Leta Serafim was a journalist at the Los Angeles Times Washington Bureau before moving to Greece, where she taught art and illustrated books. Upon her return to the United States, she wrote feature stories for the Boston Globe before trying her hand at fiction. She continues to spend her summers in Greece.
On the island of Sifnos, a tourist finds a child’s body in the ruins of an ancient temple, well hidden on the top of a cliff. The boy appears to have been sacrificed in a religious ritual. Chief Officer Patronas is summoned to investigate, along with his colleagues and his friend, Papa Michalis. Is the culprit a Greek national or one of the many foreign migrants crowding its refugee camps?
Coming in February 1, 2017 from Coffeetown Press, From the Devil’s Farm is the third book in the Greek Mystery Series.
Coffeetown Announces the February Release of From the Devil’s Farm: A Ritual Sacrifice on the Isle of Sifnos
Seattle, WA.—On February 1, 2017, Coffeetown Press will release From the Devil’s Farm ($14.95, 208 pp, 6×9 Trade Paperback ISBN: 978-1-60381-244-3), the third book in Leta Serafim’s Greek Islands Mystery series.
“Serafim grounds her tale in Greek history, ancient and present, and provides a brutal and effective resolution to the case that will surprise most readers.” —Publishers Weekly
The first two books of the series have received high praise from both critics and readers. The Devil Takes Half was a finalist in the mystery category of the Eric Hoffer Awards.
“Serafim expertly creates the beauty of Greece. However, the real draws of this book are the fully developed, complex characters, and the facts on Greek culture and history. Book two in the Greek Islands Mystery series is sure to satisfy.” —RT Magazine, 4 Stars
“Serafim’s dense prose is perfect for lovers of literary and scholarly mysteries. Her plotting is methodical and traditional, with subtle nods to Sherlock Holmes, Greek mythology, and historical events.” —Library Journal, The Devil Takes Half: (Starred Review–Featured as a Best Summer Debut)
“[An] impressive debut …. Serafim has a good eye for people and places, and sheds light on the centuries of violent passion that have created an oppressive atmosphere hanging over the sunny Greek landscape.” —Publishers Weekly
A Greek American tourist, Lydia Pappas, stumbles upon a child’s body in the ruins of an ancient temple, well hidden on the top of a cliff. The boy has been bled dry, though no blood is in evidence, leading the Greek police investigator, Yiannis Patronas, to believe the killer must have collected it. Greece’s financial crisis has reduced the police force on Sifnos to one officer, Petros Nikolaidis, so Patronas has been summoned from his home base of Chios to aid in the case. Accompanying him are his colleagues, Giorgos Tembelos and Evangelos Demos, as well as Papa Michalis, an ancient Orthodox priest with a vast knowledge of detective fiction and an uncanny ability to ferret out the truth. Though eccentric and often irritating, Michalis has been an asset to Patronas over the years in a land where homicide was, until recently, a rare occurrence. But Greece is changing daily, with a tide of migrants straining the country’s already diminished resources and occasionally bringing out the worst in her people.
The child appears to have been sacrificed according to the rules of a pagan religious ritual. Is someone on Sifnos reviving the old ways? Or is there a thrill killer loose on the island? Is the culprit a Greek national or one of the many foreign migrants crowding its refugee camps?
Says the author, “When I first visited Sifnos years ago, I was struck by the almost ethereal beauty of the island, the purity of its whitewashed villages and the lives of its residents, whose days were taken up with family and the rituals of the Orthodox Church. Sadly Sifnos, like the rest of Greece, is no longer the utopia I remember and has entered the modern age with all its attendant problems. I wrote From the Devil’s Farm in part to explore the dichotomy between the two—the idyllic past and the island’s troubled and uncertain future.”
Leta Serafim is also the author of the historical novel, To Look on Death No More. She has visited over twenty-five islands in Greece and continues to divide her time between Boston and Greece.
From the Devil’s Farm is currently available for presale on Amazon.com. After February 1, it will also be for sale in eBook and 6×9 trade paperback editions on BN.com, the European Amazons, and Amazon Japan. Wholesale orders can be placed through firstname.lastname@example.org, Ingram, or Baker & Taylor. Libraries can also purchase books through Brodart Company. Other electronic versions will be available from Kobo and iBooks.
ABOUT Coffeetown Press—Based in Seattle, Washington, Coffeetown Press has been publishing the finest fiction and nonfiction since 2005.
Leta Serafim’ s presentation to the Harvard Retirees Association at Phillips Brooks House, Harvard University, October 11, 2016.