The Maidens by Alex Michaelides

Published: June 15, 2021

Hardcover, 352 pages



Edward Fosca is a murderer. Of this Mariana is certain. But Fosca is untouchable. A handsome and charismatic Greek Tragedy professor at Cambridge University, Fosca is adored by staff and students alike—particularly by the members of a secret society of female students known as The Maidens.

Mariana Andros is a brilliant but troubled group therapist who becomes fixated on The Maidens when one member, a friend of Mariana’s niece Zoe, is found murdered in Cambridge.

Mariana, who was once herself a student at the university, quickly suspects that behind the idyllic beauty of the spires and turrets, and beneath the ancient traditions, lies something sinister. And she becomes convinced that, despite his alibi, Edward Fosca is guilty of the murder. But why would the professor target one of his students? And why does he keep returning to the rites of Persephone, the maiden, and her journey to the underworld?

When another body is found, Mariana’s obsession with proving Fosca’s guilt spirals out of control, threatening to destroy her credibility as well as her closest relationships. But Mariana is determined to stop this killer, even if it costs her everything—including her own life.


I was very excited to pick up this book. I never got the chance to read this author’s last book. I did buy it but sadly it still sits on my shelf unread. I really wanted to get to this book because it had a lot of the things I know I like in books, it had mystery and intrigue, thrilling sections, Greek mythology, and also had a cult of sorts. That doesn’t even begin to mention the lies and secrets we find out throughout the story.

I was a big fan of all of the characters in this one. The fact that I questioned every character’s motive really made me more interested in the story as a whole. The fact that Mariana was a group therapist made me feel a bit more connected to her. I also really enjoyed Zoe as a character, you could tell she was hiding things from the moment she appeared in the book. When that happens it makes me like the character more because I feel like there is a lot behind them. As for all the other characters I like them well enough.

I found the story line itself extremely thrilling. All the mystery and twists and turns kept me on the edge of my seat dying to know what was going to happen next. There’s not one part of the book that I can honestly say didn’t belong or dragged out. I usually find that hard to say about books that include mythology. Overall I thoroughly enjoyed this book and cannot wait to pick up the author’s first one.

Boston Book Reader