As the summer winds down, it is a great time to reassess that reading list for September. As the hours of daylight grow shorter each day leading up to the autumnal equinox and the weather begins to cool down, some mystery and suspense novels can offer an interesting diversion from the end of summer blues. Books set in Greece can help ease the disappointment of not having gone to Greece this year while also helping us plan for next year’s trip to the homeland.
Alexander Rassogianis’ latest book is titled Clouds over the Aegean which during this summer might seem to refer to the current Greek-Turkish crisis, but is actually a mystery novel. The book begins in 1920’s Naxos where two schoolgirls overhear a mysterious conversation by the principal's office. Anna and Evlambia are sworn never to reveal what they know. The story then jumps forward fifty years, as Anna's son Nick, an investigator for the U.S. government, returns to Greece hoping to find Evlambia. He learns that unfortunately she has passed away, and then finds her daughter Christina. Nick and Christina visit Naxos and uncover some troubling goings on, decades of disturbing and unsolved murders of Greek Orthodox priests which they try to solve. Fans of the sunshine noir genre will undoubtedly enjoy the descriptions of Greece, while the characters endeavor to unravel the mystery.
Born in Chicago, Rassogianis has roots in Sparta. He earned a bachelor’s degree in history and political science from Elmhurst College and a master’s degree in history from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. He taught in Chicago schools for over 15 years. Rassogianis then served as a compliance officer and investigated labor discrimination cases for the U.S. government for 20 years.
The author’s previous books include his autobiography/memoir Return to Glenlord: Memories of Michigan Summers, the nonfiction work The Entrepreneurial Spirit of the Greek Immigrant in Chicago, Illinois 1900-1930, his debut novel Rainbow over Portland, and the short story collection titled Short Stories of Life, Love, and Remembrance.
According to his author biography, Rassogianis is currently writing his autobiography, Growing Up Greek in Chicago, which will undoubtedly offer insights into the Greek-American experience.
His summers with his family in southwestern Michigan during the 1950s inspired Return to Glenlord in which he offers his readers a glimpse of the era of old-fashioned resorts, quaint little cottages, sandy beaches, long walks on country roads, and the permeating scent of pine.
The Entrepreneurial Spirit of the Greek Immigrant in Chicago, Illinois 1900-1930, celebrates the contributions of the Greeks in the early part of the 20th century highlighting the history of those hardworking people and sharing the lessons they learned about business and life.
Rassogianis’ debut novel, Rainbow over Portland: A Spiritual Journey to Redeem Lost Love is an action/adventure/romance that begins when Nick from Chicago meets Colleen from Ireland on a train to Portland, Oregon.
Clouds over the Aegean by Alexander Rassogianis and his previous books are all available online.