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Paperback Details
  • 02/2023
  • 9781800164208 1800164203
  • 416 pages
  • $18.99
Ebook Details
  • 08/2023
  • 1800164203 B0CDMC6GMS
  • 416 pages
  • $3.99
Alexander Marriott
The School of Homer

Adult; Mystery/Thriller; (Market)

Virgil Colvin, a retired homicide detective, leaves his hometown Chicago to resurrect his honeymoon memories with his dead wife in Ithaca, Greece. There, he befriends the Vathy police chief, Costas Pantakalas, over stories of a shared profession and countless cups of ouzo.

One day, Virgil wakes to the violent tremors of the earth to find Ithaca has just had an earth quake. But that is not the only unusual occurrence. In the city's public square, at the feet of Odysseus, someone has dumped the body of a British tourist in the small hours of the morning. He ran to the ends of the earth to escape his former life, but murder had other plans for Virgil Colvin. Together, Virgil and Costas join forces to track down a killer. But in their quest to find the murderer, will they unearth an even more astounding secret?

Plot/Idea: 8 out of 10
Originality: 8 out of 10
Prose: 8 out of 10
Character/Execution: 8 out of 10
Overall: 8.00 out of 10


Plot/Idea: The School of Homer is a scenic and charming murder mystery that makes for a great summer read. Though the killer's identity may be anticipated early on, readers will still enjoy watching Costas and Virgil puzzle it out. Greek mythology and history add substance but sometimes detract from the book's mystery.

Prose: The prose is clear and engaging. The minor language barriers between Virgil and the locals make for moments of welcome levity.

Originality: The story's Greek setting is rich with culture, mythology, and history, and the relationship between Costas and Virgil is entertaining.

Character/Execution: Despite some fallback on stereotypes—the jaded cop, passionate Greeks, among others—the story's characters and interactions with each other are enjoyable.

Blurb: An enjoyable foray into Greek culture—and attempt at solving a local murder mystery—through the eyes of an ex-cop grieving the recent death of his wife.

Date Submitted: June 13, 2023

Marriott’s debut showcases his European history chops as it tells the tale of a widowed and retired Chicago detective and the small-town Greek police chief with whom he teams up to solve a murder. After Chicago detective Virgil Colvin’s beloved wife Janet dies, he decides to relocate to the place where they spent their honeymoon: Ithaca, Greece. Usually, the most serious crime that occurs there is pickpocketing, until a dead British tourist is found at the feet of a statue of Odysseus. Virgil teams up with Costas Pantakalas, the local police chief, to try to suss out who killed the supposed tourist, Reginald Wellesley—and why. (Hint: it may include illegal weapons.)

Marriott turns the journey to catch the killer into an uber-intellectual thrill ride, incorporating the history of Virgil’s new home, proclaimed to be the storied Ithaca of Penelope and Odysseus. After Wellesley is uncloaked as a British spy, the investigation takes an unexpected and skillfully crafted twist. Marriott pulls plentiful red herrings across the plot, including a sexy island native cheating on her husband, an inn owner who may or may not be on the up-and-up, and a seemingly affable, world-famous British historian. The villain who emerges will surprise most readers.

Readers will feel the Mediterranean sun beating down as Marriott conjures, in crisp and sometimes clever prose, wine and vistas, like Vathy’s “horseshoe harbour of oranges, pinks, blues and greens.” Marriott’s impressive command of Greek mythology shines through on every page, allowing readers to become deeply familiar with Greek mythology while trying to parse out who the killer is. The author also proves himself a master of marrying the scholarly with a good old-fashioned mystery, which will deeply appeal to lovers of history, ancient cultures, and European living —but he also offers inviting context, without condescension, for readers not steeped in Circe and Laertes.

Takeaway: Fast-paced mystery doubles as bonus masterclass in Greek myth.

Comparable Titles: Anne Zouroudi’s The Messenger of Athens, Jeffrey Siger’s Murder in Mykonos.

Production grades
Cover: B+
Design and typography: A
Illustrations: B+
Editing: A-
Marketing copy: A

4-star Review on The Reading Bud Blog

Crazy Cat Writer's (Heena Rathore Pardeshi) book blog, The Reading Bud, has given The School of Homer a 4/5 review. Among other things, she writes: "“The School of Homer” is not just a detective novel; it’s an exploration of grief, friendship, and the lengths to which one would go to seek justice. Marriott’s prose is evocative and fluid, and he deftly balances moments of introspection with high-octane investigative sequences."Read more at the link below!

Alextheshadowgirl's Blog Review

Book blogger Pallavi Sareen has given The School of Homer a four-star review, calling it "a captivating mystery..."

Kirkus Reviews

"The author’s breezy prose details the food, landscape, and picturesque architecture of Ithaca, giving the book a pleasant vacation atmosphere..." - Kirkus Reviews


"Greek history buffs will enjoy Marriott’s inclusion of archaeological sites, mythological references, and academic disputes about the location of Homer’s Ithaca." - Kirkus Reviews

Midwest Book Review

Fun, original, and a welcome addition to the personal reading lists of all dedicated crime thriller 'whodunnit' fans, "The School of Homer" is a riveting read that showcases the impressive storytelling talents of novelist Alexander Marriott. Simply stated, "The School of Homer" is an unreservedly recommended addition to both personal reading lists and community library Mystery/Suspense collections. Five Star Review

A new five-star review for The School of Homer is out! Reviewer Kebun Bunga writes: "Marriott's adept writing and diligent investigation ensure that "The School of Homer" shines as a literary treasure, leaving an indelible mark."

Follow the link to read the entire review!

Reader Views Five-Star Review

The School of Homer received a 5-star rating from Lily Andrews at the book review blog Reader Views. Andrews writes that The School of Homer is “a riveting novel that felt like a loving tribute to the island. Its plethora of memorable and well-wrought characters are distinctly alive, even the minor ones, and the prose is spare and concise.”

Check out the review below!

Readers' Favorite ★★★★★

The School of Homer by Alexander Marriott is a sleuthing adventure with Virgil Colvin, a retired Chicago cop, and his best friend, police chief Costas Pantakalas, on the Greek island of Ithaca. Virgil retired to the island after the death of his beloved wife. Six months after he settles on the island, he is woken by an earthquake. Soon after, Costas arrives at his villa, asking for help with a police matter. A murder victim was found at the feet of the statue of Odysseus in the town's square. For Costas, this is horrible as it is his first murder in Ithaca. Virgil and Costas try to retrace the steps of the murdered Brit. This takes them to the historical sites of Odyssean Ithaca. They visit each ancient site, garnering clues and discovering a wide net of conspiracies and weapons smuggling. With characters passionate about their various ideals, from the Communist Party leader to a British historian eager to remove evidence that could disprove his hypothesis that Ithaca is not truly Ithaca, many suspects are identified. What do they have in common to make them all suspects? Join Virgil and Costas in this humorous yet fast-paced mystery.


The School of Homer by Alexander Marriott is a crime story in the historical setting of Odysseus’ Ithaca, creating a mythological background. Any lover of the classics will be whisked away to a magical world. Imagine my gleeful reaction when the author mentioned the Loeb Classical Library translations, some of which I have on my bookshelf! The book is filled with references and allusions to Greek mythology, especially the Odyssey by Homer in the 7th century BC. Fans of the classical Greek writer and the story of the Iliad and the Odyssey will have an informative and visually vivid experience. The author describes the scenery with such love and detail that you will easily imagine standing next to Virgil, staring out at the blue Ionian Sea.

Alexander Marriott recognized by his institution for The School of Homer

Congrats to Dean of Arts and Sciences Dr. Alexander Marriott for the publishing of his novel The School of Homer, a murder mystery about a retired homicide detective caught in the middle of homicide investigation in Greece. Learn more about the book on Amazon.

Book Giveaway - Kindle Edition

A free Kindle edition of The School of Homer is available in the month of August. Time is running out, enter today!

Book Signing with Jeffrey Siger at Murder by the Book

At Houston's internationally famous mystery bookstore, Murder by the Book, I am honored to share the stage with bestselling Greek thriller writer Jeffrey Siger. Come out to get his latest Inspector Kaldis mystery, At Any Cost, and my own debut novel, The School of Homer.

Saturday, March 9 @ 3 PM

Για μας!

Giveaway at

15 copies of The School of Homer are being given away at through the end of April. Enter for a chance to win, today!

Kindle Edition Out

The Kindle edition of The School of Homer was released today. Very happy news for those who've been asking about it! Enjoy!

LibraryThing Giveaway

Ten copies are available on LibraryThing as part of a giveaway promotion for The School of Homer!

Paperback Details
  • 02/2023
  • 9781800164208 1800164203
  • 416 pages
  • $18.99
Ebook Details
  • 08/2023
  • 1800164203 B0CDMC6GMS
  • 416 pages
  • $3.99