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Margaret Doody Books In Order

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Publication Order of Aristotle Books

Aristotle Detective (1978)Description / Buy at Amazon
Aristotle And Poetic Justice (2000)Description / Buy at Amazon
Aristotle and the Secrets of Life (2002)Description / Buy at Amazon
Poison in Athens (2004)Description / Buy at Amazon
Mysteries Of Eleusis (2005)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

The Alchemists (1980)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books

Frances Burney (1988)Description / Buy at Amazon
The True Story of the Novel (1996)Description / Buy at Amazon
Tropic of Venice (2006)Description / Buy at Amazon
Jane Austen's Names (2015)Description / Buy at Amazon

Margaret Doody is an English academic and author that writes historical crime fiction. She also teaches literature. Doody is best known for the Aristotle Series.

Margaret Doody was born to a Canadian Mother and an English Father in 1939. Doody identifies as Canadian. The family spent some time in the states, with the author initially getting her education from Halifax in Nova Scotia (Dalhousie University).

Doody also added a second Arts Degree from Oxford (Lady Margaret Hall) and a doctorate to her resume. At first, Doody presumed that her education had prepared her to become a teacher.

And she wasn’t completely wrong. Doody found that she loved to teach. But the author also discovered a love for research. Both passions drew Doody into the Academic field, which is where she stayed for the next several years, plying her trade at various universities and eventually settling down to write her novels.

As a much younger woman, even when the notion of writing fiction crossed her mind, it never occurred to Margaret Doody that she would eventually settle down to produce stories set in the historical fiction genre.

She would probably blame her fascination with classical history for partially igniting her interest in historical fiction. The author’s curiosity for the subject came to life when she visited a former tutor (A student of CS Lewis) and her husband in Oxford.

She began to read ‘Aristotle’s Rhetoric’. She didn’t know Greek at the time so she had to make do with the translated version. None the less, the book captured her attention and she began to wonder if anyone would ever produce a detective story in the vein of Sherlock Holmes but with Aristotle as the main character.

No one ever did, or at the very least Doody never waited for them to do so. She mulled the idea over for a few weeks before finally concluding that she would be the one to tell Aristotle’s fictional story.

Of course, getting that first novel off the ground involved a lot of research on Margaret Doody’s part. She sought assistance from some of her friends who understood the classics and even went so far as to visit Greece.

The fact that Doody was so determined to recreate Sherlock Holmes in Aristotle isn’t that surprising. The first ever crime novel Margaret Doody read was a Sherlock Holmes title. She was just a child at the time. But ‘The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes’ so thoroughly captured her imagination that she proceeded to read every Sherlock Holmes novel she could find. And once she was done with those, she moved on to Agatha Christie and her contemporaries.

The author’s first novel (Aristotle Detective) was published in 1978. Strangely enough, the book was quite well received. Critics thought it was a breath of fresh air and Doody even drew the interest of a publishing agent who couldn’t wait to represent her.

The icing on the cake was the curiosity Harper & Row, a publishing firm in the United States, showed in her work. The fact that international audiences might read her stories fascinated Margaret Doody and she did not hesitate to pull the trigger on that particular opportunity.

All these wonderful things are strange because, while the first Aristotle novel was released in 1978, it wasn’t until 2002 that Doody wrote and published its sequel. She was silent for so long that by the time she finally returned to the publishing landscape, all the goodwill and interest she had garnered had faded.

But Doody will tell you that she wasn’t to blame for her long absence. The moment her first novel began its journey to publishing success, Doody went back to the drawing board from where she started working on the sequel.

By the time she finished her manuscript, everything had fallen apart. The agent that had shown so much interest in her work was gone, and his replacement couldn’t be bothered to take her seriously.

The editors at the publishing firms that had sought her first novel had also moved on. Her connections dried up almost overnight. Suddenly, it was like Doody was on her own again, starting from scratch to establish her name. But this time, no one would give her the shot she believes she deserved.

The fact that the author even managed to resurrect Aristotle is a miracle. For many years, Margaret Doody simply abandoned the project. She was content to let it lie dormant. But then an Italian publication called ‘Sellerio’ asked if they could publish her first book.

Doody permitted them to do so but she knew that translations made little to no money, so she wasn’t optimistic. To her shock, her Italian fans turned her first book into a bestseller when it was finally published in 2000.

In fact, they were asking for more. So Doody starting writing once again; she found an agent who connected her to an English publisher and the author’s publishing dream finally became a reality.

+Aristotle Detective
Athens in 332 is an uneasy place. Alexander the Great is in power. But his conflict with the King of Persia over the future of the East is proving problematic for all involved.

For young Stephanos, his only concern is the fate of his cousin. Philemon, an exile who was formerly accused of manslaughter, has been connected to a bizarre homicide.

Stephanos has the responsibility of defending his cousin. But if he wants to clear the family name, he must look to Aristotle for help. Aristotle is his former teacher and also quite an effective detective.

+Aristotle and Poetic Justice
It is 330BC and Alexander the Great is basking in his glory after sacking Persepolis. For Athens, it is a time to placate the spirits of the dead.

When Anthia, the daughter of a prominent merchant, is abducted, Stephanos and Aristotle make it their business to find her before it’s too late. They know that the culprit and his prize are journeying to Delphi, so they immediately give chase.

But along the way, they begin to encounter a litany of distracting detours, this including rumors of a psychopath walking the same road as the detectives and their targets.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Margaret Doody

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