great writer.

The Flanders Panel

The Flanders Panel - Arturo Perez-Reverte The Flanders Panel would probably be shelved in mainstream lit, but it is in fact a mystery, and a very good one.Art expert Julia is commissioned to retore a 15th century minormasterpiece called The Game Of Chess, which includes, naturallyenough, a game of chess between two historical people, one of them aknight. When she takes X-rays, Julia discovers that beneath the paintis the message, "Who killed the knight?" Some quick research showsthat the historical knight was, in fact, murdered.Fascinated, Julia begins the research to answer the question. Itseems the answer is locked inside the chess puzzle within thepainting. Then people in the modern world begin to die, somehowconnected with the The Game Of Chess.Perez-Reverte is a famous Spanish novelist. He's probably best knownin the English speaking world for The Fencing Master, which was madeinto a film. The Flanders Panel in my view is easily his best work.

Dark Assassin: A William Monk Novel (William Monk Novels)

Dark Assassin - Anne Perry Inspector William Monk finds himself working for the Thames River Police. When he sees a man and woman fall to their deaths into the Thames, he begins an investigation which takes him deep beneath London.This is another quality historical mystery from Anne Perry set in Victorian London.

The Fairy Tale Detectives (The Sisters Grimm, Book 1)

The Fairy-Tale Detectives - Peter Ferguson, Michael Buckley My daughters have finished The Sisters Grimm - The FairytaleDetectives, which is the first in the series by Michael Buckley, andit's really quite good!The idea is that two sisters, Sabrina and Daphne, are the directdescendants of...you guessed it... the Brothers Grimm, and that thefamous fairytales are in fact true crime reports from the land ofEverafter. Sabrina and Daphne find themselves with their own crimeto solve, and away we go.Recommended for the 8 to 12 year old children in your life, and whenthe kids are finished the grown-ups can read it too for a chuckle.

Medusa (Aurelio Zen Mystery)

Medusa - Michael Dibdin A terrific addition to the Aurelio Zen series of mysteries. I particularly liked the refreshingly original solution, which makes perfect sense, but is one I don't think I've come across before.

Ruso & the Disappearing Dancing Girls (Medicus Investigations 1)

Ruso and the Disappearing Dancing Girls (Medicus Investigations #1) - Ruth Downie A terrific opening to an ancient mystery series. Ruso is a Roman, a rather put-upon army doctor in an out of the way locale called Britain, right at the start of the reign of Hadrian. Ruso's divorced, he has financial problems, and he has a surplus of dead dancing girls arriving at the army base where he serves. How he deals with all his problems, and with his difficult slave Tilla, keeps the book ticking along beautifully, with dry humour, eccentric characters, and enough twists to keep a mystery fan happy.If you read this one, you'll want to read the whole series.___(I should mention that Ruth Downie is an over-the-net acquaintance of mine, that we both write historical mysteries set in the ancient world (mine are Greek, not Roman), and we are both published by Penguin. Other than that, I am entirely objective in my review...really truly.)

Clea's Moon (John Horn)

Clea's Moon - Edward Wright It's good. The hero John Ray Horn is interesting: a down and out former Hollywood cowboy star of the 1940s. There's an interesting role reversal where his Indian sidekick in the movies ends up as Horn's boss in a loan shark business. (That's not a spoiler; it comes out in the first chapter as part of the premise.)It would probably be appreciated even more by someone who was a fan of old cowboy movies. There's an interesting medley of underworld figures, and the crime is unusual for that time period. Definitely worth a read.

Nox Dormienda: A Long Night for Sleeping (An Arcturus Mystery)

Nox Dormienda: A Long Night for Sleeping - Kelli Stanley Roman noir, set in Britain at the height of the Roman Empire. Kelli's voice is unique: very much New York harboiled PI, but in the muddy streets of Londinium and surrounds. A fun read!