443 BC, and, after decades of war with Persia, peace has finally come to Athens. The city is being rebuilt, and commerce and culture are flourishing.
Aspiring playwright Philocles has come home to find a man with his throat cut slumped against his front gate. Is it just a robbery gone wrong? But, if so, why didn't the thieves take the dead man's valuables? With the play that could make his name just days away, he must find out who this man is, why he has been murdered - and why the corpse was left in his doorway.
But Philocles soon realises he has been caught up in something far bigger, and there are those who don't want him looking any further . . .Praise for Shadows of Athens
"I loved it; great sense of place, terrific characters and a cracking plot" Joanne Harris, author of Chocolat
"As vivid and lively as a Greek wedding - but with rather more blood!" Val McDermid, author of the Kate Brannigan Mysteries
"It's about time someone did for ancient Athens what Lindsey Davis' Falco novels do for Ancient Rome. Alvey sets the scene perfectly, with easy brushstrokes and lightly worn learning. In Philocles we have an aspiring playwright, man of the people and reluctant detective. I look forward to his next case..." Jack Grimwood, author of Moskva
"There is a new star in the classical firmament. Philocles is engaging, inspiring and feels absolutely real. This is historical writing at its best and crime writing worthy of prizes. Riveting" Manda Scott, author of the Boudica series
"Superb... A fabulous read"Irish Times
About the author
J M Alvey studied Classics at Oxford in the 1980s. Crime fiction has always been relaxation reading and that love of mysteries and thrillers continued, alongside an abiding fascination with history and the ancient world.
These interests have all now come together in the first adventure of Philocles Hestaiou, comic playwright and pen for hire in classical Athens.