J M Alvey studied Classics at Oxford in the 1980s. As an undergraduate, notable achievements in startling tutors included citing the comedic principles of Benny Hill in a paper on Aristophanes, and using military war-gaming rules to analyse and explain apparent contradictions in historic accounts of the Battle of Thermopylae.

Crime fiction has always been relaxation reading and that love of mysteries and thrillers continued through a subsequent, varied career, alongside an abiding fascination with history and the ancient world.

These interests have all now come together in the first adventure of Philocles Hestaiou, comic playwright and pen for hire in classical Athens. The last thing he needs is a corpse on his doorstep days before his new play is performed in the city’s most prestigious drama competition, at the Dionysia festival.

SHADOWS OF ATHENS was first published by Orion Fiction on 7th March 2019, in paperback original, ebook and audio download. SCORPIONS IN CORINTH followed in September 2019.

However Orion Books decided they had no further interest in the series six weeks before Scorpions in Corinth was published, for internal reasons that had nothing to do with these books.

All rights were reverted, with new ebook editions by Canelo published in September 2020, followed by a new title, JUSTICE FOR ATHENA in October 2020.