Athens, 460 B.C. Life's tough for Nicolaos, sole investigating agent in Athens. His girlfriend's left him and his boss wants to fire him. But when an Athenian official is murdered, Pericles has no choice but to put Nico on the job. The case takes Nico, with a beautiful slave girl, to the land of Ionia within the Persian Empire. The Persians will execute him on the spot if they think he's a spy. Beyond that, there are only a few minor problems: He's being chased by brigands who are only waiting for the right price before they kill him. He must meet Themistocles, the military genius who saved Greece during the Persian Wars, and then defected to the hated enemy. And to solve the crime, Nico must uncover a secret that could not only destroy Athens, but will force him to choose between love, ambition, and his own life.
I absolutely love the adventures of Nicolaus and Diotema. This time, the story is set in the court of Themistocles. The Author always puts humor into the "historical" setting, and there is much more sarcasm and humor to go around. It was great fun trying to figure out who was involved in the sordid mystery.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
For me this starts out with being one of the worst readers ever. I could never get interested in this book and the reader spoke in a monotone which added to the total boredom I felt.
I never got the feeling of the soceity of Ancient Greece despite the sprinkling of greek words and terms throughout the book. As for the mystery - is started out interesting and degenerated into a mind numbing account of travelling in the Greek and Persian world and their customs. There was no suspense in the mystery, which got lost in the description of the culture as the author understood it.
When you look at the great writers of mysteries set in the Ancient world -- like Lindsey Davis or Simon Scarrrow, who creat interesting characters and describe the culture in terms of their character interacting with it. You feel like you are living in Ancient Rome - I never felt that way about this book.
In this book there is no sense of the characters living in the culture - rather they are wooden persons dropped into a stage setting without being part of the society.
4 of 5 people found this review helpful