JM Alvey - Shadows of Athens - Orion Publishing Group

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    • ISBN:9781409180760
    • Publication date:07 Mar 2019
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    • ISBN:9781409180647
    • Publication date:07 Mar 2019

Shadows of Athens

By JM Alvey

  • Paperback
  • £8.99

There's a new detective in the agora
When Philocles the playwright discovers a murdered man outside his front door in Athens he has no idea quite how far his investigations will take him...

443 BC, and, after decades of war with Persia, peace has finally come to Athens. The city is being rebuilt, and commerce and culture are flourishing.

Aspiring playwright Philocles has come home to find a man with his throat cut slumped against his front gate. Is it just a robbery gone wrong? But, if so, why didn't the thieves take the dead man's valuables? With the play that could make his name just days away, he must find out who this man is, why he has been murdered - and why the corpse was left in his doorway.

But Philocles soon realises he has been caught up in something far bigger, and there are those who don't want him looking any further . . .

Biographical Notes

J M Alvey studied Classics at Oxford in the 1980s. As an undergraduate, notable achievements in startling tutors included citing the comedic principles of Benny Hill in a paper on Aristophanes, and using military war-gaming rules to analyse and explain apparent contradictions in historic accounts of the Battle of Thermopylae. Crime fiction was always relaxation reading and that love of mysteries and thrillers continued through a subsequent, varied career, alongside an abiding fascination with history and the ancient world.

  • Other details

  • ISBN: 9781409180630
  • Publication date: 07 Mar 2019
  • Page count: 320
  • Imprint: Orion
There is a new star in the classical firmament. Philocles is engaging, inspiring and feels absolutely real. This is historical writing at its best and crime writing worthy of prizes. Riveting — Manda Scott, author of the Boudica series

Historical sleuthing finally gets its grown-up trousers. The book's got wit and knowledge and the winning knack of immersing the reader in ancient Greece and the whole theatrical scene there. It shows a thorough understanding of time and place, and has a dark heart of thuggery and murder.
Finally, someone has taken on Saylor and Davis and brought us out of Rome at last!

— Robert Low, author of the Oathsworn series
If you like C J Sansom's Tudor sleuth Matthew Shardlake, you'll love this - a gripping murder mystery set in a fantastically fully-realised ancient Athens, which will keep you guessing to the very end — James Wilde, author of HEREWARD and PENDRAGON
Historical crime writing that virtually reinvents the genre. Ancient Athens is recreated with a masterly touch, while the beleaguered Philocles is the perfect protagonist to lead us through this vividly evoked menacing world — Barry Forshaw, Financial Times crime critic
I loved it; great sense of place, terrific characters and a cracking plot — Joanne Harris, author of CHOCOLAT
As vivid and lively as a Greek wedding - but with rather more blood! — Val McDermid, author of the Kate Brannigan Mysteries
Intriguing . . . a refreshingly different setting portrayed with a convincing air of authenticity. I hope it's the first of many — Andrew Taylor, author of ASHES OF LONDON
It's about time someone did for ancient Athens what Lindsey Davis' Falco novels do for Ancient Rome. Alvey sets the scene perfectly, with easy brushstrokes and lightly worn learning. In Philocles we have an aspiring playwright, man of the people and reluctant detective. I look forward to his next case... — Jack Grimwood, author of MOSKVA
Alvey has combined the best features of a crime novel and a work of historical fiction. The result is a pacy, exciting and intelligent story set in a rich world overlooked by most modern novelists. The plot is clever and solidly rooted in history, the characters vivid, sympathetic and lifelike and the world of Athens is gloriously recreated. Best of all, for me, while Shadows of Athens is taut and historically detailed, it also displays a quirky sense of humour - [I] loved it — Simon Turney, author of CALIGULA
The historical detail is excellent, and the story and characters expertly spun out - a very entertaining and satisfying read — Glyn Iliffe, author of The Adventures of Odysseus series

Christian Cameron

Christian Cameron is a writer and military historian. He participates in re-enacting and experimental archaeology, teaches armoured fighting and historical swordsmanship, and takes his vacations with his family visiting battlefields, castles and cathedrals. He lives in Toronto and is busy writing his next novel.

Christopher Priest

Christopher Priest's novels have built him an inimitable dual reputation as a contemporary literary novelist and a leading figure in modern SF and fantasy. His novel THE PRESTIGE is unique in winning both a major literary prize (THE JAMES TAIT BLACK AWARD and a major genre prize THE WORLD FANTASY AWARD); THE SEPARATION won both the ARTHUR C. CLARKE and the BRITISH SCIENCE FICTION AWARDS. THE ISLANDERS won both the BSFA and John W. Campbell awards. He was selected for the original BEST OF YOUNG BRITISH NOVELISTS in 1983.

Craig Johnson

Craig Johnson is the New York Times bestselling author of the Longmire mysteries, the basis for the hit Netflix original series Longmire. He is the recipient of the Western Writers of America Spur Award for fiction, the Mountains and Plains Booksellers Award for fiction, the Nouvel Observateur Prix du Roman Noir, and the Prix SNCF du Polar. His novella Spirit of Steamboat was the first One Book Wyoming selection. He lives in Ucross, Wyoming, USA, population twenty-five.

Dan Sheehan

Dan Sheehan received his MFA from University College Dublin. His writing has appeared in the IRISH TIMES, the LOS ANGELES REVIEW OF BOOKS, GUERNICA, TRIQUARTERLY, WORDS WITHOUT BORDERS, BOMB, and ELECTRIC LITERATURE, among others. He currently works as an editor at Literary Hub and lives with his wife Téa Obreht in New York. RESTLESS SOULS is his first novel.@danpjsheehan

Daniel Cole

At 33 years old, Daniel Cole has worked as a paramedic, an RSPCA officer and most recently for the RNLI, driven by an intrinsic need to save people or perhaps just a guilty conscience about the number of characters he kills off in his writing. On writing his debut novel RAGDOLL, which began life as an unproduced television pilot, Daniel says: 'After five years of rejections, I had a yearning to actually finish one of my stories rather than leave it collecting dust with the others under my bed. With no formal training at all, I feel I wrote the book very selfishly, with the aim of creating something that I, personally, would love: as shocking as it is humorous, as thought-provoking as it is relentlessly entertaining, and with a cast of characters who feel like friends by the end of it.' He currently lives in sunny Bournemouth and can usually be found down the beach when he ought to be writing book two instead.

Domenic Stansberry

DOMENIC STANSBERRY is the Edgar Award-winning author of ten novels and a collection of stories, including THE ANCIENT RAIN (one of Booklist's best crime novels of the last decade). THE WHITE DEVIL - 'a glittering noir triumph' (Irish Times) - was the winner of the 2016 Hammett Prize for best crime fiction.

Donald Thomas

Donald Thomas was born in Somerset and educated at Queen's College, Taunton, and Balliol College, Oxford. He was the author of numerous crime novels include two collections of Sherlock Holmes stories and a hugely successful historical detective series written under the pen name Francis Selwyn, as well as gritty police procedurals written under the name of Richard Dacre. He was also the author of seven biographies and a number of other non-fiction works, and won the Gregory Prize for his poems POINTS OF CONTACT.

Ed McDonald

Ed McDonald has spent many years moving between different professions, cities and countries, but the only thing any of them share in common is that they have allowed him enough free time to write. He currently lives in London, a city that provides him with constant inspiration. When he's not wrangling with misbehaving plot lines he can usually be found fencing with longswords, rapiers and pollaxes.

Edna O'Brien

Since her debut novel THE COUNTRY GIRLS, Edna O'Brien has written over twenty works of fiction along with a biography of James Joyce and Lord Byron. She is the recipient of many awards including the Irish Pen Lifetime Achievement Award, the American National Art's Gold Medal and the Ulysses Medal. Born and raised in the west of Ireland she has lived in London for many years.

Elisa Lodato

Elisa Lodato grew up in London and read English at Pembroke College, Cambridge. After graduating she went to live in Japan where she spent a year teaching, travelling and learning to speak the language. On returning to the UK she spent many happy years working for Google before training to become an English teacher. Helping pupils to search for meaning in a text inspired Elisa to take up the pen and write her own. Her first novel, AN UNREMARKABLE BODY, was longlisted for the Bath Novel Award 2016. Elisa lives in Surrey with her husband and two children.

Ella Griffin

Ella Griffin was born in Dublin. She was an award-winning advertising copywriter before she took the leap into fiction. She has written three novels since 2011. She writes about love and loss and loves making readers laugh and cry (sometimes on the same page.) Ella lives with her husband in County Wicklow in Ireland.You can find Ella at www.ellagriffin.com, Facebook/EllaGriffinAuthor and @EllaGriffin1

Elmore Leonard

Elmore Leonard was born in New Orleans in 1925. He wrote forty-five books during his phenomenal career, including the bestsellers MR PARADISE, TISHOMINGO BLUES, BE COOL and THE HOT KID. Many have been made into successful movies, including GET SHORTY with John Travolta, OUT OF SIGHT with George Clooney and RUM PUNCH, which became Tarantino's JACKIE BROWN. He is the recipient of the Cartier Diamond Dagger Award and the PEN USA Lifetime Achievement Award. He died in 2013 in Detroit.www.elmoreleonard.com

Emily Fridlund

Emily Fridlund grew up in Minnesota. She holds an MFA from Washington University in St. Louis and a PhD in Literature and Creative Writing from the University of Southern California. Her collection of stories, CATAPULT, was chosen by Ben Marcus for the Mary McCarthy Prize. She lives in the Finger Lakes region of New York. HISTORY OF WOLVES is her first novel.

Eric Idle

Eric Idle is a comedian, actor, author and singer-songwriter who found immediate fame on television with the sketch-comedy show MONTY PYTHON'S FLYING CIRCUS. Following its success, the Pythons began making films that include MONTY PYTHON AND THE HOLY GRAIL (1975), MONTY PYTHON'S LIFE OF BRIAN (1979) and THE MEANING OF LIFE (1983). Eric also wrote the award-winning musical SPAMALOT. He lives in Los Angeles.

Erica James

Erica James is the number one international bestselling author of twenty novels, including the Sunday Times top ten bestsellers Summer at the Lake, The Dandelion Years and Song of the Skylark. She has sold over five million books worldwide and her work has been translated into twelve languages. Erica won the Romantic Novel of the Year Award for her novel Gardens of Delight, set in beautiful Lake Como, Italy, which has become a second home to her. Her authentic characters are thanks to her insatiable appetite for other people's business and a willingness to strike up a conversation with just about anybody.To find out more, visit her website or follow her on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram.www.ericajames.co.ukT@TheEricaJamesf/ericajamesauthor/I/the_ericajames

Fiona Ford

Fiona Ford was born in Cornwall and grew up in Bath. As well as having a thirst for books Fiona had a huge interest in history and adored listening to her grandfather talk about his time in the navy during World War Two. Together they spent many a happy afternoon poring over the large collection of photos he had taken travelling the globe, somehow managing to perfectly capture life during wartime. Although Fiona went on to develop a successful career as a journalist, she never forgot her passion for the past. Now, Fiona has combined her love of writing with her love of days gone by in The Spark Girl, the first in a series of wartime sagas.Find out more about Fiona by following her on twitter @fionajourno, or visiting her website www.fionaford.co.uk.

Fliss Chester

Fliss Chester spent ten years as a journalist, writing about lifestyle and interiors, sampling the offerings in London's bars and restaurants, press junkets and parties. Now she is co-owner of an independent wine merchant, based in the Surrey Hills. Never one to let a holiday get in the way of a wine tasting, Fliss adores combining her love of wine with her passion for writing - and has tasted her way around France, Spain and even Georgia while writing her novels.

Flynn Berry

FLYNN BERRY is a graduate of the Michener Center and has been awarded a Yaddo residency. She graduated from Brown University.Her first novel, UNDER THE HARROW, was awarded the Edgar Award for Best First Novel and was called 'a triumph' (Sunday Times) and 'thrilling' (New York Times). She lives in California.

Francesca Jakobi

Francesca studied psychology at the University of Sussex, followed by a stint teaching English in Turkey and the Czech Republic. On returning to her native London she got a job as a reporter on a local paper and has worked in journalism ever since. She's currently a layout editor at the FINANCIAL TIMES. BITTER is her first novel.

Geoffrey Household

Geoffrey Household was a prolific novelist of political thrillers and suspense stories, most notably the classic ROGUE MALE, which, THE TIMES recently declared, 'remains as exciting and probing as ever'. He was as widely travelled as the settings of his books suggest: after graduating from Magdalen College, Oxford, with a first in English literature he worked abroad for twenty-five years, and served in British Intelligence during World War Two in Greece and the Middle East. He married twice and eventually settled in the English countryside with his wife and three children.