Home > Historical Fiction, Intermediate Fiction, Senior Fiction, Young Adult > Murder in Mykenia by Catherine Mayo

Murder in Mykenia by Catherine Mayo

July 5, 2013

murder MykenaiMurder at Mykenai by Catherine Mayo. Pub. Walker Books, 2013.

The head of the  High King of  Mykenai hangs from the battlements of his citadel and the hunt is on for his two sons Agamemnon and Menelaos. It is murder most foul and it is all about power, and women and a brother put into exile. Classic Greek drama.

The Kingdoms of Greece were warrior kingdoms riddled with jealousies. A friend one moment would slit your throat and take your woman the next. Loyalty was a transient thing, bought and sold for a bag of gold. Being born out of wedlock was a burden and the cause of much grief.

Odysseus is the son of the king of Ithaka and a rascal and risk taker. He befriends Menelaos on a trip to Mykenai. When the exiled younger brother of the High King returns begging forgiveness but with hatred in his eyes, the drama starts.

Menelaos and Agamemnon make their way to Ithaka meeting the woman who defined beauty first, Helen, to become Helen of Troy. Women were traded like horses in these days and meddled in court in their own pursuit of power and influence ie men.

This is set ten years before the Trojan Wars, in which Agamemnon, Menelaos and Odysseus are going to be key players. A decade before the Iliad and the Odyssey and Catherine Mayo in her first novel has told a believable  story.

Well written in five parts Mayo defies the reader to put the book down. Her descriptions are often breath taking as when she describes a tired and bedraggled  Menelaos as though” his body drooped like a spare tunic hanging unwanted in a cupboard”.  If this is the calibre of her writing I shall be drinking at this well again.

Intermediate, Secondary and young adult in appeal. Anybody with an interest in Ancient Greek history and life style.

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