For a further review: I just can't get into cozy mysteries. I don't need graphic violence or extreme psychological drama, but maybe an edge or some depth to keep things interesting. I also can't seem to enjoy historical fiction.
The history part, while interesting on a factual level, doesn't engage me. This book itself feels like a slapstick comedy which i've never enjoyed. Would have likely been 2 stars. Dec 21, KarenF rated it really liked it Shelves: I picked this up totally on a whim at the library, the cover kept catching my eye, and I'm very glad I did. This was a fun mystery with likable characters and a lot of wit. While the overall tone of the book was pretty lighthearted it didn't shy away from some of the uglier sides of life in Ancient Athens.
It never comes across as a lecture but the fate of slaves, women and basically anyone else who wasn't a "citizen" isn't candy coated. But for all that the book is actually great fun. Certain r I picked this up totally on a whim at the library, the cover kept catching my eye, and I'm very glad I did. Certain real people make an appearance so the author's note is pretty interesting as well. The budding romance with Diotrima is also charming. He learns from some of his early mistakes. But of course, the more competent he gets, the more danger he's in. Overall, a fun and entertaining read with enough meaty historical details.
I'll definitely be picking up others in the series. Mar 12, Sheri South rated it it was amazing. Greek history, lots of humor, a yummy young hero, and a romance thread--what's not to love? This was a fun read, and I look forward to reading the next installment. Some mysteries don't stand up to re-reads; once you know "whodunnit," there's just not enough to make a return trip satisfying. Not so with this series! It's just as enjoyable the second time around. I'm reading the whole series again in preparation for a the fifth installment coming out in May, and b my own Mediterranean cruise this summer.
Feb 18, Carolyn rated it it was amazing. This is the book I've been searching for! I was teaching my children Greek history and my daughter, 13, is just fascinated by this subject. I get so caught up in their studies, so I wanted something fun to read set in Classical Greece. I couldn't wait to start this book and I was not disappointed at all!
I passed it on to my daughter at once and she is enjoying the mystery along with the reinforcement of some history. There is nothing in this novel that a 13 year old has not already seen on TV an This is the book I've been searching for! There is nothing in this novel that a 13 year old has not already seen on TV and they will recieve a bit of a history lesson! Feb 17, Sonal rated it liked it. This book is about a murder mystery set in ancient Greece during the time of the history's earliest democratic movement. The leader of the movement is murdered and the commission for investigating the assassination accidentally falls upon Nicolaos who is currently a no-one, and sees this as an opportunity to make his name in Athenian politics.
The plot seemed interesting and series of murders that follow makes the case more complex but Nicolaos is no Hercule Poirot and the way investigation prog This book is about a murder mystery set in ancient Greece during the time of the history's earliest democratic movement. The plot seemed interesting and series of murders that follow makes the case more complex but Nicolaos is no Hercule Poirot and the way investigation progresses makes the story slack at places. There are some funny moments as well but overall the story is not very exciting or heart racing for a murder mystery.
The first half of the book is little slow and picks up pace later. Way too many characters for a book of this size further spoiled the reading. This is the first book of the series and I think I will pass the rest for now. Of course Ancient Greeks didn't "sound" Australian, but there's nothing wrong with the idea that they had senses of humour, the ability to comment on their own actions, and a strong understanding of the way that the world in which they moved worked and if that feeling has to be imparted in a way that we can "get" why not in our sort of voice?
Mixed in with sufficient historical perspective and details, this book could work for fans of historical crime fiction, just as it would be a perfect introduction for readers who have steered clear until now. The story told is as old as the setting though - politicians fighting for power, for their version of politics, for their view of the world. Nicolas, the son of a sculptor is only given the task of investigating this death because he happens to be the man on the spot. His reactions impress Pericles, a supporter of democracy from the same "side" as the dead man , so Pericles commissions Nicolas.
There's a lot of detail in the book about the whys and wherefores of how these sorts of things normally work in Ancient Greek society, as there are details about the various political movements - but the delivery of that detail is not heavy handed. At no stage did I feel like there was definitely going to be an exam at the end of this book, the details just flowed into the narrative.
There is a large cast of characters and one of those cast listings at the front including a pronunciation guide. More importantly the real-life characters are also indicated and it's interesting to see how Corby has woven fact into fiction in what seems to this reader, at least, a seamless manner. One of the more appealing parts of the book was definitely the way that it seemed to be providing a bit of a history lesson, woven into a really interesting tale - making the history both palatable and very real.
As with all these sorts of lone, private, accidental investigators, a lot of the enjoyment of the book hangs on whether or not a reader can believe the situation. There's something very believable about Nicolas taking up the investigator role - despite absolutely no experience, ability, training, or even much of an idea of how to start. Sure there's a fair amount of him acting as a catalyst for events, rather than a finder of facts, but facts he does discover, and he does garner help from some unlikely quarters including a love interest. Ephialtes, illegitimate but acknowledged daughter of the dead man is a great character, although you are going to have to brace yourself for a bit of that romantic carry on.
Not too much thankfully, and nicely balanced out with Ephialtes being no shrinking violet and not afraid to get into the action in her own right. There are other great characters in this book, and there are some excellent insights into the setting and the period albeit that I have no way of knowing how accurate any of it is - but it certainly feels, reads and sits well within the context of the story.
Ultimately what really works if the character of Nicolas himself. His dogged determination to make his own way in the world, his relationship with his father, mother and younger brother Socrates make of his name and description what you will , and his way of seeing the world around him made this a really engaging, light, fast and ultimately extremely enjoyable book. Dec 26, Seth rated it it was amazing Shelves: The Pericles Chronicle is a fictional account of an investigation into the assassination of Ephialtes, who was an actual historical figure killed in BC a few days after introducing democracy in Athens.
The investigator, who serves as narrator, was an imaginary figure created by author Gary Corby as the older brother of Socrates when he was a boy. In addition, many of the events, although plausible in view of what is known of the period, were also invented. As Corby acknowledges in the afterw The Pericles Chronicle is a fictional account of an investigation into the assassination of Ephialtes, who was an actual historical figure killed in BC a few days after introducing democracy in Athens.
As Corby acknowledges in the afterword, the investigator's trial on trumped up charges descends into farce. So we are dealing with a hybrid here--part fiction and part fact. The book has educational value to the extent that it is based on actual individuals, events, places, and customs and attempts to depict daily life in Greece in the period between the Greco-Persian Wars and the Peloponnesian War between Athens and Sparta.
However, education is balanced by entertainment, as the author amuses the reader with the antics of a high-end courtesan--known then as a hetaera--and her equally voluptuous daughter, a priestess in training. The combination of education and entertainment makes reading the Pericles Commission a worthwhile and pleasant experience.
Ancient Greece, often characterized as the cradle of civilization, continues to intrigue us. I would like to compare Corby's lighthearted approach with the 'Trial of Socrates' by the late I. Stone, the American journalist and apparent Soviet spy who taught himself ancient Greek in retirement in order to perform a 20th century investigation of the circumstances of Socrates' conviction for impiety by analyzing original texts.
This must have been a challenge, as history as a discipline was in its infancy in 5th century BC. In fact, Herodotus, who chronicled the Persian War, and Thucydides, who chronicled the Peloponnesian War, were the very first historians. Previously, epic poetry based on mythology was the only written means of passing along traditions from one generation to another.
It is also noteworthy that Thucydides' 'History of the Peloponnesian War' contained Pericles' patriotic funeral oration in honor of the sacrifices of Athens' war dead. Pericles also exhibits his rhetorical prowess in Corby's book, which is essentially an attempt to popularize ancient history. Oct 31, Colleen rated it really liked it Shelves: Really enjoyed this book!
And for a first novel, an incredibly strong one. If you like any of the ancient Rome historical mysteries or just that genre in general, you should also like this one. Ancient Greece is a tough one I think to get right--even though a democracy, far more alien I think to us now, than the more familiar republic or empire of Rome. Perhaps partially because of how the Greeks treated women not human, on par with animals, who could be killed for basically any whim and were n Really enjoyed this book!
Perhaps partially because of how the Greeks treated women not human, on par with animals, who could be killed for basically any whim and were not allowed to leave the house.
Anyways, Athenian treatment of women is one of the main subplots of the book, but it's not done in an annoying way--you like the hero, young Nicolaos trying to investigate the murderer of a politician whose corpses literally landed at his feet, who is the father of young priestess, Diotima. Even though I majored in Ancient Greek and love reading about it, I sure wouldn't want to travel back in time there but I think the author captured Athens a month after it became the world's first democracy.
Famous personages are in the book--the title sort of gives it away--but I think my favorite in the book is his annoyingly smart hyperactive brother Socrates. Can't wait to read the rest in the series! Dec 29, Shubhra Aurita Roy rated it really liked it. A very enjoyable book, that I found hard to put down. I was on holiday yet kept sneaking in time during sightseeing as the book really drew me in. It has wonderful characters, humour and detailed descriptions of ancient Athens.
The characters are drawn out beautifully. While some reviewers have questioned whether the characters are authentic and original to the time period, I would say for me, the experience was enjoyable as they were as authentic as possible while writing in the today's languag A very enjoyable book, that I found hard to put down. While some reviewers have questioned whether the characters are authentic and original to the time period, I would say for me, the experience was enjoyable as they were as authentic as possible while writing in the today's language and tone. I would not have enjoyed a book that tried too hard to replicate the language and tone of the times as it would have been hard to contemplate and emphathise with the characters.
I feel comfortable that they were true to their times but represented in today's language. There is also enough historical evidence from the author's note to back up some of his ideas. The ideas represented are very plausible, credible and believable thus draws the reader into the story. If you are looking for a great time learning about the details of ancient Athens, and how the foundations of modern democracy was laid, then this book will do it for you. It needs to be savoured though so this is not for anyone interested in a quick read, downed in a gulp.
And he is Australian! May 27, Jay rated it liked it. An ancient Athenian murder mystery. Simple that's a compliment ; maybe "clean" is a better way to describe it. I find the protagonist's "stoicism" an anachronism, since the events take place years prior to Zeno's earliest teaching to be too artificial. And I'm always leery of strong female characters in fictional antiquities; although in his end Note, the author claims scholarly support for both the situation, and the particular female character confirmed by Wikipedia.
So I'm going to g An ancient Athenian murder mystery. So I'm going to give him a pass on this one. Perversely, I had the experience of both not wanting to put down the book once I started reading; and not wanting to pick it up again once I'd put it down.
I'll mark that as due to the fact that its neither science fiction nor computer technical, rather than anything wrong with the author. So this book probably deserves 4 stars. But I can only rate it for myself, right? Jan 15, Joel Mitchell rated it it was amazing Shelves: History tells us that the architect of ancient Athens' first democratic government was assassinated a few days after democracy was enacted; little information other than the name of the assassin survives.
Gary Corby starts with this event and creates an entertaining historical novel that is part murder mystery and part political thriller with a dash of humor. The protagonist is Nicholaos, the older brother of Socrates yes, that Socrates and no, there is no historical record of Nicholaos who is History tells us that the architect of ancient Athens' first democratic government was assassinated a few days after democracy was enacted; little information other than the name of the assassin survives.
The protagonist is Nicholaos, the older brother of Socrates yes, that Socrates and no, there is no historical record of Nicholaos who is commissioned by Pericles to find the murderer and hopefully prove that the anti-democracy aristocrats from the Agora were behind it. The setting and historical events appear to be well-researched, the mystery had enough twists and turns to stay interesting, and the writing style was humorous and dramatic in the right measure. This was a thoroughly enjoyable book, and I can't wait to read the next one in the series.
Nov 14, Ali rated it liked it Shelves: This book had a fun concept solving a murder in newly democratic Athens and covered an interesting time apparently historically accurately. I'm only giving it three stars, though, because of the writing style. First, I thought it felt overly simplistic and written down -- it sounds like a young adult novel at times, and I don't think it's supposed to given that a courtesan is a main character, etc.
Second, I had a hard time keeping track of the characters, even with the character list in This book had a fun concept solving a murder in newly democratic Athens and covered an interesting time apparently historically accurately. Second, I had a hard time keeping track of the characters, even with the character list in the front of the book. Few of the characters had any real personality, and with all the unfamiliar names, they just blended together. This probably goes in hand with the simplistic writing -- everyone seemed two dimensional. Still, an entertaining story with some good history thrown in.
Worth reading as a light interlude between denser books. May 23, Vickie rated it really liked it Shelves: Historic mysteries are fab for me. I get the mystery and I get to learn something about a certain time in history. Ancient Greece is the setting here and politics are at the center of the story.
The main character, Nicolaus or Nico, is looking into what to do with his life. Does he want to go into politics and make a difference in Athens or become a sculptor like his father? His decision is sort of made for him when he witnesses the murder of a leading statesman and is set on the investigation p Historic mysteries are fab for me.
His decision is sort of made for him when he witnesses the murder of a leading statesman and is set on the investigation path. The story moves along at a fairly brisk pace. Excellent characters showing rich and poor lifestyles. And there's the intrigue. I do look forward to reading the rest of the series. Really enjoyed this Ancient Greece mystery. Nico is Socrates older brother and a case literally falls in his path when the founder of democracy in Athens is felled by an arrow.
Pericles wanders up right after and commissions the young son of a sculptor to find the culprit. Related Video Shorts 0 Upload your video. Will Arthur's kingdom fall? Can a lost princess and a daredevil knight save Logres? You'll love this Arthurian fantasy because of its message of hope! Share your thoughts with other customers. Write a customer review. Read reviews that mention ancient greece pericles commission gary corby older brother set in ancient book in the series read the next ancient athens fell from the sky man fell wait to read political thriller good job enjoyed this book dead man historical fiction twists and turns little slow fun read democracy to athens.
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later. Kindle Edition Verified Purchase. I love everything about historical Greece so this book caught my attention immediately and with its first line, I was hooked: And it just got better. For some reason, I was really impressed with this element. Most historicals are written with language from their time periods to describe culture, clothing, setting, etc. The imagery was fantastic and I sincerely appreciate any author writing in historical times that can do that.
Throw in a younger brother named Socrates the Socrates? Really enjoyed this Ancient Greece mystery. Nico is Socrates older brother and a case literally falls in his path when the founder of democracy in Athens is felled by an arrow. Pericles wanders up right after and commissions the young son of a sculptor to find the culprit.
High stakes politics and deadly family ambitions mingle with ancient details as Nico stumbles around Athens picking up clues and enemies. Many characters are pieced together from the scant historical record of their existence and their city. They are created as real people for the most part rather than stiff one dimensional setpieces. Excited to pick up the rest of the series.
Blue in Washington Barry Ballow. Author Gary Corby's debut novel, "The Pericles Commission", is an impressive historical mystery set in BC as the world's first known democracy is emerging in Athens. Ultimately, this is the story of a battle between the democratic and oligarchic factions for control of the city state. The book opens with the murder of the democratic leader Ephialtes which brings his deputy, Pericles to the forefront.
Members of the Areopagus, the city's ruling council, had the most to lose from Ephialtes's policies, but the neophyte detective finds that not even his exalted employer is above suspicion. Ancient Greece, often characterized as the cradle of civilization, continues to intrigue us. I read the third book in the series first, as it was on sale. Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Michael G-G December 12, at 4: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase.
Pericles hires a young witness to Ephialtes' death, Nicolaos, to investigate the murder. From that point, the story takes on some classic elements of a police procedural as Nicolaos probes the first murder and seems to stir up a waterfall of additional dead bodies as the investigation proceeds. There's a lot to like in this very original novel--well researched historic context, credible for the most part characters, and a well-described physical context.
While the book was a little slow in getting started, notwithstanding the fall of a body from the sky in the first pages, the pace picks up eventually and provides a satisfying and rather exciting conclusion. In much the same way, the characters seem to become more complex and human as the story moves along.
This was particularly important for this reader because I didn't find the role of Nicolaos very credible or compelling at the beginning. This was largely because he is initially described as a twenty-year old ephebe, who has just finished military training, but is otherwise unemployed and without much in the way of a career path. Nicolaos grows as a character in the course of story and eventually the reader can accept that a twenty-year old is interacting in a serious way with the movers and shakers of the city state..
The book also includes some helpful information about Athens and Greece of the 5th Century BC, as well as a glossary of terms and well presented "Author's Note" at the end of the story. The latter includes a plug for a sequel to "The Pericles Commission" which is now in print and presumably worth reading.
One person found this helpful. I love historical fiction, and Gary Corby takes a period in history when Athens was developing its democratic system of government for citizens only , establishing its empire, intriguing with other nations. It is a fascinating time - every bit as fascinating as the Late Roman Republic - and Corby gives us a fresh insight. His characters are fun; I can relate to them. The stories concern real historical events, not just time-frames, and I trust his scholarship based on the limited understanding I had of the time when I first started reading this book.
I also enjoyed the 2nd book in the series immensely and hope he can continue to put them out regularly. The primary character, Nico, is well developed, and the twists and turns keep the reader fascinated with politics and cultural mores in Ancient Greece. I absorb history best when it's presented in story form, and this delightful first book in a series kept me reading while breaking the ancient Greeks from austere marble images and making them human for me. It gave me a peek into their day to day lives, their homes, their society The mystery propels the story and the characters, and kept me turning pages.
I read the third book in the series first, as it was on sale. I enjoyed the first less; I found some of the later developments hard to suspend disbelief for, and the story felt labored as a result. But by the third Corby seems to have hit his stride and I will be reading the second, as well. Gary Corby's series that takes place in Ancient Greece is excellent.
I have now read all in the series that have been published.
His descriptions of ancient Greek mores and customs is fascinating. I like the main character--he is intelligent and easy to relate to. This book is the first one in the series, and in it he does a very good job of setting the stage for the rest of the books. See all 52 reviews. Most recent customer reviews.
Published 19 days ago. Published 11 months ago. Published 1 year ago. Israel Drazin Top Contributor: I will get all seven and read them all. Published on February 21, Published on February 15, Published on September 25, Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers.