The Forty Column Castle
So long as a he has a tooth left a fox won't be pious. This is an old Cypriot proverb and so starts the The Forty Column Castle. This novel is set in present day Cyprus in all its history and beauty. Claudie Lowell, our heroine, gets sucked into the sinister world of antiquities thieves in the course of trying to clear her eccentric aunt from charges of masterminding an international smuggling ring on the island of Cyprus. Zach Lamont, posing as an undercover agent, comes to Claudie’s aide but turns out to be part of the ring of thieves himself -- or so it seems. The further Claudie digs into this murky world the more she finds she can trust no one, not even the aunt she is trying to help -- and especially not the thief to whom she has a dangerous attraction.
Yes, I actually visited Cyprus twice and it is as beautiful as Claudie portrays it in the novel. I knew it would make a great setting for mystery and romance with a little humor. I was a groupie to a team of archaeologists and historians who were finishing the catalog of the finds at the excavation of the Castle of Forty Columns or Saranta Kolones as it is known in Greek. Mainly, I hung out on the beaches. Yes, they are topless. Sometimes in the evenings, I'd join the excavating team, who were delightful people from all over, for dinner by the ruins. They had many tales to tell about the history of Cyprus. Other times I went sightseeing. And what sights there are to see on Cyprus.
Jane Kirkpatrick's Review
Word Whisperings a Review
By Jane Kirkpatrick
The Forty-Column Castle Mystery-in-Exotic Places Series By Marjorie Thelen
A few years ago, a lovely woman attended Beachside Writer's Workshop. She'd written what I call a cozy mystery and had been attempting to find a publisher for it. She let me read a couple of chapters and I really liked it. The characters were vivid and fresh. Intrigue began on the first page with a phone call from an eccentric aunt to the protagonist saying she'd been arrested for antiquities theft and was in jail in Cyprus and she needed help. Boy did she need help.
But Marjorie Thelen, the author, didn't. She proceeded to self-publish her first mystery-in-exotic-places series and it's available as an ebook. She said she liked having control over the cover art and she used a site called Bookbaby to do the conversion to publish her e-reader. She did the extra work of having it well edited and I truly enjoyed reading this fast-paced and descriptive book. I read novels just before I go to sleep and this one kept me up a little later than planned as I traveled with Marie-Claude to exotic places of Cyprus and kept turning pages to find out what happened! Romance and history and the antiquities trades are woven within the ruins along with a touch of murder. I'll forever watch my luggage from now on!
I've never been to Cyprus but we spent three weeks in Greece and I could imagine some of the archeological sites. Marjorie's mystery has a layer or two of intrigue and lots of wonderings about who is really a good guy and who is the bad guy. It's written in first person so the reader knows the narrator survives and I'm hoping that Marie-Claude will be around to manage her mutual fund from any number of exotic
sites around the world that I can visit with her. You can visit Marjorie at http://www.marjoriethelen.com
Only one percent of the people who say they are going to write a book actually do so. Marjorie Thelen is in that one percent. Marjorie is fast at work writing her second mystery, the Hieroglyphic Staircase. I don't know where it's set but I'm pretty sure it isn't in Burns, Oregon where Marjorie lives while taking us to far-away places. Wherever it's set, I'll be purchasing it. I know it'll be another great book. Breaking news! Marjorie's new book will be out in June. It's set in Honduras and has new characters to grow to love. I can hardly wait!
Amazon Reader Reviews
The Forty Column Castle is a perfect blend of filial concern, romance, international intrigue, fashion, and surprising plot twists that create a lighthearted escape from the burdens of daily life. You'll have fun reading it. BJ Appelgren, author of The Transparent Feather
The Forty Column Castle is as appealing from the cover image with the arch you want to enter, to the end you wish wouldn't arrive. Driven by a perfectly plausible plot with a likeable character at the wheel for this road trip of a mystery, the reader gets to travel to Cyprus for hundreds less than the cost of a plane ticket, plus minus a body search and annoying seatmates. This debut book will make readers want to be on standby for future trips via Thelen novels. Cecil Gray