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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


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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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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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PRISONERS OF THE PELOPONNESIAN WAR
By Debra Hamel


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Garcia-Roza, Luiz Alfredo: A Window in Copacabana

  Amazon  

4 stars

The three policemen found shot to death execution-style over the course of a few hot summer days in Rio de Janeiro had more in common than the circumstances of their deaths. Each of the men, importantly, had had sufficient cash to support a mistress and keep a separate apartment intended for their assignations--a sure sign that the officers had been on the take. Investigating their deaths and the corruption that may have led to the murders is the unhappy task of Detective Espinosa, chief of Rio's 12th district, a somewhat melancholy character who tries vainly to combat the encroaching boredom of his increasingly routine work by walking to and from his apartment by different routes.

Given its challenges, Espinosa's latest case provides at least a temporary respite from tedium, particularly when the mistresses of the dead policemen prove to be in peril themselves. Two of the three women are murdered at once, and Espinosa undertakes to protect the third. One woman's death--she falls from a tenth-floor window--is witnessed by a neighbor watching from her apartment across the street, a happenstance which provides the police with one of their few clues and gives author Garcia-Roza his book's title.

A Window in Copacabana, translated into English from the original Portuguese, is the fourth book in Garcia-Roza's Detective Espinosa series. The peculiar circumstances of the murders under investigation and the surprising identity of the killer make the novel a good mystery. But what sets the book apart is the mood it sets--the languid air of a city in the tropics--and the philosophical, bibliophilic Espinosa, whose character emerges slowly, without fanfare, as the story progresses. Mystery readers, and anyone enticed by a Copacabana setting, should give the series a look.

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