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Debra Hamel is the mother of two preternaturally attractive girls and the author of a number of books about ancient Greece. She writes and blogs from her subterranean lair in North Haven, CT. Read more.


Books by Debra Hamel:

THE BATTLE OF ARGINUSAE :
VICTORY AT SEA AND ITS TRAGIC AFTERMATH IN THE FINAL YEARS OF THE PELOPONNESIAN WAR
By Debra Hamel


Kindle | paperback (US)
Kindle | paperback (UK)

KILLING ERATOSTHENES:
A TRUE CRIME STORY
FROM ANCIENT ATHENS
By Debra Hamel


Kindle | paperback (US)
Kindle | paperback (UK)

READING HERODOTUS:
A GUIDED TOUR THROUGH THE WILD BOARS, DANCING SUITORS, AND CRAZY TYRANTS OF THE HISTORY
By Debra Hamel


paperback | Kindle | hardcover (US)
paperback | hardcover (UK)

THE MUTILATION OF THE HERMS:
UNPACKING AN ANCIENT MYSTERY
By Debra Hamel


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Kindle | paperback (UK)

TRYING NEAIRA:
THE TRUE STORY OF A COURTESAN'S SCANDALOUS LIFE IN ANCIENT GREECE
By Debra Hamel


paperback | hardcover (US)
paperback | hardcover (UK)

SOCRATES AT WAR:
THE MILITARY HEROICS OF AN ICONIC INTELLECTUAL
By Debra Hamel


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ANCIENT GREEKS IN DRAG:
THE LIBERATION OF THEBES AND OTHER ACTS OF HEROIC TRANSVESTISM
By Debra Hamel


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IT WAS A DARK AND STORMY TWEET:
FIVE HUNDRED 1ST LINES IN 140 CHARACTERS OR LESS
By Debra Hamel


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Kindle | paperback (UK)

PRISONERS OF THE PELOPONNESIAN WAR
By Debra Hamel


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Archer, Jeffrey: A Twist in the Tale

  Amazon  

3.5 stars

Jeffrey Archer's 1988 collection of twelve short stories is not entitled A Twist in the Tale for nothing. The concluding paragraphs of each story--sometimes just the final sentence--inevitably offer the reader some kind of surprise, whether slight and easily swallowed ("A La Carte") or groan inducing ("Just Good Friends") or the product of a sort of dishonest storytelling that leaves one feeling ill treated ("The Perfect Murder"). Among the best of the lot are "A La Carte"--the story of a young man compelled by his father to delay entering his chosen profession--and "Honor among Thieves," in which a wine connoisseur is put to the test by a "humbug." But all of the stories (ten of them are reportedly based on actual events) are worth a read. Archer writes in a commendably straightforward style that is easily digested: it is not surprising that, as the jacket copy of the book informs us, Archer has been hailed as "the natural successor to Maugham." (See Somerset Maugham's autobiographical The Summing Up for his discussion of the three qualities for which he strove in his writing: lucidity, simplicity, and euphony.)

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