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A DARKER GOD by Barbara Cleverly

A DARKER GOD

By Barbara Cleverly

Pub Date: March 23rd, 2010
ISBN: 978-0-385-33991-9
Publisher: Mortalis/Random

Marital and political discord in 1928 Athens.

Plucky Laetitia Talbot (Bright Hair About the Bone, 2008, etc.) and formidable Lady Maud Merriman are sitting together in an Athenian amphitheatre watching a dress rehearsal of Agamemnon directed by Lady Maud’s husband and Letty’s ex-lover, scholarly archeologist Sir Andrew. The rehearsal is ruined when Sir Andrew winds up in the bathtub instead of the cloth dummy meant to receive Agamemnon’s fatal wound to the heart. Whodunit falls to Scotland Yard Chief Inspector Percy Montacute, now seconded to Athens, and local security chief General Konstantinou. Percy immediately decides that Letty’s perfectly suited to be his second-in-command, and she obliges, somewhat to the chagrin of her lover, cleric William Gunning. Maud’s cousin Thetis, who played Clytemnestra and also happens to be another one of Sir Andrew’s lovers, is jailed on murder charges, then released in time to argue with the new widow before Maud takes a fatal header from a second-floor balcony. Letty, named prominently in Sir Andrew’s will, becomes a suspect. She’s shot at, then abducted, then forced to bargain for her life with a Macedonian bent on a vengeance to be taken at the rescheduled opening performance of Agamemnon to be attended by Prime Minister Venizelos and his wife. There’ll be more death along with a smattering of romance between Thetis and Percy before the final curtain rings down.

Archeological treasures, a reenactment of a classical Greek tragedy and Balkan politics vie rather unevenly for prominence in this heavy-handed third outing for Letty.