This is the first of a series of detective novels set in the time of Artistotle in the Ancient Greece. It’s written in the style of Sherlock Holmes; that is, the sidekick is thelling the story in the first person.

Young Stephanos is a not in the best of places in his life: even though he’s a well-off citizen, he’s father has recently died and left him as the sole male in the family with quite a few responsibilities. Additionally, Stephanos was trying to arrange his own marriage but is now unable to because of his financies. He took stroll during the evening and noticed commotion coming from his neighbor’s house. Curious, he went inside only to hear that the master of the house, the honorable Boutades, has been brutally murder by an arrow through his neck. Stephanos staid to look at the body and to look outside with the others who have come to satisfy their curiosity. But during the burial Stephanos hears much to his horror that Boutados’ closest male relative, Polygnotos, accuses Stephanos’ cousin for the murder.

Stephanos’ cousin Philemon has been exiled a few years ago from Athens so he can’t defend himself and so Stephanos must defend him so that his family isn’t shamed. Therefore Stephanos asks his old mentor Aristotle to help him puzzle out a defend or maybe even the murderer. Stephanos’ primary defense, that Philemon couldn’t be in the city, turns out to be questionable at best.

As far as I can tell, the mileu is historically correct as are the three hearings, prodikasia, before the final trial. Unfortunately, the mystery itself isn’t particularly brilliant or surprising but neither is it disappointing, either. However, since I love the era, I might get the next one in the series.

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