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The Devil Takes Half


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About the Author

Leta Serafim graduated from George Washington University in D.C. with a degree in political science and Russian studies. While in college, Leta worked at the Washington Post, writing obituaries and doing research for the national desk, and later joining the staff of the Los Angeles Times Washington Bureau. Following her marriage to a Greek national, Philip Serafim, Leta moved to Athens. When she moved back to the U.S. seven years later, she wrote for local papers and the Boston Globe. After her mother began to lose her sight from glaucoma, she began designing and launching multiple media campaigns to increase public awareness of this disease. Leta spends at least one month every year in Greece and has visited over 25 islands. The Devil Takes Half is her first novel and the first book in the Greek Islands Mystery series. Coffeetown Press will also be publishing her work of historical fiction, To Look on Death No More. You can find Leta online at


"The beautiful but ominous setting of this impressive debut, a series opener, overcomes its occasional carelessness. The discovery of a severed hand lying in a pool of blood brings Yiannis Patronas, the chief police officer on the island of Chios, to an archeological dig near a remote and almost deserted monastery. After a young worker at the site gets his throat cut, more violent assaults follow. The ensuing police procedural is improvised and uncertain because Yiannis is a troubled, bumbling hero who has had no experience with murder cases or sadistic criminals. He's also burdened with incompetent subordinates, and his only real assistant is an elderly priest who's watched too many American detective TV shows. 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, June 23, 2014
"The Greeks have a word for it, and in this fast-paced, delightful mystery, that word is murder. A cop with a nagging wife and an old priest with an addiction to American TV are spurred to investigate the homicide of a beautiful anthropologist who may have dug up more than shards of an ancient urn. The real buried treasure is pure pleasure in Serafim's debut novel."
--Mary Daheim, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Alpine and Bed & Breakfast mystery series

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