Just another GR refugee. Other than that, I had a stroke in 2004, and read almost anything I can get my hands on, though I have a particular weakness for history, mystery, and historical fiction.
In this third installment in the series begun with "The Pericles Commission," Nico, his father, annoying little brother, and girlfriend, Diotima, have gone to the 80th Olympic Games, of 460 B.C. Nico's father is looking for a big commission from some victorious athlete (he's a sculptor), little brother wants to see the games, and Nico wants to get married. (He, his father, Diotima, and her step-father, are in negotiations.)
Nico's childhood best friend, Timodemus, is the favorite in the pankration, a mixed martial art in which the only banned moves are biting and eye-gouging (and desperate competitors have done both in the past). Deaths happen as a matter of course during matches, and the athletes are ritually absolved of murder before the matches start.
The second-favorite in the event, a young Spartan named Arakos, is found murdered, and everyone suspects Timodemus. Who else would be strong enough to murder a man built like a mountain?
And war between Athens and Sparta, if Timodemus is found guilty, is a distinct possibility. Pericles, also at the games, is a very worried man, and hires Nico to investigate.
We get to learn more about the Spartans, about Greek athletics, marriage negotiations, Greek philosophy, and "the world's oldest business" (many hookers are in town for the games).
I guessed the killer early, but still had a great time reading this one, and can't wait until the next one comes out.
The character lists (with asterisks marking actual historical people) at the front are very useful and appreciated, as is the map of the Olympic village.