Synopses & Reviews
Murder and mayhem may seem like unreasonable company for Aristotle, one of the founding minds of Western philosophy. But in the skilled hands of Margaret Doody, the pairing could not be more logical. With her Aristotle Detective novels, Margaret Doody brings a Holmesian hero to the bloodied streets of ancient Greece, trading the pipe and deerstalker of Sherlock for the woolen chiton and sandals of Aristotle. Replete with suspense, historical detail, and humor, and complemented by an ever-growing cast of characters and vivid descriptions of the ancient world, Doodyand#8217;s mysteries are as much lively takes on the figures and forms of the classics as they are classic whodunits in their own right.
Stephanos and his teacher return in Aristotle and Poetic Justice, when a party given by wealthy Athenian silver miners leads to kidnapping, a ghost, a road trip to Delphi, and, of course, murder. More historical fiction than a detective novel, this sequel runs the gamut of Athenian social customs, myth, politics, and economicsand#151;from the trials of virgin love to the dangers of silver lust.
and#8220;Idyllic . . . violent . . . Doodyand#8217;s detective is human, more an avuncular don than a towering genius. But then he is elderly and, as an unfriendly character points out, he is not Plato. . . . [Aristotle and Poetic Justice] offers satisfactory detection, a well-proportioned story, nostalgia for lovers of Greece, and special fun for classicists. It is a bonus that it is so well written.and#8221;
and#8220;Witty, elegant whodunits.and#8221;
and#8220;Why did no one think of this before?and#8221;
and#8220;Wit in a first novel is rare enough, and when allied to the skilful unraveling of a murder story set in ancient Athens it makes us doubly grateful for Aristotle Detective.and#8221;
and#8220;Doody brings the Athens of 322 BC to life with skill and verve and her story of the bloody murder, the shards of evidence, the drama of the trials, the odd twists and turns of motives and events is wonderfully plotted as she keeps everyone guessing, except the wily old philosopher who never tips his hand.and#8221;
and#8220;A welcome edition to the historical and#8216;whodunitand#8217; genre.and#8221;
"Margaret Doody has given us a remarkable page-turner of a mystery with a couple of fascinating characters in Aristotle and Stephanos. Itand#8217;s worth adding to your to-be-read pile.and#8221;
andldquo;Those mystery readers with an interest in ancient history and philosophy would find this story particularly enjoyable, but the general reader should find it more than satisfying. . . . The tale and the setting evoke a feeling of cleverness and learning. . . . Fun and puzzling while also educating the reader on Aristotle and ancient Athens . . . a good addition to any fiction collection.andrdquo;
and#8220;Witty, elegant whodunits. . . . With Aristotle and the Secrets of Life, Margaret Doody launches her characters into more troubled, and troubling, waters. Deftly weaving together known or likely facts of Aristotleand#8217;s biography, from different periods of his life, this time she projects the philosopher himself as the main character of the adventure. . . . There are powerful and sinister forces at work in Athens.and#8221;
andldquo;Aristotle and the Secrets of Life delves more deeply into Aristotleandrsquo;s philosophy and provides a more intricate look at his school and studies. This book is filled with much more political intrigue and gives a clearer look at the aftermath of Alexander the Greatandrsquo;s conquest. . . . Much darker and more intricate.andrdquo;
A startlingly original first novel by “this generation’s answer to Alice Munro” (The Vancouver Sun
)—a bold reimagining of one of history’s most intriguing relationships: between legendary philosopher Aristotle and his most famous pupil, the young Alexander the Great.
342 BC: Aristotle is reluctant to set aside his own ambitions in order to tutor Alexander, the rebellious son of his boyhood friend Philip of Macedon. But the philosopher soon comes to realize that teaching this charming, surprising, sometimes horrifying teenager—heir to the Macedonian throne, forced onto the battlefield before his time—is a necessity amid the ever more sinister intrigues of Philip’s court.
Told in the brilliantly rendered voice of Aristotle—keenly intelligent, often darkly funny—The Golden Mean brings ancient Greece to vivid life via the story of this remarkable friendship between two towering figures, innovator and conqueror, whose views of the world still resonate today.
From the Hardcover edition.
Keenly intelligent and brilliantly rendered, The Golden Mean
is a bold reimagining of one of history’s most intriguing relationships—that between the legendary philosopher Aristotle and his most famous pupil, Alexander the Great.
Aristotle is initially reluctant to set aside his own ambitions in order to tutor the rebellious son of his boyhood friend, Philip of Macedon. Still, the philosopher soon realizes that teaching this charming, surprising, and sometimes horrifying teenager is a necessity amid the ever more sinister intrigues of Philip’s court. But as Alexander grows older and becomes a man who will transform the world for better or for worse, Aristotle, like any teacher, ponders his own culpability.
This sequel to Aristotle Detective
is both a detective novel and a work of historical fiction.and#160;February, 330 BC: a party being given by wealthy Athenian silver miners is followed by a kidnapping and more than one grisly murder. But these take up fewer pages than discussions of Athenian social events, the economics of mining, financial strategies, politics, and brothels. An exciting and scenic road trip to Delphi leads to sub-plots and digressions, including a witty prophecy by Aristotle that someday writers will invent a new genre: the novel!and#160;The characters become more interesting as Doody develops them. Shy Stephanos, for example, falls in love and impulsively chooses a wife. Lots of suspense: despicable villains, a ghost, and two runaways add to the excitement.
This is the first of three andquot;Aristotle Detectiveandquot; mysteries weandrsquo;re publishing in Spring 2014.and#160; Set in ancient Athens, it begins with a murder and ends with an exciting, public trial in which evidenceandndash;provided by Aristotleandmdash;clinches the case.and#160; A student of Aristotle named Stephanos narrates, describing clues he doesnandrsquo;t himself recognize, and marveling at his teacher's insights.and#160; The action-packed story includes murderous attacks at night and a comical escape from the city in disguise. But all is informed by research about life in Athens,and#160; 332 BC: the architecture of homes, privileges of citizenship, the culture of olives, various qualities of pottery, the (lack of) rights of women, and the workings of the legal system in Athens.and#160; Readers will enjoy the suspense of watching Aristotle teach Stephanos how to gather evidence and manage the case in order to save his familyandrsquo;s honor.and#160;
The sequel to Aristotle and Poetic Justice
, this picks up the story in the summer of 330 BC, when Athenians are feeling threatened by followers of Alexander the Great, whom they call andldquo;foreigners.andrdquo;and#160;Aristotle must flee Athens, so he travels with young Stephanos overseas to the sacred island of Delos and as far east as Kos and Asia Minor. and#160;A colorful cast of travelers joins them on a brilliantly described voyageandmdash;but only Aristotleandrsquo;s wisdom saves them from sea storms, conspirators and pirates. At one point the great philosopher engineers a brilliant escape from pirates by poisoning their stew and throwing octopi on their faces.and#160;Itandrsquo;s all witty, erudite, often bloody, occasionally salacious fun.
About the Author
Annabel Lyon’s story collection, Oxygen, and book of novellas, The Best Thing for You, were published in Canada to wide acclaim. The Golden Mean, her first novel, is a Canadian bestseller and is being published in six languages. It won the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize and was nominated for the Scotiabank Giller Prize, the Governor General’s Award for Fiction, and the commonwealth Writers’ Prize. Lyon lives in British Columbia with her husband and two children.
Table of Contents
List of Characters
Part I: Parts of Animals
Iand#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; The Sanctuary of Asklepios
IIand#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; Murdering an Ox
IIIand#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; Meeting a Monkey
IVand#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; Sweetness and Bees
Vand#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; Odour of Blood
VIand#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; Parts of Animals
VIIand#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; The Monument
Part II: Movement of Animals
VIIIand#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; Preparing for Flight
IX and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; Taking Ship for the Islands
XI and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; Blood at Delos, Flesh at Mykonos
XII and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; Naxos
XIII and#160;and#160;and#160; Storm at Sea
XIV and#160;and#160;and#160; The Healing Island
Part III: Body and Soul
XVand#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; The Doctors
XVIand#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; Facing Asia
XVIIand#160;and#160; The Letter
XVIIIand#160; Harpalos the Treasurer
XIXand#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; Carrying Treasure
XXand#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160; The Killing Island
XXIIand#160;and#160; Healing and Light