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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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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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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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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:

  

« Ambrose, David: The Discrete Charm of Charlie Monk | Main | Silbert, Leslie: The Intelligencer »

Hall, Parnell: Puzzled to Death

  

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Bantam © 2002, 416 pages [amazon]
3.5 stars

The third book in Parnell Hall's series of crossword mysteries finds Cora Felton, the public face of the syndicated Puzzle Lady newspaper column, roped into co-hosting a crossword puzzle tournament in her adopted home town of Bakerhaven, Connecticut. The brains behind the charity tournament, and Cora's co-host, is the smug and pedantic crossword constructor Harvey Beerbaum, also a Bakerhaven resident. (How many professional cruciverbalists, one wonders, can one small town realistically boast of?) Throughout the book Harvey seems ever more interested in having Cora make a display of her puzzle-solving prowess, which leaves her suspicious: does Harvey know that Cora is only acting as the front for the Puzzle Lady operation, and that her niece Sherry is the talent of the outfit?

How many professional cruciverbalists, one wonders, can one small town realistically boast of?Added to the personal dramas among the series' regulars is, of course, a rash of murders, all seemingly connected to the crossword tournament--just the thing to rouse Cora from her usual state of insobriety and set her sleuthing. Puzzled to Death is a decent addition to the Puzzle Lady books, offering a complex mystery as well as several puzzles for the reader to solve along with the book's principals. But it remains a shame that Cora, an otherwise intelligent and likeable character, is so unapologetically attached to her self-destructive habits. Clever and engaging on the page, she would in the real world have about her the stench of a habitual smoker, and the smoker's rasping cough and abbreviated life expectancy, and she would--if she were not currently involved in a murder investigation (and how often can a layman count on that unlikely distraction?)--very likely be plastered. Miss Felton should lose the liquor and tobacco so she can be around to amuse fans with her amateur detecting for many years to come.

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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.