Books by Anna Apostolou

A MURDER IN THEBES by Anna Apostolou
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Dec. 8, 1998

Has Alexander of Macedon been killed with his army in Thessaly even before he can become Alexander the Great? No, he's alive and in fighting trim. But the rumors of his defeat and death are so threatening to his dreams of unifying Greece against the growing Persian enemy that it's doubly important his siege of Thebes be successful. Even when the city of the fabled King Oedipus obligingly falls to the conqueror, Alexander's scorched-earth victory is poisoned by his failure to secure the Iron Crown of Oedipus, a relic jealously guarded by the keepers of a local shrine, and by the death of his trusted officer Memnon, who unaccountably plunged to his death from a tower window dressed in full battle gear. It's murder, of course, and only the first of several acts in a bloody chapter that will feature the limping ghost of Thebes' most famous citizen, provide endless grist for Alexander's twin Israelite clerks Miriam and Simeon Bartimaeus (A Murder in Macedon, 1997), and have even the most tenderhearted readers forgetting about the burning of Thebes. The only downside for non-Theban partisans is that the homicidal toll grows so great (to an even dozen, by our count) that there's not much room for incidents that don't involve the discovery of more corpses. Pseudonymous Apostolou provides painless historical sidelights while her heroine continues to make up in detective acumen what she lacks in personality. Read full book review >
A MURDER IN MACEDON by Anna Apostolou
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Nov. 13, 1997

Not just any murder, either; it's the assassination of Philip of Macedon. Scores of witnesses saw Pausanias, commander of Philip's palace guard, stab his master to death as he entered the amphitheater to be hailed as captain general of Greece. But since they also saw Pausanias buried under the blows of his former underlings in the guard (shades of Jack Ruby) moments after the assassination, questions still abound. Did Pausanias kill Philip in revenge for an exceptionally brutal prank his lord had connived at, or was he acting for someone else? And given the number of people with powerful reasons for wanting Philip dead- -his rejected former queen Olympias, his half-wit son Arridhaeus, his crafty chief of staff Antipater, the scheming orator Demosthenes, and Olympias' son Alexander, destined to succeed his father as Alexander the Great—which of them could it have been? These questions come from the historical record of Philip's death; pseudonymous Apostolou (``a critically acclaimed [British] author of historical mysteries'') adds a pair of upstart twins, Alexander's Jewish-Egyptian friends Miriam and Simeon Bartimaeus, to question Philip's intimates—one after another of them swimming into suspicion—to uncover their ties to a Persian conspiracy and the cult of a dead pharaoh; and finally to produce a handsome pair of surprises. Obviously modeled on Steven Saylor's tales of Imperial Rome, though the Bartimaeus twins have nothing like Gordianus the Finder's presence or wisdom. The centerpiece remains irrepressible Alexander, flexing his muscles like a young god. Read full book review >