The best books for a virtual odyssey in ancient and modern Greece

Who am I?

I wrote my first thriller at age 8 about a girl who ran away and joined the circus. For later works, I, a pediatric physician, did opt to follow my English teachers’ guidance to write about what you know, including science, medicine, psychology, journalism, and my twin home countries of America and Greece. As YS Pascal, I wrote the Zygan Emprise Trilogy, which blended ancient Greek history, mythology, and literature. As Linda Reid, I co-authored the award-winning Sammy Greene thriller series with Dr. Deborah Shlian and was eager to fly investigative reporter Sammy and her ex-cop friend Gus Pappajohn to the shores of modern Athens to solve an ancient and modern mystery.

I wrote...

Deep Waters

By Deborah Shlian, Linda Reid,

Book cover of Deep Waters

What is my book about?

For centuries an ancient shipwreck in azure Greek waters has concealed an astonishing truth. The drowning of an underwater cameraman, then the murder of a highly respected academic - seemingly isolated tragedies? When radio talk show host/investigative reporter Sammy Greene and ex-cop Gus Pappajohn investigate, they uncover an ancient and modern mystery - conflicts between pagans and saints, and archeologists and treasure hunters.

From the marble steps of the Parthenon to the peaks of the hidden monasteries of Mount Athos, the pair risk their lives in a desperate race to find a lost chapter of human history.

The books I picked & why

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Vignettes of Modern Greece

By Melissa Orme-Marmarelis,

Book cover of Vignettes of Modern Greece

Why this book?

An American scientist and her Greek-American professor husband relocate to Greece with their young children as the millennium approaches. Dr. Orme, now back in the USA and a Vice President for Boeing, writes eloquently about her family’s decision to establish their home in Greece, a country whose language and customs are new and often challenging for an American immigrant. Her journey into the arms of a warm Greek community is shared through a series of vignettes that give readers an honest glimpse into the life and culture of modern Greece, and its positive impact on her own life and her family’s future.

Murder in Mykonos: An Inspector Kaldis Mystery

By Jeffrey Siger,

Book cover of Murder in Mykonos: An Inspector Kaldis Mystery

Why this book?

In Book 11, Chief Inspector Andreas Kaldis, fresh from Athens to the picturesque Greek island, must find the perpetrators of a gruesome murder of a young woman found dead in a rural church. Siger, via his blunt investigator Kaldis, is an expert in sprinkling the beautiful Greek landscape with notes of suspense and mystery, and, like the earlier entries in this attractive series, Murder in Mykonos does not disappoint.

American Kid

By Constance M. Constant,

Book cover of American Kid

Why this book?

Katherine, a Greek immigrant to the US, took her American children to Greece in the late 1930s to live on her family’s farm and escape from the Great Depression. Unfortunately, the arrival of the Nazi invaders trapped the family in Greece during the Occupation and the end of World War II. Based on a true family story, American Kid movingly describes the experiences of the children in the remote mountain village of Katherine’s birth, and their efforts to survive the occupation of their home by Nazis. Would they ever see their beloved America again? An authentic glimpse of the devastating war’s impact on innocent youth and the value of hope.

Legacy of Courage: A Holocaust Survival Story in Greece

By Frederic Kakis,

Book cover of Legacy of Courage: A Holocaust Survival Story in Greece

Why this book?

Frederic Kakis, a brilliant scientist and moving writer, shares a personal story of survival and fortitude for a Jewish family in Northern Greece during the Nazi occupation. Close to 80,000 were relocated to Nazi concentration campus far from their homes in Thessaloniki and close to 60,000 did not survive the Holocaust. Dr. Kakis describes the terror experienced as well as the courage shown by Greek Jews and their local Christian neighbors during this tragic invasion, and how their efforts helped as many of the vulnerable as possible survive. 

The Athenian Murders

By Jose Carlos Somoza,

Book cover of The Athenian Murders

Why this book?

As an author of mystery-thrillers, including the Sherlock Holmes Pastiche, “Elementary, My Dear Spock” as well as a longtime fan of Agatha Christie, I was drawn to the appeal of an ancient Greek “detective”, Heracles Pontor investigating murders in Plato’s Athens. And, Somoza does not disappoint, inviting us to share Pontor’s journey down a rabbit hole that grows ever more intriguing and dangerous page by page. Somoza welcomes us with a beautifully translated murder mystery that soon envelopes us in a fascinating exploration of Plato, reality, and, as reflected in the original Spanish title, the Cave of Ideas. 

5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in Greece, murders, and World War 2?

5,215 authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about Greece, murders, and World War 2.

Greece Explore 87 books about Greece
Murders Explore 292 books about murders
World War 2 Explore 866 books about World War 2

And, 3 books we think you will enjoy!

We think you will like Greece and the Allies 1914-1922, Democracy: A Life, and Ancient Greece: From Prehistoric to Hellenistic Times if you like this list.