Short Stories in the Miriam bat Isaac Mystery Series
“The Brother,” June’s first short story featuring Miriam bat Isaac in first-century CE Roman Alexandria, is about a scheme to steal a rare manuscript. The story appears in Crime Pays, an anthology dedicated to all things criminal. The stories are about heists gone wrong, kidnaps that end badly, murderous plottings, and all things of a darkly criminal nature. Watch out! Each story has a sting in its tail.
Get a Head Start on the Story Here:
The Eighth Year of the Reign of
Nero Claudius Caesar Augustus Germanicus [Nero]
62 CE, Mid-March
Alexandria ad Aegyptum
It was almost noon on the Ides of March when my house servant, Minta, recognizing the frantic jingle of bells as those on Phoebe’s litter, rushed into the late winter chill to greet her at the entrance to our townhouse.
“Miriam! Miriam!” The urgency in Phoebe’s voice rang through the house.
A moment later, my best friend was plunging through the ceiling-high, double mahogany doors of my study. I looked up from my desk and had to remind myself to breathe.
Her cheeks flushed, her shoulders rigid under her crimson stola and the matching silk himation, she stared at me with wild eyes before dropping into the sella opposite me. To calm my own blood hammering like a clapper inside a bell, I focused on the scent of alarm in her perspiration.
“Tell me, Phoebe.”
Wringing her hands together, she squeezed out the bitter words. “It’s gone, absolutely gone. Menander’s Dyskolos. The edition Bion brought me from Athens. We’d been keeping it on display in the shop to attract customers. You remember—”
For an instant I caught a nascent glitter in her eyes as she reminded me that Bion had picked out this play for her because in the story, Sostratos falls instantly in love with Knemon’s daughter just as he fell in love with her.
“When, Phoebe? When did it disappear?”
“I’m not sure. I hadn’t been to the shop lately. I only went this morning to help rearrange the shelves for a shipment due this week.”
And then with tears flooding her cheeks, her eyes a little bigger as they fixed me with a searching look, I felt the question in her gaze.
“Of course, Phoebe. And we’ll find it. That I promise you.”
Test yourself. The clues will be there.
See whether you can figure out how to recover Menander’s ancient Greek comedy before Miriam.
To find out more, click here.