The third book in the critically acclaimed series set in Classical Athens, featuring the historically inspired amateur detective Nicolaos.
It is the Olympics of 460 BC. Nico’s best friend, Timodemus, is a competitor in the pankration, the deadly martial art of ancient Greece. Timo is hot favorite to win. His only serious rival is Arakos from Sparta. When Arakos is found beaten to death, it is obvious Timodemus must be the killer. Who else could have killed the second-best fighter in all Hellas but the very best? The Judges of the Games sentence Timodemus to be executed in four days’ time, as soon as the Sacred Games have finished.
Complicating everything is the fact that Athens and Sparta are already at each other’s throats, in the opening stages of a power struggle for control of Hellas. If an Athenian is found to have cheated at the Games by murdering a Spartan, it will be everything the hawks in Sparta need to declare open war the moment the Sacred Truce is over. And that’s a war Athens cannot hope to win.
Nico and his partner in sleuthing, the annoyingly clever priestess Diotima, have four days to save their friend and avert a war that would tear their world apart.
Gary Corby is the author of the Athenian Mystery series, starring Nicolaos; his partner, Diotima; and his irritating twelve-year-old brother, Socrates. Gary lives in Sydney, Australia, with his wife, two daughters, two ducks, two budgerigars, and a brush turkey that… More about Gary Corby
“Like its two predecessors, Sacred Games has an extremely well-orchestrated climax and a key revelation you’ll happily kick yourself for not having spotted earlier. And like all the best murder mysteries, these books don’t depend on revelation: they’re a joy to re-read.” —Open Letters Monthly
“[Corby’s] best thus far … Corby integrates the political intrigue of the day with fair-play plotting and welcome doses of humor. Fans of Steven Saylor’s Gordianus novels will be enthralled.” —Publishers Weekly, STARRED Review
“A well-paced story that kept me turning the pages. It is extremely well-researched and taught me a lot about Greek culture and the Olympic Games. Read it for the history and the story.” —Historical Novel Society
“Dive into this book. Immerse yourself in the entire experience.” —Kittling Books Praise for Gary Corby
“Corby has not only made Greek history accessible—he’s made it first-rate entertainment.” —Kelli Stanley, award-winning author of Nox Dormienda and Cityof Dragons
“Those who like their historicals with a touch of humor will welcome Australian author Corby’s promising debut… Corby displays a real gift for pacing and plotting.” —Publishers Weekly, STARRED Review
“Mix one part ancient history, one part clever and contemporary banter, and one part action, and you have a top-notch crime caper…. Highly recommended for those looking for humor with their crime detecting.” —Library Journal
“Energetic…. Very entertaining.” —Kirkus Reviews “Full of real historical figures and fascinating insights into Greek and Persian culture…. A delightful romp.” —Shelf Awareness
“Filled with detail, atmosphere and history, but also humor. The characters feel like real people…. Complete with maps, a list of characters both real and made up and an afterword with historical information, this is a fun and funny as well as accurate historical.” —Romantic Times “A riotous romp through ancient Greece. Lovers of history, especially of the ancient world, will definitely want to read this mystery.” —Gumshoe Review “An entertaining read…. One does not need knowledge of classical history to enjoy this mystery, because details of culture, politics, and history as so deftly woven into the threads of the story that life in ancient Athens comes vividly alive.” —Historical Novel Review