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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
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THE MUTILATION OF THE HERMS:
UNPACKING AN ANCIENT MYSTERY
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TRYING NEAIRA:
THE TRUE STORY OF A COURTESAN'S SCANDALOUS LIFE IN ANCIENT GREECE
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PRISONERS OF THE PELOPONNESIAN WAR
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SOCRATES AT WAR:
THE MILITARY HEROICS OF AN ICONIC INTELLECTUAL
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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:

  

« Copeman, Nick: King Nicholas and the Copeman Empire | Main | Sholes, Lynn; Moore, Joe: The Grail Conspiracy »

Martínez, Guillermo: The Oxford Murders

  

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MacAdam/Cage © 2005, 197 pages [amazon]
4 stars

A serial murderer with a mathematical bent is stalking Oxford in Guillermo Martínez's cerebral mystery The Oxford Murders. The crimes begin shortly after our narrator, an Argentinean student whose name we never learn, arrives in England to study at the Mathematical Institute on a year's scholarship. He soon meets Arthur Seldom, a celebrated logician whose latest book on logical series has attracted an unexpectedly wide readership. Seldom's chapter on serial murders, in particular, seems to have inspired the recent killings: with each murder the killer leaves behind a symbol--the first, a circle, appears in a note addressed to Seldom himself--as if he is challenging the mathematician to work out the logic of his series before he kills again.

Seldom's chapter on serial murders, in particular, seems to have inspired the recent killings: with each murder the killer leaves behind a symbol--the first, a circle, appears in a note addressed to Seldom himself--as if he is challenging the mathematician to work out the logic of his series before he kills again.The Oxford Murders is a smart, quiet book, with its focus on ideas rather than action, or indeed character: the book's principals are more than two-dimensional, but they are not fully fleshed out. While our narrator acclimates himself to life in England--acquiring a girlfriend and blending into Oxford life in general--he and Seldom discuss mathematical theory, the Pythagoreans, and of course the murders themselves. Martínez's writing (the book is translated into English from its original Spanish) is for the most part transparent, but one finds the occasional perfect turn of phrase: "The conductor tapped briefly on the music stand, pointed his baton at the lead violin and the solitary first line of the piece that opened the programme made its way tentatively in the silence, like a curl of smoke rising." Although the book's plot depends in part upon coincidence, its mystery is satisfying. Certainly it is unlikely that readers will figure out precisely whodunit before the book's end, although the clues are there to be found. The Oxford Murders is in fact intelligent and satisfying enough to merit a second read-through, so one can more fully appreciate how the author has hinted at the crimes' solution.

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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.