About the Author
Leta Serafim graduated from George Washington University in D.C. with a degree in political science and Russian studies. While in college, Leta worked at the Washington Post, writing obituaries and doing research for the national desk, and later joining the staff of the Los Angeles Times Washington Bureau. Following her marriage to a Greek national, Philip Serafim, Leta moved to Athens. When she moved back to the U.S. seven years later, she wrote for local papers and the Boston Globe. After her mother began to lose her sight from glaucoma, she began designing and launching multiple media campaigns to increase public awareness of this disease. Leta spends at least one month every year in Greece and has visited over 25 islands. The Devil Takes Half is her first novel and the first book in the Greek Islands Mystery series. Coffeetown Press will also be publishing her work of historical fiction, To Look on Death No More. You can find Leta online at letaserafim.com.
Read an Excerpt
Uninvited, the priest had followed him and now stood at the edge of the trench, looming over him, his black cassock billowing in the wind. "Chief Officer, with your permission, I'd like to assist you in your investigation."
"Sorry, Father. You know that's impossible." Patronas was measuring the depth of the blood. He wasn't sure what had happened, if the blood was even human, and he wanted to sort it out before his men arrived, before the day got any hotter. "This is police work and the police and the church, they're at cross purposes. They don't mix."
"Hear me out. I can be of service. I'm familiar with the excavation. No one knows it better than I do. I am also familiar with crime detection. I am a fervent devotee of the mystery novel and of all manner of American detective shows. I know about trace evidence and DNA."
Patronas waved him away. "You are a man of faith, Father. You've no business in a homicide investigation."
"Faith and homicide are not incompatible. The Bible is full of homicides."
"Be that as it may, I have no need of your services."
Patronas entered his measurements in the spiral notebook he'd brought with him next to the date and time. He didn't know what had transpired here, but he suspected it was a double homicide. He had never seen so much blood. Perhaps the priest was right and he should look to the forensic specialists on television to guide him. Write things down the way they did. As to what those policemen did with it after they wrote it down, he had no clue. As he'd told the priest, he'd never investigated a crime like this before. Assault and battery, sure. Violence against one's spouse any number of times. But murder, never. As a cop, he was an amateur at best and he knew it.
"I can't stop thinking about her," the priest said. "Dead out here someplace."
"What makes you so sure she's dead?" There had been no doubt in the old man's voice, only sadness.
"No one's seen her. After I called you last night, I checked with Marina and Vassilis, people who were here yesterday. Eleni always said good-bye before she left, and yesterday she didn't. Petros either."
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Ms. Seraphim swept me away! I felt the heat of the days, and the stones under my feet. The history she brings in makes everything realistic. I followed each one of characters with great interest in every step they took and couldn’t wait to see where it would take them. I found myself unable to put the book down!
Leta Serafim has done a remarkable job! At an archeological dig on the idyllic Greek Island of Chios, a severed hand is found lying in a blood-filled trench. This docile place has seen nothing more than petty theft. The Chief of Detectives has his work cut out for him, but he has help from the local priest who has seen and memorized every American detective show. Fast-paced, it has you gasping for air and turning pages at the same time. You will go through a gamut of emotions. More! More!
Leta Serafim her new book, “The Devil Takes Half” Book One in the Greek Islands Mystery series published by Coffeetown Press introduces us to Yiannis Patronas. From the back cover: At an archaeological dig on the idyllic Greek Island of Chios, a severed hand is found lying in a blood-filled trench. Could it belong to Eleni Argentis, a beautiful archaeologist who is also the wealthy daughter of a local ship owner? She and her young assistant, Petros, are both missing. The chief officer of the local police force, Yiannis Patronas, suspects that Eleni and Petros happened upon something of real value. However, his search turns up nothing but handfuls of broken clay, and then, another body that of Petros, whose throat has been brutally cut. Body parts belonging to Eleni are left behind on a remote beach, confirming her demise. Then an old priest with a fondness for TV detective shows is attacked and left for dead. The dig site is located near the monastery where he was the only resident. Patronas interviews Petros’ long-suffering grandmother, his flighty mother and her money-grubbing boyfriend, as well as Eleni’s greedy stepmother and her charming son. He also confronts two archaeologists, one British and one American …. If Eleni’s find is, as they insist, worthless, what are these men doing on Chios? Although Patronas has little experience with homicide, he is determined to conquer the evil that threatens this formerly peaceful island. The Devil Takes Half is Book 1 in the Greek Islands Mystery series. There is something about Greece that is very attractive. Then add in that this whole mystery takes place on a small island where, up until this point, there has not been a murder and you have really skyrocketed this book. Two archaeologists are murdered. The remaining archaeologists are under the protection of their individual consuls. Then there are the relatives. This investigation is not simple nor is it easy. Questions, evasions and lies are just some of what Patronas is up against as he stumbles along in this investigation. Yiannis Patronas is a wonderful character and I like him a lot. “The Devil Takes Half” is loaded with twists and turns and red herrings that will leave you guessing all the while you are flipping pages to find out what happens next. Ms. Serafim has provided us with a marvelous whodunit and I am already looking forward until the next book in this series comes out. Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Coffeetown Press. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”