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Tomb of Zeus (new series) [Hardcover]

Barbara Cleverly
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)

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Book Description

11 Sep 2008 new series (Book 2)
Crete, 1928 – and Laetitia’s first assignment at the Villa Europa, where something is clearly amiss. Her host is Theodore Russell a charismatic archaeologist, who is determined to find the fabled tomb of Zeus. Letty dislikes Theodore but befriends his frail wife, Phoebe, but soon after, Phoebe hangs herself, an act so out of character that Letty joins forces with the local inspector to probe deeper. Intrigue is added when the autopsy reveals that Phoebe was pregnant and Theodore could not have been the father. From out of the shadows come whispers of past loves, past jealousies and ancient myths that sound an eerie discord with present events, and Letty will need all her determination and knowledge to unravel the secrets beneath the Villa Europa’s roof. PRAISE FOR BARBARA CLEVERLY'S PREVIOUS BOOKS: ‘Cleverly’s (novel) evokes and in some ways surpasses the work of Agatha Christie.’ Publishers Weekly ‘The atmosphere of the dying days of the Raj is colourfully captured.’ Susanna Yager, Sunday Telegraph ‘A great blood and guts blockbuster.’ Guardian

Product details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Constable Crime (11 Sep 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1845296966
  • ISBN-13: 978-1845296964
  • Product Dimensions: 21.8 x 14.2 x 3.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 994,883 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


Cleverly is a great strategist and this intricately plotted mystery is one of her best. -- New York Times. 8.4.10

Excellent. ...deceptive story-telling enhanced by the kind of in-depth characterization lacking in Agatha Christie... -- Publishers Weekly (Red star review) March 2010

This is the best Sandilands book so far. And if you haven't already discovered the series, it's a perfect spot to begin. -- Toronto Globe. April 2010

A consummate practitioner of the historical mystery... a true whodunit... fills it with rich characterizations... a treat for connoisseurs of literate entertainment.
-- Richmond Times. April 2010

Book Description

A dazzling new novel from Barbara Cleverly, introducing Laetitia 'Letty' Talbot, an aspiring archaeologist with a passion for adventure.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "On Crete, even the gods may die.". 19 Dec 2007
So what chance for humans? And, sure enough...

Cleverly uses the device of the prologue again in this first-of-series and to great effect. As usual, the seeds of the story are sown in the very early chapters and the author trusts that the reader will stay alert and pick up all the clues as it moves along. Links are made through time and myth - e.g. a golden youth who drives his Bugatti over a cliff makes echoes with the son of Theseus who drove his chariot into the sea, both men fleeing, thousands of years apart in time, from accusations of the same sin. Cleverly never cheats the readers (though she doesn't spoon-feed them) and the clues to the primary and the secondary murders are hidden in plain sight, resulting in one satisfying solution.

The unravelling is done by a dashing new heroine who makes Maisie Dobbs look very frowsty. Armed with spade and Luger and a lot of attitude, Laetitia battles male intolerance in the world of archaeology to dig up and expose truths long buried as well as a fresh and personally distressing murder. The wonderfully evocative setting is Crete in the golden years of its archaeological discoveries and this, along with the intriguing characters and challenging ideas linger long after the last page has been read. You get much more than a mystery story for your money.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic Who-dunnit 24 Oct 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a delightful read in the classic style of "who done it?", in an exotic setting and period. My only regret is that it is not available in Kindle form, which would have been more convenient. These novels would seem ideally suited for a television adaption.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is the first of Barbara Cleverly's books featuring Laetitia Talbot. It is the late 1920s and Laetitia is an archaeologist. We meet her on her way to Crete where she is going to take part in a dig. Female archaeologists are rare beasts in the 1920s and Laetitia is very protective of her status and takes herself very seriously, so seriously that it is not immediately obvious how old she is.

She is staying en famille with the head of the dig, a man of great charm and charisma, and his extended household. She soon becomes aware that things are not as they should be, and then she finds that another member of the household is someone from her past, who not only has hurt her badly, but is also morally very dubious.

Then the deaths begin and the accidents start to happen. Letty, being Letty, plunges in headfirst causing mayhem and danger on all sides.

This is an excellent book. The plot is complex and convoluted. Hints are constantly being thrown out about past events, which is tantalising. Some you find out about and some you don't. The characters are also complex. We tend to see them through Letty's eyes and she does not always see clearly, so what you see is not always what you get.

I have enjoyed all the books by Cleverly that I have read (and I think I have read all that are in print) and this one is an excellent addition.
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