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N/A Family, Vengeance, and Law in SONS OF SPARTA--The 6th in Jeffrey Siger's Andreas Kaldis Series 0 1
     The previous five books in the Andreas Kaldis series are set in Mykonos, Athens, Tinos, and Patmos.  This sixth mystery takes Siger's readers to a little-known and remote area of Greece, the southernmost part of the Peloponnese Peninsula known as the Mani.  Here ancient codes conflict with modern laws, and personal vendettas as well as blood feuds among families go on for decades and even centuries.  In the early nineteenth-century, a medical student is called back from Athens to the Mani and instructed by his father to kill his sister and her lover, who have disgraced the family.  The aftermath of this murder explodes when Andreas Kaldis and his right-hand investigator, Yianni Kouros, find themselves in the Mani,  investigating separate crimes that converge before a surprising and shocking conclusion.
N/A Images of War in Tina Whittle's BLOOD, ASH & BONE 0 1
This mystery is the third in Tina Whittles Tai Randolph series.  Tai (short for Theresa Ann) is southern woman brought up in Savannah and now a resident of Atlanta.  She owns a gun shop left to her by a relative, but what she really wants to do is be a private detective.  She also has one of the most unusual boyfriends in crime fiction, Trey Seavers, an ex-cop whose has had an accident that has caused him brain damage.  At a Civil War Expo in Savannah, Tai is confronted with finding a stolen Bible that would yield a high price among those who collect Civil War memorabilia.  She must also extricate herself from a stolen identity crisis and try to make sense out of some murders.  This is an enjoyable mystery but it is also so much more.

Blood, Ash & Bone is being posted under Crime Fiction and Culture because its setting, a southern city in the midst of a fair that will recreate the southern past for visitors who think they are seeing Gone with the Wincome to life. For tourists, Savannah is as exotic as any remote, foreign place.  Amusingly, tour guides will cater to the illusions of the tourists.  Frighteningly, the past has to do with the battlefields of Vicksburg and Gettysburg, where multiple thousands of men died, some of them brothers fighting on opposite sides.  The re-enactments that take place in this book hardly recreate that horror.  And as part of the contrasts between illusion and reality, the illusions that come from momentary passion sometimes mask the reality that what goes on in the human
brain is not something that can be ignored.


N/A Outsiders in Africa, STRANGE GODS by Annamaria Alfieri 0 1
This is the first of Alfieri's series set in East Africa.  The time is 1911 in the British Protectorate and a Scottish physician working in the Scottish Mission hospital has been murdeered with a Maasai spear. Suspicion falls on a Kikuyu witch doctor and the family of the murdered man is caught up in the mystery because the victim was the brother-in-law of the head of the mission, the Reverend McIntosh. Meanwhile a growing love between McIntosh's daughter Vera and the English policeman who is reluctant to rush to judgment, Justin Tolliver, develops as differing views about the role of the British in the Protectorate not onlhy reveals a conflict between cultures but conflicts within the same culture. 

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N/A Worshiping Dead Gods: Jeffrey Siger's MURDER IN MYKONOS Barbara Leavy
Abstract 1

Murder in Mykonos is the first of Jeffrey Siger's Andreas Kaldis mysteries, each of the four set in different parts of Greece: Mykonos, Athens, Patmos, and Tinos.  The fifth book will return Kaldis to Mykonos.  The plot of the first is easy to follow.  Andreas has been assigned to Mykonos as its Chief of Police. He is unhappy to leave the homicide division of the Athens police to keep order during the island's tourist season.  Then a decomposing body is discovered in a crypt under the floor of a church and further investigations reveal that at least eighteen women, tourists to the island, have been ritually murdered by a serial killer. Andreas and his partner Tassos have three days to solve the crimes before Athens is contacted and word leaks to the press and public of the danger to tourists in Mykonos, thereby destroying the tourist season on which Mykonos's economy rests for the remainder of the year.  Whether they can meet their deadline makes the novel suspenseful. 

Abstract 2

The setting and plot of Murder in Mykonos include many underground places.  Burials of murder victims; deserted mine tunnels; a carefully constructed underground prison built by the serial killer; Greek antiquities dug up by locals to sell abroad despite Greek laws forbidding it.  Archaeology and mythology are threaded artfully through Siger's book.  The reader too can be an archaeologist, probing beneath the exciting plot. Murder in Mykonos has multiple layers of complex themes that draw on Greek history, culture, and myth to explore the psychology of a serial killer who worships gods of Egyptian mythology, his ritual murders intended to be "tributes" to these dead gods.  Dead because they have neglected and forgotten, replaced by the gods and goddesses of Greek myth.  And dead because they rule over the underground realm of the dead.  These narrative motifs in Murder in Mykonos are symbols of how deep into his unconscious it is necessary to go to at least partially understand a serial killer and his motives.

                                        

    







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N/A Family, Vengeance, and Law in SONS OF SPARTA - The 6th in Jeffrey Siger's Andreas Kaldis Series Barbara Leavy
     The previous five mysteries in the Andreas Kaldis series took place in Mykonos, Athens, Tinos, and Patmos.  SONS OF SPARTA is set in a more remote region of Greece, the southern tip of the Peloppenese Peninsula known as the Mani. It is a place in which ancient codes conflict with modern laws, in which vendettas and blood feuds that involve entire families for decades and even centuries.  Siger's 6th mystery involves a family whose history has to do with a shocking (for the modern reader) crime in which a man murders the sister who has disgraced the family, and how the aftermath of that murder persists for about a century until it reaches its climax at the time that Andreas and his right-hand investigator, Yianni Kouros, find themselves in the Mani, each investigating separate crimes that converge and lead to a surprising ending.  Read More...
N/A An Oklahoma Family; Donis Casey's Alafair Tucker Mystery Series Barbara Leavy
The United States is made up of many regions with disparate cultures.  Read More...
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