Saturday, April 3, 2021

The Aegean Island of Naxos Gets A Deadly Twist



Jeff––Saturday

 

This coming Tuesday, April 6th, is the release date for my new Chief Inspector Andreas Kaldis Greece-based mystery-thriller, A DEADLY TWIST. The pandemic delayed its publication by a year, and during those twelve months a lot changed in our world. Yet relative to the storied past of the Aegean island on which this eleventh book in the series is based, twelve months is but the blink of an eye.

 


Naxos is the greenest and largest island in the Cyclades—four times the size of its neighbor Mykonos (my home island)—and boasts the Cyclades' two largest mountains. It is where Zeus was raised, Ares took refuge, and Dionysius called home.

 

For more recent history buffs, Cycladic life began on Naxos before Minoan Crete and Mycenaean Greece, and flourished as a society through most of antiquity up until the Persians ended its long independent run. Then came the Athenians, the Spartans, and a string of other Greeks, followed by the Romans, Venetians, Turks and a touch of Russians, though the most lasting influence is clearly Venetian. A thirteenth century Venetian castle still dominates the hilltop overlooking the ancient harbor and capital town of Naxos—called Chora by the locals.  

The island is agriculturally blessed--deep into its seventh millennium of cultivation--and since antiquity, famous for its marble and emery mines. Down in its valleys, rows of olive sweep up against fields of copper, emerald, and sage, while stone walls streaked with age hold planted terraces snugly in place against sharply slanted hillsides.  Once up in the mountains, roads turn to twists, switchbacks, and panoramic views of long fertile valleys, slices of a distant deep blue sea, and vast stretches of sandy beaches. 

 


Naxos presents a many faceted setting for a mystery thriller.  It is filled with scores of villages deeply proud of their individual histories, and a population forced to confront how best to preserve its past in balance with the demands of tourism hungry to capitalize on the beauty of Naxos' landscape and the seductive magic of its ways.

About an hour due south of Mykonos by ferry, I've been there several times on day trips with friends from Mykonos, but August 2018 was Barbara's first visit. I’d offered to take her wherever she'd like on her birthday, and she picked Naxos. Once again she choose wisely, and I benefited simply by going along for the ride.


We met a lot of wonderful folk--some of whom we now feel as if we've known forever--and have returned several times more. I’m not surprised that my enchantment with Naxos and its people led me to write this novel, and it’s filled with places and stories we discovered through our friends. It’s immersed in Naxos history, adoring of its places, and revealing of its characters and secrets.


May Naxians forgive me for bringing murder to their paradise, but as the line goes, Murder is Everywhere.

Here’s a bit about its general story line:

 

Athens journalist Nikoletta Elia is dispatched by her editor to Naxos to report on the simmering conflict between island advocates for expanded tourism and its passionate preservationists.

There, she’s approached by a fan who claims to be the computer underground’s most successful hacker, taking credit for several suspicious deaths Nikotetta had written about and suspected to be murders. The hacker claims to have abandoned his evil ways, and wants the world to know that there are people out there like him. Plain, seemingly ordinary folk, paid to do very bad things for calculated purposes without leaving a trace of guilt or motive.

She agrees to write the article. Days after the story runs, her editor calls on Chief Inspector Andreas Kaldis to investigate Nikoletta’s sudden disappearance, as an unidentified male body is discovered at the base of a cliff outside her hotel. Kaldis sends his deputy, Yianni, and soon leads turn into more dead bodies in this twisting tale of greed, corruption, and murder that puts Kaldis, his family, and members of his team in the path of a ruthless killer who will stop at nothing to keep dark secrets buried—forever. 

 For more info.


––Jeff

Jeff’s Upcoming ZOOM Events

Saturday, April 10th @ 4PM EDT 

                Book Carnival, Orange CA

 

Friday, April 23rd @ 4PM EDT

                  Poisoned Pen Bookstore, Scottsdale AZ, with David Wagner

13 comments:

  1. I'm eagerly awaiting its delivery Monday evening or Tuesday morning. You've not let me down yet. I just need to hurry along in the current book, so that I'm ready when it arrives...

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    1. I know you're up to the task, my friend! Thanks, EvKa.

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  2. Congratulations on the new book, Jeff!

    Your lovely description of Naxos (murders aside) makes me want to explore the Aegean side of Greece as much as I have the Ionian side.

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    1. The Ionian is more Italian. The Aegean more Zoëen.:) You'll love it, and it will love you.

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    2. My fingers are too quick to hit publish. THANK YOU Zoë for the good wishes!

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  3. Great news, Jeff! Looking forward to visiting Naxos if only through the pages of your book.

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    1. It (and I) await your presence. Thanks, Michael.

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  4. As we say, here in Greece, Καλό Τάξιδο,(KALO TAXIDO) which translates into.. May it have a fantastic journey, may it have an excellent selling journey.. What really caught my eye was Andreas Kaldis, since my name is Andriana (the female of Andreas) and last name is Kaldis. Is this a long lost cousin of mine? I am looking forward to buying your book and reading it.I belive you choose a great island for its setting.

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    1. Andriana, Andreas asked me to pass along to you his warmest thanks and regards. He also wondered whether you're from the part of the family that has those wonderful pastry shops in Piraeus? :)

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  5. Congratulations! Hopefully we'll meet in Greece some day.

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    1. Thanks, Stan. The Aegean and I (make that we) await thee!

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  6. Excellent review over at Kittling Books.

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