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Cover of The Meaning of Friday, first in The Naxos Mysteries series
The Meaning of Friday

​Archaeologist Martin Day anticipated a relaxing summer on the peaceful Cycladic island of Naxos. His plan did not include the death of Michael Moralis, an American historian with whom he once worked, who is found murdered in his hotel.


Against their better judgement, the local police chief and the charismatic detective from Athens realise that Day's knowledge and international contacts could be very useful to them in their investigation, especially as antiquities smuggling has been tracked to the island and may be connected to the death of the American.

Although Day is busy with his own research, he becomes increasingly involved in police affairs. The body of a local man is discovered in a stone hut in the hills, an English woman disappears, and one of Day's closest friends just happens to turn up on Naxos on a flimsy pretext.


Day starts to believe that everything must be connected to a rumour about an unknown ancient site somewhere on the island, one which many people would like to be the first to discover. 

REVIEW by William Gresens, Reviewer of Archaeology in Fiction at  the University of Wisconsin-LaCrosse (Mississippi Valley Archaeology Center)

The twists and turns and red herrings embedded in the richly complex plot of Vanessa Gordon’s initial “Naxos Mystery” are beguiling.  She deftly ties together twenty years of greed, violence, madness, and love among those caught up in the quest for a lost Mycenaean burial site.  She offers up a modern Greek tragedy, one in which good intentions are ruined and noble characters are destroyed by obsession, pride, and deceit.


Martin Day is portrayed as anything but an action hero.  He loves Greek cuisine and the more than occasional gin and tonic.  He reluctantly finds himself pulled into the intrigues of Michael Moralis’s murder and, in fact, is something of a forty-ish fuddy-duddy, given to more than occasional peevishness.  In other words, the perfect anti-hero for this well-crafted mystery. 


A tantalising mystery, a lovingly-rendered portrayal of Naxos and its habitués, and a reluctant protagonist—these elements all add up to … go right out to your local book store and buy the hard cover.

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