In November 835, a ship carrying the Byzantine dignitary Leon back to Constantinople after a failed attempt to drive a deal with the Arabs in Crete runs into a storm. Forced to take shelter on Skyros, Leon has to deal with some alarming secrets associated with two dead bodies. The author’s first two books brought together historical and crime fiction, in the spirit of his European counterparts, Robert van Gulick and UK writer Ellis Peters. In A Jellyfish Made of Enamel, set in an isolated province of the Byzantine Empire, he brings more elements into play, with a nod at mathematical, astronomical and occult fiction. He creates imposing medieval scenes, redolent with symbol, characters with dark sides, and an unrequited passion. The detective who solves the mystery in exemplary fashion is a court insider, a prosecutor who suddenly becomes a recluse in order to escape the constraints of his family’s past.
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