Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Singer from Memphis (The Athenian Mysteries #6)” as Want to Read:
The Singer from Memphis (The Athenian Mysteries #6)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Singer from Memphis

(The Athenian Mysteries #6)

3.94  ·  Rating details ·  240 ratings  ·  55 reviews
A historical murder mystery adventure that stretches from Classical Athens to Egypt in the footsteps of the first historian, Herodotus
Nicolaos, the only private investigator in ancient Athens, discovers that helping an author with his book research can be very dangerous.
ebook, 368 pages
Published May 17th 2016 by Soho Crime
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Singer from Memphis, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Gary Corby It's a Nico & Diotima story!

The Memphis of this story is the capital of ancient Egypt. We couldn't resist having fun with the title.

Gary Corby Susanna is quite right.

The books can all stand alone, which is fine for the mysteries. But if you want to follow the life story of our hero Nico, and…more
Susanna is quite right.

The books can all stand alone, which is fine for the mysteries. But if you want to follow the life story of our hero Nico, and the charming and intelligent Diotima, then you probably want to read in order.

Having said that, a very large number of regular readers began with a book in the middle, then went back to the start.(less)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
3.94  · 
Rating details
 ·  240 ratings  ·  55 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Susanna - Censored by GoodReads
3.5 stars.
Susan Johnson
Mar 14, 2016 rated it liked it
3.5 stars

Set in 456 B.C. this sixth book in the Athenian mystery series combines adventure and intrigue. Nicholaos, a private investigator in Athens, is hired by Herodotus to take him to Egypt. It is dangerous as Egypt is in the middle of a rebellion against Persia. Nicholaos' wife, Diotima, decides to accompany them on this mission that includes a pirate attack, attacks on Nicholaos by both a Spartan and a Persian agent, a vendetta by the Egyptian Public Employee Union and a camel ride in the d
Apr 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Gary Corby's latest Athenian Mystery, The Singer From Memphis (Soho Crime 2016) is--again--wonderful. Husband-and-wife Nicolaus and Diotima set out to provide safe passage for Herodotus (yes, the famous ancient Greek historian) as he travels to dangerous areas of ancient Egypt to research his first history book. Along the way, they wage a battle against pirates, are rescued by triremes, run into old enemies who might become friends, avoid death by a varied number of adversaries, and solve a long ...more
Clare O'Beara
Following Herodotus, the war reporter, intrepid traveller and first historian, around the Ancient World is a stroke of genius. Nico from Athens is hired to guard and guide the historian from Halicarnos as he travels to Memphis, then capital of Egypt, which is ruled by Persia at the time. Shaping up nicely for culture clashes and wars.

The witty title refers to a tavern singer called Djanet who will be a contact for Nico, but it turns out that she's part of a move to overthrow the rulers. The Egy
Angie Boyter
Mar 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: vine, best-of-2016
Why haven't I heard of this marvelous series before? See my Amazon review:
Cathy Cole
Dec 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I fell for Gary Corby's grasp of history and his excellent storytelling the first time I picked up one of his Athenian mysteries. Nicolaos is the perfect sleuth, called upon to investigate all sorts of interesting situations by Athens' premier citizen, Pericles. Nico's wife Diotima (a former priestess) is quite talented at deduction herself, and even his younger brother Socrates (yes, that Socrates) can come up with a good question or two (dozen).

Corby has created the perfect little time machin
Claudette Hoffmann
May 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A sparkling treat for the intellect and spirit, THE SINGER FROM MEMPHIS offers enough action, wit, and urgent mystery solving to make this historical fiction a page-turner.

At a time when the Middle East is in geopolitical turmoil (not now, but back in ancient Greece ~ 456 BC when Pericles led Athens) Athenian detective Nicolaos (Nico) starts out on an assignment to escort writer Herodotus safely through Egypt’s war zone. Too soon, he finds himself an agent for Athens working with an agent for th
Gail Cooke
May 26, 2016 rated it really liked it
The host of fans that Gary Corby has garnered with his Athenian mysteries have probably been counting the days until the next one. His unique blend of humor and ancient history are a proven delight. So, for those who have been waiting for the sixth in this popular series, here ‘tis.

Once again Nicolaos, the only private investigator in ancient Athens and an exceptional one at that, tells his story. He is surprised to receive a visit from the up and coming historian, Herodotus who is planning a r
Oct 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing
A strange man shows up wanting a sort of bodyguard for a trip to Egypt except that there is a war on. Pericles had suggested it after hearing rumors of a Persian spy from Hellenic background and sends him to our hero. Herodotus, yes that one, engages Nico and Diotima and off they go. A secondary commission is to help the rebel leader do something to help take Memphis. He sends them to a singer for help. They are on a quest to find some lost symbols of authority that will help get the Persians ou ...more
Jun 02, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, mystery, greece
I enjoyed this book, and was pleased that this series has continued to be entertaining. In this episode Nikolaos and Diotima are in Egypt, accompanying Herodotus on his book research tour, and working for Pericles as an agent to help overcome the last Persian resistance in Egypt. A Libyan prince named Inaros, allied with Athens, has defeated the Persian occupiers in lower Egypt, but the Persian army is holed up in an impregnable fortress in the capital, Memphis, awaiting reinforcements from Pers ...more
Karen A. Wyle
Jun 11, 2016 rated it really liked it
I might be rounding up a smidgen.

It's always fun to return to the ongoing career of detective/agent Nicolaos, the (fictional) older brother of Socrates (though Socrates doesn't really figure in this installment). He and his wife and partner Diotima, along with the reader, re-encounter some old adversaries, traverse difficult terrain, cope with new animals (crocodiles and camels), and learn about the impressive power, antiquity, and self-interest of government bureaucracy.

As always, Corby combine
Jun 01, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My favorite in this series

This is an exciting tour of Egypt with Herodotus, father of History along taking notes! A fun book, the leads have matured at a natural pace and an overall fun adventure set in ancient times with ancient times problems. Well done!
nikkia neil
Dec 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This series just gets better as the years go by! I've always loved Gary Corby's Athenian series because its honest, laugh-out-loud funny, and even romantic. There's not many books about Athens it seems most are about the Romans so I appreciate it even more.
Jul 02, 2016 rated it really liked it
The Athenians, Spartans, Persians, pretty much everyone, are after the crook & flail. A frantic romp through ancient Egypt with a hapless hero, his friends and enemies. Quite enjoyable--reminded me of No Roads Lead to Rome by R.S. Gompertz.
Colin Smith
May 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing
See the review on my blog:
Clemens Schoonderwoert
Apr 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This delightful mystery is the 6th volume of the exciting and funny Athenian mystery series created by the Aussie author Gary Corby.
The historical details concerning this Classical Greek period of history are very well researched and explained at the beginning of the book, with also a wonderful timeline, while at the end of the book you'll find a well documented Author's Note.
Also at the beginning of the book you'll notice an interesting list of Real and fictional characters, while at the end th
Cel Jel
Jan 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book took Nicolaos and Diotema into Egypt with Herodotus the historian. The benefit for me of this was getting a linkage in the history of the civilisations of the region, Persia, Greece and Egypt. So often in the learning of history we are presented one ancient civilisation in isolation, and do not really make the connection to where other civilisations were at the time. So you don't really see how they vary in how their communities are structured or how they run.
I almost missed the clues
Jane Irish Nelson
Aug 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: historical, mystery
Another enjoyable book in this very interesting and well-researched series. This time Nico and Diotima travel to Egypt — both as travel guides to Herodotus, a would-be historian, and as agents for Athens. Egypt is under divided rule, between the Persians and a Libyan prince who claims to be a descendant of the last pharaoh. Naturally danger travels with them as they encounter a number of unusual situations. Highly recommended.
Jul 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
Feb 20, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very different from the books I read usually. Kind of slapstick, predictable, yet entertaining.
Jun 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
What a fun readable book - I picked this one up on a whim and wow just action funny ancient loved it
Apr 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
Another Gary Corby civilization and ethics masterpiece, woven beautifully into a brilliant, enchanting story. Thank you for the education, Mr Corby
Mar 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
More romp than mystery, but enjoyable all the same.
Feb 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
Persians in Egypt. Quite interesting, as usual.
Ann McKay
Jan 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Nico's adventures just get better and better, very entertaining, very informative and extremely funny. Naming his camel after Pericles. Brilliant.
Joelle Anthony
Sep 11, 2016 rated it really liked it
I give all these books 4-5 stars (I think) because they're just a lot of fun. This one is a bit funnier than the others, a bit lighter, and not so gruesome, which was nice. I read it through quickly, but I never really had the "need to know what's next' bit like I did with some of the others. Still, lots of fun and highly amusing! And I was pleased with less gore!
The cover for this one really turned me off. The yellow-brown color is unappealing, and while I can see what the illustration style is trying to evoke, it came off as cheesy to me. I would never have picked it up if it weren't for a work thing that required me to read it. And it honestly wasn't bad! (Despite the fact that mysteries aren't really my jam.)

What made this one more fun to read than many mysteries I've encountered is that it's pretty action-packed, so the momentum is there. It's also
Mar 10, 2016 rated it really liked it
History and humor combine in what has easily become one of my absolute favorite mystery series. This time, Nico and Diotima travel to Egypt and things do not run smoothly. The Persians are occupying Memphis, a young prince from Libya is attempting to prove he is descended from Pharaohs and has a legitimate claim to the throne, there's a Spartan assassin on their tail and no matter which way they turn or which choices they make, Nico and Diotima are going to anger someone and put themselves in da ...more
Mar 16, 2016 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 26, 2016 rated it liked it
This is the 6th in a series of historical mysteries involving Nicolaes and his wife, this time involving intrigue in Egypt. It is the first time that I have run across this series. At first, it felt like déjà-vu. I kept thinking this was an eerie take-off of Lindsey Davis' "Falco" books, which I have enjoyed over the years. Although there are similarities, eg with active partner wife, and various challenging and contrary missions, Nicolaes is firmly set in and out of Athens and that Greek histor ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Aristotle Detective (Aristotle #1)
  • The House of Death (Alexander The Great Mysteries #1)
  • The Second Death (Sister Fidelma, #26)
  • Over the Wine-Dark Sea (Hellenic Traders, #1)
  • Legacy of Blood (Spartan Warrior, #3)
  • The Oracles of Troy (Adventures of Odysseus, #4)
  • Spartans at the Gates (The Warrior Trilogy, #2)
  • Rage of Ares (Long War, #6)
  • Leonidas of Sparta: A Boy of the Agoge (Leonidas of Sparta Trilogy, #1)
  • Mars the Avenger (A Judge Marcus Flavius Severus Mystery in Ancient Rome, #1)
  • Neither Five Nor Three
  • Vita Brevis (Medicus Investigation #7)
  • Alexandria (Marcus Didius Falco, #19)
See similar books…
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)
  • The Marathon Conspiracy (The Athenian Mysteries, #4)
  • Death Ex Machina (The Athenian Mysteries, #5)
  • Death on Delos (The Athenian Mysteries, #7)