Shades of Persephone is a literary mystery that will entertain those who delight in exotic settings, foreign intrigue, and the unmasking of mysterious characters. Crete in 1980-81, more specifically the old Venetian harbour of Chania, provides the background against which expat Canadian Steven Spire labours in pursuit of David Montgomery, his enigmatic and elusive mentor, who stands accused in absentia of treachery and betrayal.The plot has many seams through which characters slide, another of them being the poet Emma Leigh, widow of Montgomery’s imposing Cold War adversary, Heinrich Trüger. In that the setting is Crete, the source of light is manifold, but significant inspiration for Steven Spire comes from Magalee De Bellefeuille, his vision of Aphrodite and his muse. “Find Persephone,” she directs him, “and you’ll find David Montgomery. Her prompts motivate much of the narrative, including that of the Cretan underground during the Nazi occupation, 1941- 45.
About the author
Reed Stirling lives in Cowichan Bay, BC, and writes when he is not painting landscapes or travelling or hanging out at The Drumroaster in Cobble Hill, a popular local café where metaphor and metaphysics clash daily. He is presently completing work on a novel set in Montreal. His shorter fiction has appeared in a variety of venues, both online and in hard copy, among which The Nashwaak Review, Fickle Muses, Filling Station, Fictuary, and StepAway Magazine
Gripping and intrigueing. This should be on our Must Read List.
Shades of PersephoneKevin in the Valley, November 4, 2019 *****
Fan of both Greek Mythology and mysteries? Look no further!
My wife and I really enjoyed reading this book together. Such an excellent mystery for fans of Greek mythology. We’d discuss the clues and look up pictures of Chania as I read it aloud. She traveled in Greece n the eighties not long after the story was set, and says Stirling captures well the beauty and flavour of the place and time. It has left us wanting to book tickets to Crete!
Amazon customer, November 22, 2019 *****
A friend gave me a copy of the novel to read. I had no idea what to expect. To say I was pleasantly surprised is an understatement. Set in the early 1980s in Crete, the book explores the sometimes tenuous relationships of a cast of characters tat ebbs and flows in the town of Chania, an ancient Venetian port. Central to the plot is a mystery that in some ways involves each of these characters. The author skilfully weaves elements of mythology, Shakespearean tragedy and historical allusions to create a novel that is both intriguing and satisfying. The mystery is not an easy read, but is a rewarding experience for those who enjoy a challenge and who appreciate fine writing.
I am looking forward to the next novel created by this author.
Lillian Kavan, November 3, 2019 *****
A compelling read…hard to put down once the tale unfolds.
What a fantastic read! Immediately the reader is aware of the beautiful writing. Smooth, tight, descriptive, full of irony and nuance, it reveals the narrative. The pace is quick, things happen. The many and varied characters, the subtitles of their relationships, the misunderstandings, the innuendoes unveil themselves early. Wonderful, magical Crete in the early 80’s charms and, of course, enhances the mystery. And, it is this mystery, with its suggestion of myth overlaid with truth that is the essence of the piece.