The Tomb of Zeus is a historic mystery set on the island of Crete in 1928. We are introduced to a cast of colorful characters including our protagonist Laetitia “Letty” Talbot, a young woman of means asked to undertake what is her first archeological professional dig. Taken with the beauty of the island, the deep cultural roots of the residents and the intriguing history of this piece of contested rock, the death by apparent suicide of her new friend Phoebe Russell breaks the spell of the idyllic. As Cleverly unspools the backstory of the other expats and the locals she befriends, their secrets, lies and entwined histories surface. Did Phoebe kill herself? It appears so, but the evidence in the room and on Phoebe’s body cast doubt and Letty gets to wondering. The author plays fair and offers enough clues to engage readers trying to solve a crime situated in a time and a place that seem so removed from the present. We learn a bit about archeology and a bit about the history of the ancients. Letty is also an interesting character. A woman with her own ideas about the world, she holds her own intellectually and socially in a world dominated by paternalistic male thinking.
Highly recommended for readers 16 years and older.
– Jamie Stanley, Northfield Public Library