The Ionia Sanction

What they said about The Ionia Sanction

Mix one part ancient history, one part clever and contemporary banter, and one part action, and you have a top-notch crime caper.  Corby brings back his dynamic crime-­detecting couple, Nicolaos and Diotima, for their second outing (after The Pericles Commission).   The mix of real history with a crime romp makes Corby’s sequel go down easily. Highly recommended for those looking for humor with their crime detecting.

 —Library Journal

Excellent second mystery.   His lead, like Steven Saylor’s Roman sleuth, Gordianus, manages to retain his integrity, despite being buffeted by powerful forces and morally challenging situations.

 —Publishers Weekly, starred review

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 An inexperienced sleuth learns that the deeper the mystery, the higher the stakes. Nicolaos' sophomore mystery is abundantly appointed with maps, historical notes, a list of characters with pronunciation assistance and bromides to open each chapter. With action scenes, a colorful setting and narrow escapes, it reads less like a whodunit than an adventure story, albeit a lively one.


Full of real historical figures and fascinating insights into Greek and Persian culture, The Ionia Sanction is a delightful romp.

—Shelf Awareness

Corby’s series set in Athens is filled with detail, atmosphere and history, but also humor. The characters feel like real people, not as though they were acting out a historical play, and are understandable to a modern reader. Complete with maps, a list of characters both real and made up and an afterword with historical information, this is a fun and funny as well as accurate historical with a less-used background.

—Romantic Times Book Reviews

Gary Corby's The Ionia Sanction is even more intriguing, more gruesome and more hilarious than his debut, The Pericles Commission.  The Ionia Sanction is a riotous romp through ancient Greece. Lovers of history, especially of the ancient world, will definitely want to read this mystery. It is a fast-paced, easy-to-read novel.  I am definitely looking forward to the next installment in this wonderful historical mystery series.

—Gumshoe Review

From the jacket flap

Athens, 460 B.C.  Life's tough for Nicolaos, the only investigating agent in ancient Athens.  His girlfriend's left him and his boss wants to fire him.  But when an Athenian official is murdered, the brilliant statesman Pericles has no choice but to put Nico on the job.

The case takes Nico, in the company of a beautiful slave girl, to the land of Ionia within the Persian Empire.  The Persians will execute him on the spot if they think he's a spy.  Beyond that, there are only a few minor problems:

He's being chased by brigands who are only waiting for the right price before they kill him.

Somehow he has to placate his girlfriend, who is very angry about that slave girl.

He must meet Themistocles, the military genius who saved Greece during the Persian Wars, and then  defected to the hated enemy.

And to solve the crime, Nico must uncover a secret that could not only destroy Athens, but will force him to choose between love, and ambition, and his own life.