Monday, February 2, 2009

Inkwell Michelle's 30 Second Book Review:
The Tomb of Zeus by Barbara Cleverly

Clever dialogue, a feisty and intelligent heroine, along with vivid descriptions of the culture and landscape of Crete circa 1928 meld to create a perfect historical mystery. Fans of Elizabeth Peters (Amelia Peabody series) and Jacqueline Winspear (Maisie Dobbs series) will be equally charmed by this first book in the Laetitia Talbot series.
Laetitia Talbot finds herself not quite welcome at Villa Europa, the home of Theodore Russell who is a prominent archaeologist on the island of Crete. Laetitia is an aspiring amateur archaeologist, but her excitement for her first dig is tempered by the inexplicable hostility of Mr. Russell, and by the apparent suicide of his wife Phoebe.
The twists of the plot and the wonderful characterizations add to the storytelling, however it is the well-researched, fascinating tidbits about the history of Crete and the ancient Minoan civilization that delight the reader. The Tomb of Zeus succeeds with a depth beyond the traditional mystery. It also reads like a good travel essay by sparking an urge to explore Crete - its history, food, and culture come to life in the pages of Cleverly’s book.