Before, during and after any trip I take, I try to read mysteries set in the destination. Here's what I've read so far about Greece - I was on vacation there from mid-May till mid-June.
These books run the gamut of contemporary, historical, police procedural (and at least one with a "woo woo" component).
Barbara Cleverly: Tomb of Zeus (2007) *** ½
Historical, set on the island of Crete in 1928.
Book # 1 with amateur archaeologist Laetitia Talbot
MBTB mini-review: After she is tossed out of Cambridge for bad behaviour, Laetitia goes to help with an archaeological dig in Greece. While there, she gets involved looking into the death of the head archaeologist’s wife. This was a re-read for me, and I liked it better now that I’ve been to Greece.
Book # 2 Bright Hair About the Bone is actually set earlier in time than this book, and could be read first.
* * *
Lindsay Davis: See Delphi and Die (2005)
** ½ for the mystery
*** for the description of traveling, the historical setting and the characters
Book # 17 with Marcus Didius Falco, an “informer” for Emperor Vespasian in 1st century Rome
Summary: Now married to his beloved Helena Justina, Marcus Didius Falco is hired to take on a murder investigation that will require him and Helena to travel to Olympia, Greece, to uncover the truth about a series of disappearances. NoveList
MBTB mini-review: The best parts, for me, were the descriptions of the ancient sites (Olympia, Athens and Delphi), ancient even then, and the tribulations of being a tourist. The characters were great, but the mystery didn't really catch my interest.
First book: Silver Pigs
* * *
Paul Johnston: A Deeper Shade of Blue (2002) ****
Private investigator, Greece
Book # 1 with Alex Mavros, a half-Greek, half-Scottish private investigator in Greece
Summary: When Alex Mavros is asked to track down a missing woman, he jumps at the chance to leave the stifling heat of Athens. Travelling to the small island of Trigono, he soon realizes that there is more than one mystery to be solved. How did a young couple drown in the nets of a fishing boat? Why did a British journalist leave without telling her friends? Why is the millionaire Theocharis so nervous and whose bones does old Maro keep beneath her bed? The answers lie in events that took place during the Second World War, events that tie in with the island's most ancient history. In a race to prevent a terrible crime being repeated, Alex Mavros is pitted against a ruthless and depraved killer... Fantastic Fiction
MBTB mini-review: Lots of action and interesting descriptions of the Greek islands. I liked the character of Alex and I'm going to track down Book # 2.
Next book: The Last Red Death
* * *
Jeffrey Siger: Assassins of Athens (2010) ** ½
Book # 2 with Andreas Kaldis, a Chief Inspector in Athens, Greece
Summary: Chief Inspector Andreas Kaldis investigates after the body of a boy from one of Greece's most prominent families turns up dead in a dumpster in Athens.
MBTB mini-review: a little over the top but good detail on Greece. Not bad, but I doubt if I would have read it if not for my upcoming trip.
First book: Murder on Mykonos
* * *
Mary Stewart: My Brother Michael (1959) ****
non-series, set in Greece
Summary: Camilla Haven and her mysterious companion, Simon, are plunged into a deadly adventure as they search Delphi for the truth implied in a letter Simon's brother, Michael, had written before his death.
MBTB mini-review: Nicely done romantic suspense, with a little more action and violence than I remembered, having read it for the first time several years ago.
* * *
Anne Zouroudi: The Messenger of Athens (2007) ***
Book # 1 with Hermes Diaktoros, the Fat Man, a mysterious investigator from Athens, Greece
Summary: Idyllic but remote, the Greek island of Thiminos seems untouched and untroubled by the modern world. When the battered body of a young woman is discovered at the foot of a cliff, the local police - governed more by archaic rules of honour than by the law - are quick to close the case, dismissing the death as an accident.
MBTB mini-review: Hermes Diaktoros is an otherworldly investigator, with mysterious powers connected to Greek mythology. He appears on a remote Greek island after the death of young woman is written off as suicide. About half the book takes place before the murder, setting the scene. I preferred the second half, reading about the unusual Hermes talking to people and solving the mystery. Nice descriptions, and the "woo woo" aspects were subtle and believable in context.
* * *
Try the Stop, You're Killing Me! location index - Greece for a few more suggestions.
I'm reviving the category Murder by the Book meeting lists for themed lists with star ratings. This category was used for several years to report the star ratings assigned by our mystery book group members after we discussed mysteries with a particular theme.
Check out the themed book lists Pat and I created, still available in the Readers' Cafe - Book and Author Lists - Mysteries
series descriptions from Stop, You're Killing Me!
posted by Sharon
WHAT I'M READING NOW:
by Jan Burke
Book # 11 with Irene Kelly, a newspaper reporter in southern California
Summary: When the master criminal sons of serial killer Nick Parrish formulate a plan to spring their father from prison, investigative journalist Irene Kelly finds herself targeted by a deadly vengeance plot. NoveList
First book: Goodnight Irene