Reviews for Ionia Sanction

Booklist Reviews 2011 November #1
Nicolaos, a private investigator working for Pericles, must once again save Athens. When Thorion, proxenos for Ephesus, is murdered, Nicolaos hatches a plan to trap the assassin. The scheme goes horribly wrong, angering Pericles, who is on the verge of firing Nico but instead sends him to Ephesus to find the assassin and recover the document stolen from Thorion at the time of the murder. Before leaving, Nico buys a slave girl, Asia, who was kidnapped from her family by the assassin, thinking she may provide clues to the murder. Once in Ephesus, Nico runs into Diotima, whom he wants to marry and who is looking for her friend Brion, who has disappeared. Nico, Asia, and Diotima head to Asia's hometown, Magnesia, in search of answers. Interesting details of life in ancient Greece enliven the story, as do frequent injections of humor, though Nico's anachronistic speech is distracting. Copyright 2011 Booklist Reviews.

Kirkus Reviews 2011 November #2
An inexperienced sleuth learns that the deeper the mystery, the higher the stakes. Pericles, the leader of Athens, calls his young protégé Nicolaos to investigate the death of Thorion, a proxenos--that is, a sort of lobbyist for a city--from Ephesus, in Ionia, across the Aegean Sea from Athens. An apparent suicide, Thorion was found hanged, and there's a note to Pericles in which he confesses betraying his office. It would seem to be an open-and-shut case, except that Nicolaos notices some odd details that indicate the scene was staged. Further confirmation comes when Nicolaos is attacked and barely escapes with his life. Characteristically, Pericles ignores his injuries and asks why Nicolaos didn't catch his attacker. And he orders him to find the killer. Thorion's son Onteles gets the investigation rolling when he visits Nicolaos, implicating a slave named Asia, whom Nicolaos literally rescues from the auction block. Far from being a girl of the streets, let alone the lynchpin of a murder mystery, Asia maintains that she's the daughter of Themistocles, the Satrap of Ephesus' neighboring city, Magnesia. But is she? Nicolaos does what any young sleuth in distress would do: He consults his parents. A journey to Magnesia uncovers a far more pernicious plot than a single killing, with literary conundrums figuring in the solution. Nicolaos' sophomore mystery (The Pericles Commission, 2010) is abundantly appointed with maps, historical notes, a list of characters with pronunciation assistance and bromides to open each chapter. With action scenes, a colorful setting and narrow escapes, it reads less like a whodunit than an adventure story, albeit a lively one. Copyright Kirkus 2011 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

Library Journal Reviews 2011 September #1

Mix one part ancient history, one part clever and contemporary banter, and one part action, and you have a top-notch crime caper. Corby brings back his dynamic crime-detecting couple, Nicolaos and Diotima, for their second outing (after The Pericles Commission). Pericles dispatches Nicolaos abroad to Ephesus to return a slave girl who's really a government official's daughter and to retrieve a stolen document that should explain why an Athenian diplomat was hanged. The arrogance of Athenian native Nicolaos is quickly dashed when he's confronted with new customs in this region controlled by Persia. Luckily, the charming Diotima paves the way. Layers of intrigue pile up, and our duo can see that time may run out before they can smuggle critical information--and get themselves--back to Athens. VERDICT The mix of real history with a crime romp makes Corby's sequel go down easily. The author deftly concocts a Mel Brooks type of history. Highly recommended for those looking for humor with their crime detecting.

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Publishers Weekly Reviews 2011 September #3

In Corby's excellent second mystery set in fifth-century B.C.E. Greece (after 2010's The Pericles Commission), professional investigator Nicolaos, a protégé of Athens' leading citizen, Pericles, looks into the death of Thorion, the "proxenos" or consular representative for the city of Ephesus in Athens. Thorion was found hanging in his private office after Pericles received a note in which the dead man confessed to betraying his position and his city. Nicolaos soon finds sufficient evidence of homicide to persuade his boss that further inquiry is warranted. Pericles' certainty that a scroll stolen from Thorion is crucial to the safety of Athens sets in motion a complex series of events that sends Nicolaos to Ephesus. Despite the high stakes involved, Corby is able to integrate humor appropriately into the action. His lead, like Steven Saylor's Roman sleuth, Gordianus, manages to retain his integrity, despite being buffeted by powerful forces and morally challenging situations. (Nov.)

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