As regular readers will have noticed, I’ve been doing an occasional thread called “Original Sins” concerning mysteries set in the Ancient World. There’s been nine books in total, far fewer than I intended, but it’s time to draw the thread to a close. Why’s that, I hopefully hear you cry? Well, to be frank, I’m not really enjoying it that much.
Of the nine books, I can say that I’ve enjoyed less than half of them, and even fewer have been easy reads – for some reason, this era of history seems to have trouble engaging my attention. I’m rather disappointed by this – there were a number of series that were on my list to get round to eventually, but now it seems rather unlikely.
Egypt seems to have fared best, as both Death Comes As The End and The Slayers of Seth were great. But the Romans, Greeks and Macedonians all had trouble engaging my interest, whether it came from the books being overlong, too full of distractions or simply being a little dull. Furies earns points for being a good read, but it is a thriller, rather than a mystery. “Ancient” Ireland fared well, but Peter Tremayne can always be relied upon for a good read and a good mystery – but, let’s face it, Sister Fidelma doesn’t really count as the Ancient World.
But what about the authors that you haven’t tried, I hear you cry – possibly? Well, hand on heart, the obvious omission is Lindsay Davis and the Falco series, but I’ve tried to start Alexandria on about five separate occasions and can’t get on with the combination of seemingly modern attitude and the Ancient World. And after struggling through Roman Blood to no reward, I’m not inclined to read a long book that I’m not enjoying. There are other authors as well, such as Marilyn Todd, but I simply haven’t been able to easily get a copy of her work over here.
As detailed here, I’ll be starting on a chronological tour through the Medieval world soon – any more suggestions gratefully received – and in the meantime, historical mystery fans, I’ll finish off Original Sins with a return to the series that provided the book that was the best of the lot by quite some distance – namely the Chief Judge Amerotke series by Paul Doherty.
So, apologies if I didn’t get round to your favourite, but I’d rather read what I think I’ll enjoy. Fingers crossed that the Medieval world proves more fruitful.