Another enjoyable episode in this series. Corby does a great job evoking ancient Athens while completely avoiding tedious pedantry; and he has his characters speaking in normal English without it seeming jarring or out of place.

The mystery in this episode is the sabotage of one of the plays being put on at the festival of Dionysius, and the murder of one of the actors in that play. The two events are seemingly related, though Nico and Diotima are smart enough not to assume that they definitely are. There are basically no suspects for the sabotage, and far too many for the murder. But as the investigation proceeds, they basically have no evidence or even any good reason to believe that any of the suspects actually committed the crime. Nico eventually comes to the right conclusion by way of a flash of insight - a bit of cheating, really, since there really was no evidence tying the murderer to the crime, and had the murderer not confessed after being confronted, there would have been no basis for prosecution. So, a sort of Perry Mason conclusion to the case.

Nonetheless, this is a fun read. I also enjoyed Corby’s historical notes at the end of the book, where he explains what parts of the story are historically accurate, which might be sort of historical, and which parts he made from whole cloth.



Book cover

Metadata Info

  • Title: Death Ex Machina (The Athenian Mysteries, #5)
  • Author: Gary Corby
  • Published: 2015
  • ISBN: 1616955198
  • Buy: Amazon search
  • Check out: Seattle library
  • Rating: 4.0 stars