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The Singer from Memphis: An Athenian Mystery    by Gary Corby order for
Singer from Memphis
by Gary Corby
Order:  USA  Can
Soho, 2016 (2016)
Hardcover, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Bob Walch

The sixth title in this mystery series set in ancient Athens is one of the better ones Gary Corby has penned. The series' hero, Nicolaos (Athens' only private investigator) is hired by a young author named Herodotus to accompany him on a trip to Egypt, where he plans to do research for a history book he wants to write.

With the country experiencing a rebellion against the Persians and three different armies seeking to control the land, it isn't the safest place to visit at this time. Nico, along with his wife Diotima, accepts the assignment because there is more at stake here than just keeping an eye on a fact seeking writer.

Charged by Pericles, one of Athens' most powerful politicians, Nico is also to act as an agent for the Hellenes and assist one of the rebellion's leaders if asked to do so. Of course that request will be forthcoming once he is in Egypt and Nico will be enlisted to find the legendary crook and flail, which will legitimize the rebel's claim to the country's throne.

Naturally, a number of other agents are also searching for these objects of authority; thus Nico and Diotima will find themselves in a hotbed of intrigue far from their home. Complicating matters will be the introduction of a new, revolutionary weapon (the crossbow) that could well affect the battles to come and alter the course of history in this part of the world.

For those who have followed the adventures of this unusual sleuth, you'll not want to miss this episode because some old adversaries will reappear and some long running conflicts will finally be resolved.

Gary Corby has imbued this unusual series with plenty of facts about the period it is set in, thus making it one that many readers have found of more than just passing interest. Supplying a historical timeline also makes it easy to keep the facts straight, while a list of characters will assist in identifying the good guys from the villains.

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