The Deadliest Lie

The Deadliest Lie

by June Trop


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The Deadliest Lie 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A good read. Recreates Ancient Alexandria in a way that transports one back in time some 2000 years. Set against this realistic backdrop is an intriguing mystery that deals with the theft of some key alchemical documents. The ownership of these documents could prove injurious at best or fatal at worst for those who should have rightful possession of the scrolls. It is the environmental detailing and historical background which is the real gem of this novel. Ms.Trop has done her homework in spades and the descriptive and informational quality of the narrative is what sets it apart from other books of its kind. Highly recommended for those who like this genre.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A great read with a satisfying ending, a book you might want to re-read to return to Ancient Alexandria, so convincingly portrayed that you'll become part of that world. The last quarter of the book is a nail-biter as Miriam finds herself in the seedy underbelly of the city fighting for her life, desperate to recapture the scrolls.
ReadersFavorite 9 months ago
Reviewed by Saifunnissa Hassam for Readers' Favorite June Trop's mystery and historical fiction novel, The Deadliest Lie, is set in Roman Alexandria in 46 CE. Miriam bat Isaac is 16, well educated, and engaged to Noah, the son of Amram, her father's best friend and business partner. She is under pressure to set a date for the marriage. Miriam is undecided because she wants to be an alchemist. She borrows two priceless scrolls from Judah, a jeweler and an alchemist in the League of Alchemists. Miriam is very frightened when her notes and the League's scrolls are stolen from the family home. The information is secret and could endanger all Jews. The next few days are harrowing, filled with tension and danger as she suspects the thief could be her father, Isaac, or her twin brother, Binyamin, or her fiancé, Noah. Miriam is, however, determined to find the thief and recover the scrolls. I enjoyed reading June Trop's The Deadliest Lie for its strong characters. I liked the richly imagined details of Roman Alexandria that permeate the entire story because that added depth to the characters and to the significance of the stolen scrolls. Miriam is an independent thinker, intensely curious and determined to be an alchemist. She is a keen observer of nature, of people, of the city. She is afraid but courageous, willing to take risks. I liked the way Trop weaves together and creates tension in the novel through Miriam's life, her family, and the stolen scrolls. A fascinating novel, inspired to some degree by an early alchemist, Maria Hebrea, who became the legendary founder of Western alchemy.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Prepare Prepare yourself for a late night. The Deadliest Lie is a mystery with a clever solution, but it's primarily an historical novel that paints an exquisite image of First Century CE Alexandria. I thought the digressions about the chariot races (and the beast fighter facing the Numidian lion) were important to show the casual cruelty of Roman professional sports, especially because Miriam's brother dreams of becoming a gladiator. (By the way, you too may be struck by the institutionalized cheating in the Roman contests and the parallel with our professional sports today, all to make the games more exciting.) More than a mystery, I found the book to be the story of a young woman in quandary, trying to choose a future for herself in the context of a family scarred by the death of a mother, a domineering father, and an irresponsible brother. In short, I thoroughly enjoyed the book, read its smooth and often delightful prose in one unexpected late-night sitting, immediately drawn into Miriam's plight, which became a high-stakes mystery as soon as the scrolls disappeared. I'd recommend the book to anyone interested in a woman's coming of age, family relationships, Roman Egypt, and the life of Jews  in the Diaspora before the destruction of the Second Temple. And you'll get to enjoy the twist of a mystery besides.
SEStone519 More than 1 year ago
Miriam bat Isaac has dreams of becoming an alchemist. But those dreams may shatter before they even begin when scrolls containing valuable formulas of the Alchemical League are stolen from her home. If those scrolls fall into the wrong hands, life could become very bad for the Jews of Alexandria. That pressure forces Miriam to consider that her own family may be to blame. Her father on the cusp of financial ruin, her brother raising money to travel to Gladiator school, and her fiance jealous of her alchemy; all have motives for stealing the scrolls. Miriam must navigate the city's underbelly--where the Romans are the least of her worries--in order to discover a thief in her own home. This book really grated on my nerves. I think the reason for that can be broken down into two parts. First, I understand that it's set in Alexandria, Egypt in the first century AD, and I'm among the majority of readers who only have basic knowledge of that time period. But there is a fine line between setting the scene for readers and telling them details that have little to do with the stories. This book can't even see that line in its rear-view mirror. Four pages were dedicated to chariot racing in Chapter 3 simply because a character saw a speech by someone who liked to watch chariot races. And while the use of Latin words alone didn't bother me, but the parenthetical translations did. The second reason this book frustrated me was the tendency with conversations to over-explain or to use them to describe something rather than just show me. The narrator has a conversation with her aunt about her identity, and she gives examples as if to prove her aunt's conclusions about her are valid. Using conversation to provide description happened several times as well, including her aunt offering and describing a meal along with her brother describing details of their shared past. These were things that seemed put there for the reader's benefit and really interrupted the flow of dialogue. The story took quite a few chapters to get going, at least for me. The subplot of Miriam not wanting to get married started right away, but nothing was mentioned about the stolen scrolls until after chapter 4. Eventually the pace did pick up. However, I found sympathizing with Miriam very difficult at that point. The reason may be because I expected a lot more tension and danger than the story presented. All of that being said, the amount of research that the author did for this book is completely evident. I have no doubt that she knows what she's talking about. I have a hard time recommending this book to readers as a compelling mystery. But I would say that it does give an interesting look into the life of a Jewish Roman citizen in Alexandria during the first century AD. Rating: 1 of 5 stars The Deadliest Lie by June Trop is published by Bell Bridge Books. *I received an advanced copy of this book in return for an unbiased review.