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Reviewed by Delene Vrey for Readers' Favorite
The School of Homer by Alexander Marriott is a sleuthing adventure with Virgil Colvin, a retired Chicago cop, and his best friend, police chief Costas Pantakalas, on the Greek island of Ithaca. Virgil retired to the island after the death of his beloved wife. Six months after he settles on the island, he is woken by an earthquake. Soon after, Costas arrives at his villa, asking for help with a police matter. A murder victim was found at the feet of the statue of Odysseus in the town's square. For Costas, this is horrible as it is his first murder in Ithaca. Virgil and Costas try to retrace the steps of the murdered Brit. This takes them to the historical sites of Odyssean Ithaca. They visit each ancient site, garnering clues and discovering a wide net of conspiracies and weapons smuggling. With characters passionate about their various ideals, from the Communist Party leader to a British historian eager to remove evidence that could disprove his hypothesis that Ithaca is not truly Ithaca, many suspects are identified. What do they have in common to make them all suspects? Join Virgil and Costas in this humorous yet fast-paced mystery.
The School of Homer by Alexander Marriott is a crime story in the historical setting of Odysseus’ Ithaca, creating a mythological background. Any lover of the classics will be whisked away to a magical world. Imagine my gleeful reaction when the author mentioned the Loeb Classical Library translations, some of which I have on my bookshelf! The book is filled with references and allusions to Greek mythology, especially the Odyssey by Homer in the 7th century BC. Fans of the classical Greek writer and the story of the Iliad and the Odyssey will have an informative and visually vivid experience. The author describes the scenery with such love and detail that you will easily imagine standing next to Virgil, staring out at the blue Ionian Sea.