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Books by the Blogger:

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


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Kindle | paperback (UK)

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


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


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paperback | hardcover (UK)

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


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


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paperback | hardcover (UK)

PRISONERS OF THE PELOPONNESIAN WAR
By Debra Hamel


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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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I've decided to stop accepting review copies. The downside of getting buried in free books is that reading increasingly becomes an obligatory act. After some seven years of blogging books, it's time for me to return to the simple pleasure of reading only the books I want to read, when I want to read them.



  
From a random review:

  

« Iles, Greg: The Quiet Game | Main | Truss, Lynne: Eats, Shoots & Leaves »

Blanc, Nero: Anatomy of a Crossword

  

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Berkley Trade © 2004, 336 pages [amazon]
3.5 stars

Nero Blanc's latest crossword caper finds professional cruciverbalist Annabella Graham in Hollywood, serving as technical advisor for a puzzle-themed TV movie (entitled "Anatomy of a Crossword") that is based on one of her crime-solving experiences. Belle is enjoying the respite from a brutal Massachusetts winter, but she has had misgivings about the project from the get-go. Her uneasiness was triggered by the brusque behavior of a gang of Polaroid-snapping set designers who descended on Belle's native Newcastle before the filming. Now that shooting has begun, things have only gotten worse: a series of accidents is plaguing the production, and a real-life shooting claims the life of one of Anatomy's principal characters. To make matters worse, Belle receives a series of anonymously authored crossword puzzles whose answers suggest that the constructor has information about the murderer's identity.

Her uneasiness was triggered by the brusque behavior of a gang of Polaroid-snapping set designers who descended on Belle's native Newcastle before the filming.Also hobnobbing with the Hollywood types in Anatomy of a Crossword--with the spoiled celebrities and soulless industry executives and the suspiciously jumpy screenwriter who are making the movie--are Belle's husband, private eye Rosco Polycrates, and Newcastle's grand dame Sara Briephs, who manages to land a part in the film. (When these characters are not on the scene for a part of the book, before they follow Belle to Hollywood, one misses them: the series' charm has much to do with the pleasant interactions its characters enjoy.)

Anatomy of a Crossword, like its predecessors in the series, is a pleasant cozy with a clever enough story line to keep readers guessing to the end. Mystery fans and crossword lovers should enjoy the book, the latter particularly so as readers are invited to try to solve the case along with Belle and Rosco: six crosswords--and a puzzle of a different sort--are included in the book. Familiarity with the other titles in the series is not essential, so new readers need not fear jumping into the Blanc book mid-series.

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Book-blog.com reviews by Debra Hamel are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution - Noncommercial - No Derivative Works 3.0 License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/).

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About the blogger: Debra is the mother of two preternaturally attractive girls and the author of a number of books about ancient Greece, including Trying Neaira: The True Story of a Courtesan's Scandalous Life in Ancient Greece. She writes and blogs from her subterranean lair in North Haven, CT. Read more.

  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  






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Book-blog.com by Debra Hamel is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution - Noncommercial - No Derivative Works 3.0 License.