Skip to main content

The Deadliest Sport: A Miriam bat Isaac Mystery in Ancient Alexandria by June Trop: A Book Review

The Deadliest Sport: A Miriam bat Isaac Mystery in Ancient Alexandria
Author: June Trop
Genre: Historical Fiction, Mystery
Publisher: Black Opal Books
Release Date: 2017
Pages: 242
Source: This book was given to me by iRead Book Tours in exchange for an honest review.
Synopsis: Miriam bat Isaac, a budding alchemist in first-century CE Alexandria, welcomes her twin brother Binyamin home to fight his last gladiatorial bout in Alexandria. But when he demands his share of the family money so he can build a school for gladiators in Alexandria, Miriam explains that he forsook his share when he took the gladiatorial oath.

     When she refuses to loan him the money for what she feels is a shady and dangerous enterprise, Binyamin becomes furious. Soon after, the will of Amram, Miriam's elderly charge, turns up missing; Amram becomes seriously ill; and the clerk of the public records house is murdered. Could Binyamin really be behind this monstrous scheme? If not he, who could be responsible? And is Miriam slated to be the next victim?

     My Review: Miriam bat Isaac is an aspiring alchemist. She greets her gladiator brother Binyamin back home for his last fight in Alexandria. However, he demands his sister to give him back his inheritance that he forsook when he became a gladiator. He plans to use the money to build his own gladiatorial school. When Miriam refuses, Binyamin is furious and tries to come up with another way to get his inheritance back. When Miriam’s eldest charge Amram is on his deathbed, the will that lists Miriam as heir turns up missing. She also learns that the clerk who is responsible for the will is murdered. She suspects that Binyamin is involved. Miriam investigates the case to see if Binyamin really did murder the clerk in an attempt to get his inheritance back. As Miriam delves deeper into the case, she is confronted to make the decision between family and justice.

     Miriam is an engaging character. She’s smart, sassy, responsible, and tough! She is also a very determined individual. She continues to fight for her beliefs even when going against her own brother. I really loved Miriam when she is forced to make hard choices. I could relate to her when she is conflicted over the situation. However, she always tries do the right thing. Thus, Miriam is an awesome character, and it made me curious to look her up in real life. It turns out that Miriam may have been a real historical figure that is known to us today as Mary Hebrea. She is credited to being the first alchemist of the Western World.

     Overall, this book is about responsibility, choices, and justice. I thought all the characters, except for Miriam were stereotypical. The mystery itself was a little underwhelming. There was little emphasis to the mystery itself. The reveal was glossed over. If you weren’t paying attention to the book, you would miss it within a blink of the eye. I thought the switching points of view between Miriam and Binyamin were unnecessary. Binyamin’s point of view seemed to be more for comic relief. The novel would have flown more easily had it stayed with Miriam’s point of view. Because The Deadliest Sport is the third book in the Miriam bat Issac mysteries, I was confused on who was who. I had to reread numerous paragraphs multiple times in order to understand Miriam and the other characters. I highly suggest that you read the first novel, The Deadliest Lie. Still, after reading this book, I’m curious to read the previous novels in this series. This novel is perfect for fans of Written in Ashes, Flow Down Like Silver: Hypatia of Alexandria, and Selene of Alexandria.

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

This is the official book trailer for The Deadliest Sport:


Popular posts from this blog

The Magnificent Lives of Marjorie Post by Allison Pataki: A Book Review

The Magnificent Lives of Marjorie Post Author: Allison Pataki Genre: Historical Fiction Publisher: Ballantine Release Date: February 15, 2022 Pages: 381 Source: Netgalley/Publisher in exchange for an honest review. Synopsis: Mrs. Post, the President and First Lady are here to see you. . . . So begins another average evening for Marjorie Merriweather Post. Presidents have come and gone, but she has hosted them all. Growing up in the modest farmlands of Battle Creek, Michigan, Marjorie was inspired by a few simple rules: always think for yourself, never take success for granted, and work hard—even when deemed American royalty, even while covered in imperial diamonds. Marjorie had an insatiable drive to live and love and to give more than she got. From crawling through Moscow warehouses to rescue the Tsar’s treasures to outrunning the Nazis in London, from serving the homeless of the Great Depression to entertaining Roosevelts, Kennedys, and Hollywood’s biggest stars, Marjorie Merriweath

The Seven Sisters (The Seven Sisters #1) by Lucinda Riley: A Book Review

The Seven Sisters (The Seven Sisters #1) Author: Lucinda Riley Genre: Historical Fiction, Romance Publisher: Atria Release Date: 2015 Pages: 463 Source: My State Public Library Synopsis: Maia D’Apliese and her five sisters gather together at their childhood home, “Atlantis”—a fabulous, secluded castle situated on the shores of Lake Geneva—having been told that their beloved father, who adopted them all as babies, has died. Each of them is handed a tantalizing clue to her true heritage—a clue which takes Maia across the world to a crumbling mansion in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Once there, she begins to put together the pieces of her story and its beginnings. Eighty years earlier in Rio’s Belle Epoque of the 1920s, Izabela Bonifacio’s father has aspirations for his daughter to marry into the aristocracy. Meanwhile, architect Heitor da Silva Costa is devising plans for an enormous statue, to be called Christ the Redeemer, and will soon travel to Paris to find the right sculptor to

The Rose Code by Kate Quinn: A Book Review

The Rose Code Author: Kate Quinn Genre: Historical Fiction Publisher: Harper Collins Release Date: 2021 Pages: 635 Source: Netgalley/Publisher in exchange for an honest review. Synopsis: 1940, Bletchley Park, Buckinghamshire.        Three very different women are recruited to the mysterious Bletchley Park, where the best minds in Britain train to break German military codes.       Vivacious debutante Osla has the dashing Prince Philip of Greece sending her roses – but she burns to prove herself as more than a society girl, working to translate decoded enemy secrets. Self-made Mab masters the legendary codebreaking machines as she conceals old wounds and the poverty of her East-End London upbringing. And shy local girl Beth is the outsider who trains as one of the Park’s few female cryptanalysts.       1947, London.        Seven years after they first meet, on the eve of the royal wedding between Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip, disaster threatens. Osla, Mab and Beth are estranged,