Before I review Murder at Mykenai by Catherine Mayo, I would like to discuss the people she is writing about. She has chosen to set the story in Bronze Age Greece and focuses on two of the main characters from the Trojan War, Odysseus and Menelaos, while they are still teenagers. This is perhaps 10-20 years before Paris abducts Helen, Menelaos’ future wife, and sets the Trojan War in action. We are briefly introduced to Helen and also Klytemnestra, who later becomes the wife of Agamemnon, Menelaos’ older brother. Note that the spelling used here is consistent with that used by Mayo who has chosen to use transliterations close to the Ancient Greek forms.
To put everyone in the picture, here is a summarised version of Menelaos’ family tree and includes both Menelaos’ and Agamemnon’s future wives, who just happen to be sisters, twins in fact. But while Klytemnestra is human and the daughter of Leda and Tyndareus, Helen is the daughter of Leda and Zeus.
Odysseus’ summarised family tree follows, also showing his future wife, Penelope, who happens to be the cousin of Helen and Klytemnestra.
Given the connections between the three families shown in the family trees it is possible to imagine that they may have known each other from an early age. Mayo has made use of this possibility in Murder at Mykenai and created a plausible scenario which I will discuss in my next post.