The Marathon Conspiracy
A Nicolaos, Ancient Greece Mystery by Gary Corby
Review: When the remains of the tyrant Hippias are found in a cave, it should be a cause for celebration to the residents of Athens. But there are unanswered questions associated with the discovery, one that leading politician Pericles wants answers to, and he directs his investigator Nicolaos to find them, in The Marathon Conspiracy, the fourth mystery in this series by Gary Corby.
Hippias was thought to have escaped to Persia, where he presumably died, following his defeat at the battle of Marathon thirty years earlier. His bones — and evidence found with him seem to prove they are his — strongly suggest otherwise. So what happened after the battle? Someone must have seen him; indeed, as his skull is partially caved in, someone must have murdered him. But what concerns Nico the most is the fact that one of the two young girls, who found the body, is dead, the other missing. Students at the Sanctuary of Artemis, it is here that Nico and his fiancée start their investigation. But then another question arises, the answer to which may be the key to everything else: a case capable of holding five scrolls was found by the girls and turned in, though only four scrolls were delivered to authorities in Athens. Was there a fifth scroll in the case, and if so, why did someone remove it?
This series of mysteries set in ancient Greece is an entertaining one, and The Marathon Conspiracy is a solid entry in it, even if the central whodunit plotline is rather thinly developed. It is probably not unexpected that Nico's primary concern is the safety of the missing girl, if she is still alive, and that is where much of the story is directed. There's a fair amount of credible misdirection, but finding the missing girl doesn't necessarily equate to solving the mystery of who killed her classmate, or by extension, who may have killed Hippias. All is revealed at the end, of course, but it feels rushed and without much foundation. Still, Nico and his fiancée Diotima are engaging investigators, their respective strengths balancing the other's weaknesses, and the contemporary feel of the narrative and dialog makes the lives and practices of the ancient Greeks quite approachable. A lengthy Author's Notes follows the conclusion, which makes for a fine companion to the story, giving a historical perspective to much of what appeared in the text.
Acknowledgment: Soho Press provided an ARC of The Marathon Conspiracy for this review.
Review Copyright © 2014 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
Selected reviews of other mysteries by this author …
Soho Crime (Hardcover), May 2013
ISBN-13: 9781616952273; ISBN-10: 161695227X
Location(s) referenced in The Marathon Conspiracy: Athens, Greece
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The Marathon Conspiracy by Gary Corby — A Nicolaos, Ancient Greece Mystery
Publisher: Soho Crime
Publication Date: May 2014
List Price: $27.95
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Page Author: Lance Wright
Site Publisher: Mysterious Reviews
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