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The Marathon Conspiracy

(The Athenian Mysteries #4)

4.08  ·  Rating details ·  406 ratings  ·  76 reviews
The rollicking fourth book in the Nicolaos and Diotima mystery series set in Classical Athens.

Nicolaos, Classical Athens’s favorite sleuth, and his partner in investigation, the clever priestess Diotima, have taken time off to come home and get married. But hoping to get hitched without a hitch proves overly optimistic: A skull discovered in a cave near the Sanctuary of Ar
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published April 29th 2014 by Soho Crime (first published January 1st 2014)
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Description: Nicolaos, Classical Athens's favorite sleuth, and his partner in investigation, the clever ex-priestess Diotima, have taken time out of their assignments to come home to get married. But if Nico was hoping they'd be able to get hitched without a hitch, he was overly optimistic. When they arrive in Athens, there's a problem waiting for them.

The Sanctuary of Artemis is the ancient world's most famous school for girls. When one of the children is killed, apparently by a bear, and anoth
Susanna - Censored by GoodReads
Just as fun as his others.

For a further review: .
Jan 25, 2020 rated it really liked it
I'm already half way through the next book (#5), clearly I'm devouring this like a starved lioness.

With that said, the formulaic setup is getting really old. I know, it's my fault I'm trying to read the whole series in a week. But do we really need to shoehorn a battle into every unlikely setting in every book?

The way dad explains women to Nico bothers me a great deal -- because I think Corby is whitewashing the sexism of that age. I'm not suggesting we judge them by our morales, I'm saying he's
Lance McMurchy
Apr 14, 2014 rated it really liked it
Well I have to say, this book is the best in the series so far. Corby is really getting the hang of writing these murder mysteries. He neatly combines: the development of young, aristocratic girls to adulthood; the social workings of marriage and divorce; and the battle of Marathon, all within a classical Greece setting. There are few asides where I start to think, this is going away from the main story but I, actually, quite enjoyed being taken to another aspect of Greek society. A lot of thoug ...more
Feb 03, 2014 rated it really liked it
I received The Marathon Conspiracy as part of a Goodreads giveaway.

Nicolaos, happily engaged to his partner Diotima, finds himself in the midst of another mystery when his patron, Pericles, presents him with the decades-old remains of Hippias, Athens' hated last tyrant. Given his lack of popularity, there is no shortage of professed murderers coming out of the woodwork to confess to the deed. The discovery of Hippias comes alongside to other apparent crimes: the murder of a young female student,
Karen A. Wyle
Mar 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I'm rounding up a bit, but this is my favorite book so far in one of my favorite series of historical fiction.

Our young detective Nico is still learning, but may be slowly beginning to make fewer mistakes. He and his partner in investigation, priestess Diotima, make an impressive team -- though who knows if they would succeed without the occasional interjections of Nico's younger brother? Even as a child, and one whose precocity and recklessness frequently annoy Nico, Socrates is a good fellow t
Apr 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: favourite-2017
A quick, fun, satisfying read.
Sep 06, 2018 rated it liked it
Slow-paced , for my liking, but fascinating to learn about life in ancient Greece and of renowned names
Sheri South
Apr 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I entered a Goodreads giveaway for this book because the cover caught my eye, and to my surprise, I won! Because I'm the author of several romances as well as historical mysteries, I chose to go back and begin with the first book of the series, so I could follow the relationship between 21-year-old Nicolaos and Diotima. What a find! I was torn between reading four books in the series back-to-back in order to post a review more quickly, and pacing myself so I could savor them. In the end I settle ...more
Mysteries...are not my thing.

I find this a frustrating fact about myself. I keep trying them because, well, I'm a big fan of reading challenges and mysteries often have some thematic element that fits the requirements for whatever challenge I'm working on. I like to keep an open mind, too. Most of the time I feel as though is I don't like a certain section of literature it's because I haven't found the right book.

This...isn't that book. (But it IS set in Greece, so there's that challenge task co
Apr 10, 2014 rated it really liked it
I love a good bear story and this one is a doozie. The bear in question is falsely accused of murder and is also a symbol of the Goddess Artemis. Set in ancient Greece, Corby weaves a tale of mystery that keeps his protagonist Nicolaos, an Athenian investigator, on his toes. Assisting Nico are his fiancée Diotima, a woman ahead of her time, and his little brother Socrates, very bright but annoying, especially to his older brother.

Entertaining and a lesson in Greek history as well, the author in
Apr 03, 2014 rated it liked it
Another enjoyable light and frothy mystery set in ancient Periclean Greece. This time out, from a young ladies' academy at a temple complex one girl is killed--[by a bear??], another has disappeared; later on the fiancé of one of them is found dead in a Sacred Pool on the premises. An unsolved conspiracy of 30 years before involving Hippias, Tyrant of Athens and the Battle of Marathon is involved: who participated, how and why? Partners Nico and ex-priestess Diotima aided by Nico's pesky brother ...more
Sep 29, 2014 rated it really liked it
This is such a fun series! Our sleuth Nicos, his assistant/fiancee' and his precocious little brother Socrates (Yes, that one!), are off on another hunt for evil doers. Not only will you get a lively dose of action in this book, you will also enjoy the humor and history as well.
I wish these books would go as viral as the 50 shades series seems to. Sigh....
David D.  Knapp, Ph.D.
Jun 19, 2020 rated it really liked it
As part of keeping my spirits up during the COVID-19 pandemic, I've decided to reread two series of novels set in Greece. Why? Because my wife and I are holding out hope that our September/October trip to Greece still will happen...fingers crossed!

I finished all the books in "The Seven Deadly Sins" series featuring Hermes Diaktoros (Hermes Messenger) - which are set in modern Greece. So, it was time to begin "The Athenian Mysteries" series, featuring Nicholaos, son of Sophroniscus the sculptor a
Christopher Taylor
Mar 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
This is the fourth book in a series about an investigator in the golden age of Athens, when it was experimenting with a form of democracy. Pericles, Socrates, and many of the well-known personalities of ancient Greece are alive and active.

Much of the book takes place in what was essentially a finishing school for young ladies at a temple of Artemis in Brauron. A skeleton was found with several diaries indicating that it was a famous tyrant of the past, and one of the girls was brutally murdered
Clay Kallam
Oct 02, 2018 rated it it was ok
The combination of Classical Athens and classic murder mysteries -- with the obligatory gathering of the suspects at the end -- is an attractive one, but in the fourth installment of The Athenian Mysteries, Gary Corby took the easy way out too often, resulting in a limp and uninteresting tale. And that's saying something coming from me, whose interest in the ancient world is pretty much off the charts.

This complex plot involving protagonist Nicolaos and his fiancee Diotima can't stand up to much
Jane Irish Nelson
Jul 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery, historical
Two young girls find a skeleton in a cave near the temple were they are living in a sort of finishing school; and it turns out that Diotima was also once a student there. Then one of the girls is killed, apparently torn apart by a bear, and Nico is hired to discover the murderer, as well as to identify the skeleton. At the same time, plans are finally underway for Nico and Diotima's wedding — if their parents can only agree on who to invite! As usual in this series, it provides an interesting gl ...more
Vicki Kohl
May 17, 2018 rated it liked it
Enjoyed this. You can pick up/refresh your knowledge of Ancient Greek history/mythology while enjoying a mystery. And, Socrates as the somewhat annoying younger brother of the main character, Nicolaos, is a fun touch. At one point Socrates' instructor throws him out of his school because he asks too many questions—Ha! ...more
Aug 08, 2019 added it
Shelves: i-didn-t-get-it
Neat concept that I would've enjoyed a lot more had the main character not a) spoken like a modern-day person among so many more poised and thoughtful speakers, and b) made multiple remarks in praise of a naked woman while sitting right next to his fiancee.

Could've lingered a bit more on the historical context, too, as that was the most fascinating part.
Sep 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
The skeleton of Hippias, the last tyrant of Athens, has been found in a cave near the Sanctuary of Artemis just outside the walls of Athens. He was supposed to have died in Persia. So what are his remains doing there? Now one of the girls of the Sanctuary is dead and one is missing. Nicolaos and Diotima must solve the mystery, before they get married.
Becky Durstenfeld
Feb 26, 2020 rated it liked it
I haven't read the other three books in the series and probably won't. This book is a bit different from what I usually read. It was an interesting way to learn history. It was okay and I liked the main characters, but don't really care for the violent parts of their work. If you aren't bothered by that, you will probably enjoy this story. ...more
Book Time with Elvis
Jul 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I'm really quite addicted to this series , once started the books are hard to put down. Though now I am somewhat dismayed to see there are only 3 more books left and perhaps it's time to ration then though that will be difficult to do. Once again an excellent read packed with fascinating historical tidbits and superb author's notes to explain what's history and what's invention. ...more
Angie Boyter
Sep 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Such an enjoyable series! Interesting story, enjoyable characters, and lots of fun information about life and government and war in ancient Greece. In this one I even learned a bit about bears!
Darn! There is only one left in the series that I haven't read! Corby better start writing another!
Jerry D.
Sep 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great read!

And a whole lotta fun. I'm retired and money is tight but I'll be buying more of this series.
These at least last for a while as I jump from the novel to online research of the associated history
Don Best
Mar 04, 2020 rated it it was ok
As advertised this book is full of references to Greek mythology but the story is not strong enough to carry my interest for more than a chapter at a time. In the end, too repetitive of starting over a chapter later to get to the same place a chapter before.
Jan 30, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: history
Fun read, good blend of Athenian political intrigue and murder mystery. The plot's solid, there are no deus ex machinae - foreshadowing is done nicely.

Character interactions are fun, the depiction of ancient Athens is still one of the best selling point of the story.
Mary K.
Sep 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
Life in Athens just after the time of the Battle of Marathon.... Who knew ancient history could be so fun.
Apr 26, 2018 rated it liked it
I enjoy the historical information that is contained in this series about ancient Greece along with the mystery that needs to be solved by Nicolaos and Diotima.
Oct 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
Very entertaining- great historical angle with the Battle of Marathon and the Persians, and Nico has some quality character growth within this multi-layered mystery.
Beth Levitt
Jun 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
What an absolutely fun romp of a read. Wonderful humor runs throughout the book which reminded me of A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum.
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I'm the author of the Athenian Mysteries.

Nicolaos, the ambitious son of a minor sculptor, walks the mean streets of Classical Athens as an agent for the promising young politician Pericles.

Murder and mayhem don't faze Nico; what's really on his mind is how to get closer (much closer) to Diotima, the intelligent and annoyingly virgin priestess of Artemis, and how to shake off his irritating 12 yea

Other books in the series

The Athenian Mysteries (7 books)
  • The Pericles Commission (The Athenian Mysteries, #1)
  • The Ionia Sanction (The Athenian Mysteries, #2)
  • Sacred Games (The Athenian Mysteries, #3)
  • Death Ex Machina (The Athenian Mysteries, #5)
  • The Singer from Memphis (The Athenian Mysteries #6)
  • Death on Delos (The Athenian Mysteries, #7)

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