Herodotus turns up in Historical Whodunits, published first under the Mammoth name and later by Barnes and Noble, the only author from the fifth century BC in a collection of authors otherwise from the twentieth century.
Herodotus' story, a selection from the celebrated "Account of Egypt" section of his Histories, concerns a rogue who concocts with his brother an elaborate scheme to plunder the locked treasury of Rhampsinitos (Ramses III) and, when the brother winds up dead, an even cleverer plan to recover the body so their mother can mourn it properly. Except for the brother, all ends well, and the pharaoh so admires the thief's guile that he awards him his (the pharaoh's) daughter's hand in marriage,
Detractors called Herodotus the Father of Lies, though he was generally careful to specify when he was merely passing on stories he had heard. His hedge ("This king, they said, got great wealth of silver...") only enhances the impression that he is telling a genial, amusing tale of wit rewarded (Read the excerpt from Herodotus here.)
Herodotus joins an honorable roster of proto-crime writers that stretches back almost 5,000 years. Read about some of history's great pre-Chandlers, Christies, and Hammetts here at Detectives Beyond Borders (click the link, then scroll down.)
© Peter Rozovsky 2012