cover image Death Ex Machina

Death Ex Machina

Gary Corby. Soho Crime, $26.95 (368p) ISBN 978-1-61695-519-9

In Australian author Corby’s superior fifth whodunit set in ancient Greece (after 2014’s The Marathon Conspiracy), the city of Athens is preparing to host the Great Dionysia, “the largest and most important arts festival in the world.” But the success of the event is in doubt after a series of accidents on the set of Sophocles’s play Sisyphus. The cast members believe this is the work of a ghost. Pericles, the city’s most powerful man, asks Nicolaos, his inquiry agent, to get rid of the ghost. Unfortunately, not long after Nico arranges for an exorcism ritual, one of the actors is murdered, suspended from the machine designed to hold the character of Thanatos, the god of death, in midair during the performance. Under pressure to find the killer quickly as the festival start date looms, Nico resorts to a clever and amusing ploy to buy more time. Corby again manages to effortlessly integrate laugh-out-loud humor into a fairly clued puzzle. [em]Agent: Janet Reid, FinePrint Literary. (May) [/em]