Spotlight on When the Devil’s Idle by Leta Serafim @BTShowcase

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In the Book of Revelation, written by St. John on the Greek island of Patmos, it was said a pale horse would appear whose rider was death, others would cry out for vengeance, and the stars of heaven would fall to the earth. Death does indeed come to Patmos when a German tourist is found murdered in the garden of one of the island’s fabled estates. Yiannis Patronas, Chief Officer of the Chios police, is called in to investigate. He summons his top detective, Giorgos Tembelos, and his friend and amateur sleuth, Papa Michalis, to assist him. What the policemen discover will disturb them long after the conclusion of the case. Only six people were at the house at the time of the murder—the gardener and housekeeper, the victim’s son and his wife and their two children, a boy of seven and a teenage girl of sixteen. All appear to be innocent. But access to the isolated estate is severely restricted. Surrounded by high walls, it has only one entrance: a metal gate that was bolted at the time of the crime. Patronas can only conclude that one of the six is a killer. He continues to probe, uncovering the family’s many secrets. Some are very old, others more recent. All are horrifying. But which of these secrets led to murder? Book 2 of the Greek Islands Mystery series, which began with The Devil Takes Half.

 

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About the author:

Her own words…

The daughter of an itinerant scientist, I was born in Wisconsin, spent the first years of my life in San Diego, before moving to Washington, D.C. when NASA was created and my father went to work for that agency. A genuine rocket scientist, he served there for twenty-five years in many capacities— Director of Unmanned Space, Director of Astronomy, Associate Administrator and Chief Scientist, and supervised the American missions to Venus, Mars, Saturn and Jupiter. Our house was always littered with models of space ships and missiles and our guests at Thanksgiving spoke about ‘thrust and payload’ in a multitude of tongues, it being my father’s firm belief that the language of American science was ‘broken English.’

I attended Wells College in upstate New York for two years before transferring to George Washington University in Washington, DC where I graduated with a degree in political science and Russian studies, my focus being on Dostoyevsky, Pasternak and Solzhenitsyn. I worked at the Washington Post while in college, writing obituaries and doing research for the national desk, before leaving to join the staff of the Los Angeles Times Washington Bureau. Following my marriage to a Greek national, Philip Serafim, I moved to Athens where I taught art while at home with small children, my daughers, Amalia and Annie.

When we moved back to the United States seven years later, I wrote for the local papers and sporadically for the Boston Globe. My mother began to lose her sight from glaucoma around this time and, disturbed by her plight, I went to work as Executive Director of the Massachusetts Society of Eye Physicians and Surgeons, determined to educate the public about the disease; and in this capacity, I designed and launched multiple media campaigns (posters on public transportation, billboards throughout the city, radio and television announcements, cable shows, etc.), focusing primarily on the African-American community which is at increasing risk. I received many awards for this program and served in a similar capacity as Public Health Director for the New England Ophthalmological Society, the oldest speciality organization in the United States.

I spend at least a month every year in Greece and have visited over twenty-five islands and know the country well. I paint in both oils and acrylics, etch, cook (I’ve mastered many native cuisines, but my main focus is Greek) make prints and etch, spend many joyful hours with my granddaughters Zoe and Grace Hartnagel and my grandson, George Baltopoulos,and volunteer on a weekly basis as a tutor in an MIT-sponsored ESL program.

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