In this third book of his historical mystery series set in classical Athens, following The Pericles Commission and The Ionia Sanction, Gary Corby takes us back to the Olympics of 460 BC. Nicolaos, Athens's only professional investigator of crimes, has been given an impossible assignment by his noble employer Pericles: an athlete named Timodemus (one of Nico's oldest friends) was prepared to meet his Spartan rival Arakos in the arena—but Arakos has been found beaten to death, and Timo stands accused of his murder. Unless Nico can find the truth, the delicate truce between Athens and Sparta will be broken. Nico and his sleuthing partner, the annoyingly clever priestess Diotima, have four days to save their friend and avert a war that would tear their world apart.
"[Corby's] best thus far ... integrates the political intrigue of the day with fair-play plotting and welcome doses of humor. Fans of Steven Saylor's Gordianus novels will be enthralled."—Publishers Weekly (starred review)