There are two strands to the story, which is set in Crete: in one, a Scottish woman scholar is undertaking research for a biography of a long-forgotten linguist called Alice Kober, a key player in the deciphering of the Minoan scripts Linear A and Linear B; in the other, a police investigation is under way following the discovery of the honey-coated corpse of a young man apparently stung to death by bees. A romantic attachment gradually develops between the Scottish heroine and the dashing police inspector.
Given its subject matter, I'd had high hopes of this book but, unlike earlier reviewers, did not find it a smooth read. The lengthy quotations from Alice Kober's correspondence with fellow-scholars at times became heavygoing. Had I found it more consistently gripping I would be less inclined to carp about the poor or non-existent proofreading or copy-editing (amongst other mistakes, we get "millenia" two or three times, and "weird" is repeatedly misspelt "wierd"), but the main irritant has been that the passages involving Cretan locals are heavily sprinkled with untranslated Greek words or phrases, and I don't mean just the sort any tourist would pick up. No glossary is provided. One feels Alison Fell is thumbing her nose at readers who aren't fluent in Greek.