Monday, October 10, 2011
Crime Fiction on a EuroPass - Ancient & Modern Greece
Every time someone orders flaming saganaki in a Greek restaurant out here in Chicago the entire restaurant shouts out "Opa!" I think this is something oddly peculiar to Greek restaurants in the Windy City, especially if you happen to be eating at The Parthenon, a 40 year old restaurant in GreekTown where the dish of cheese set on fire originated. Anyway, I couldn't resist that since we're in Greece this week for the EuroPass Challenge sponsored by Mysteries in Paradise. For your reading pleasure I have found a few books set in both ancient and modern Greece.
Gladys Mitchell wrote two books set in Greece. They are slightly related to each other. First is Come Away, Death (1937) which takes Mrs. Bradley on a tour of Greece along with twelve others including the tour host Sir Rudri Hopkinson who plans to recreate rituals at the ruined temples in hopes of summoning the goddess Demeter. Mysterious happenings with a statue, poisonous vipers, blood sacrifice and a severed head all play a part in this typically odd detective story from the eccentric Gladys Mitchell and her equally eccentric psychiatrist sleuth Dame Beatrice Bradley.
For those who enjoy historical mysteries I can highly recommend the trio of books by Paul Doherty which feature Alexander the Great and his physician/advisor Telemon. I previously reviewed at length the second book The Godless Man which you can read here. Each of the books features at least one impossible crime and sometimes also a locked room mystery. There are multiple crimes committed by various gruesome means. Often the books will have more than one murderer at work. It is war time and there is much skulduggery and espionage working their insidious way into the intricate, sometimes complex, but thoroughly engaging stories.