Justice for Athena (Philocles Book 3)

Written by JM Alvey
Review by Chiara Prezzavento

In 5th-century BCE Athens, the great Panathenaia festival, with its mix of artistic and athletic competitions, is about to start, and playwright Philocles is looking forward to enjoying the holiday with his friends and his beloved Zosime. But then someone starts offing the epic poets chosen to perform Homer’s Iliad, in such a random fashion that it is hard to discern the murderer’s goal. As Philocles says, do a good job once, and chances are you’ll be asked to do it again – so it’s easy to guess who must be called upon to solve the mystery before too many bodies pile up, and Wise Athena’s great festival is ruined. Once again, J. M. Alvey pitches Philocles against the villains, armed with his quick mind, strong legs, and a host of helpful friends and family members. And again, there is much to enjoy in this third instalment; a whodunit full of twists, a dry-voiced narration, and most of all the brilliant, vivid recreation of the sights, mindset and spirit of Classical Athens. Recommended.