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Death Comes by Amphora: A Mystery Novel of Ancient Athens Kindle Edition
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Set in 461 B.C., DEATH COMES BY AMPHORA begins with Lysanias, an 18 year old innocent, who has just been summoned back to Athens from one of the colonies to find his Uncle Klereides has died in a most suspicious manner. Lysanias finds himself the new head of the household with only his elderly slave, Sindron, to guide him. A new radical element has arisen in Athens which is trying to drive General Kimon out of power. Amidst the corruption and political intrigue of Athenian society, Lysanias must learn how to become a player both to solve and avenge his uncle's death. He employs an effective disguise to examine the scene of the murder himself:
"The next morning at dawn, there Lysanias was, approaching the hiring line on the southern slope of Market Hill, dressed in his worker's tunic, his tool bag slung from his shoulder, his ribbon tucked away inside it, breaking the rules again. Well, it depends whether one counts yesterday or today as the fourth day, he thought wryly. It felt strange to be again in the familiar garb, after the last few days playing the role of a wealthy heir. Now here he was pretending to be what he regarded as his real self; and with no Sindron to fall back on for advice..."
Roger Hudson has written a truly original and amazing book. The research involved must have been massive. Not only does he plot an excellent mystery with intriguing characters; he re-creates the fascinating world of Ancient Athens for the reader's entertainment. His whodunit is sophisticated, and his treatment of the coming of age of Lysanias, complete with his sexual education, is inspired. This is a great book and a wonderful read that can't help but teach as well as entertain.
If this was all there was to this novel, it would be a fine read. But, just as there is more to the death of Lysanias' uncle than meets the eye, there is also more to this novel than just the solving of a murder.
The authenticity of the world created by Hudson in this novel gives it a credibility--and a depth--found in historical novels. The transformation of Lysandius from naive teenager to self-confident young man is a subtle coming of age story that is well earned. The evolution of Lysanias' relationship with his slave, and the growing respect within that relationship, adds texture. And, to add a even a little more spice, Hudson has thrown you a bit of a love story.
DEATH COMES BY AMPHORA is layered and textured in ways that will constantly surprise you. As you travel with Lysanias and Sindron through the streets of ancient Athens, you will meet a rich mixture of real and fictional characters that will involve you in Athenian politics, intrigue, corruption--and, sometimes, good old fashioned political gossip. You'll learn about ancient Athens and solve mysteries. You'll meet and develop your own relationships with the characters he creates. And, quite simply, you'll enjoy a good read.
Read on September 27, 2016
Excellent mystery set in ancient Greece with relatable characters and an interesting glimpse into life of the time. The imagery and attention to detail enhanced the suspense and kept me engrossed. Publisher's blurb is actually useful.
There is exceptional detail provided into the surroundings and the lives of the characters. And yet while reading it, I was completely engrossed in the mystery and intrigue. The author has taken great care to give perspectives of each of the characters from the slave, to the most powerful and wealthy. Together with the plot, I found this book to be a very nice blend of timeless intrigue and a fascinating snapshot of the past.