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Caveat Emptor: A Novel of the Roman Empire | [Ruth Downie]

Caveat Emptor: A Novel of the Roman Empire

Ruso and Tilla, now newlyweds, have moved back to Britannia, where Ruso's old friend and colleague Valens has promised to help him find work. But it isn't the kind of work he'd had in mind - Ruso is tasked with hunting down a missing tax man named Julius Asper. Of course, there's also something else missing: money. And the council of the town of Verulamium is bickering over what's become of it. Compelled to delve deeper by a threat from his old sparring partner, Metellus, Ruso discovers that the good townsfolk may not be as loyal to Rome as they like to appear.
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Publisher's Summary

Ruso and Tilla, now newlyweds, have moved back to Britannia, where Ruso's old friend and colleague Valens has promised to help him find work. But it isn't the kind of work he'd had in mind - Ruso is tasked with hunting down a missing tax man named Julius Asper. Of course, there's also something else missing: money. And the council of the town of Verulamium is bickering over what's become of it. Compelled to delve deeper by a threat from his old sparring partner, Metellus, Ruso discovers that the good townsfolk may not be as loyal to Rome as they like to appear.

While Tilla tries to comfort Asper's wife, an anonymous well-wisher is busy warning the couple to get away from the case before they get hurt. Despite our hero's best efforts to get himself fired as investigator, he and his bride find themselves trapped at the heart of an increasingly treacherous conspiracy involving theft, forgery, buried treasure, and the legacy of Boudica, the Rebel Queen.

Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend us your ears: listen to another Novel of the Roman Empire.

©2010 Ruth Downie (P)2011 Tantor

What the Critics Say

"Downie excels in bringing the ancient world to life as well as making the attitudes and customs of its inhabitants accessible to a modern audience." (Publishers Weekly)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

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  •  
    Bonnie Bellmore, NY, United States 03-04-11
    Bonnie Bellmore, NY, United States 03-04-11 Member Since 2001

    BJS

    HELPFUL VOTES
    933
    ratings
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    532
    360
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    Overall
    "Ruth Downie doesn't dissapoint"

    This is the fourth book in the "Medicus" series. First I have to say one of the reasons I started this series was the narrator Simon Vance, I always enjoy his reading of a novel, especially historical novels. Each of these book are crime thrillers, set in the time of ancient Rome, during the reign of Emperor Hadrian. Also involving the invasion of the British Isles. I am a lover of historical novels and Ruth Downie does a wonderful job with her time lines and her story line. I would recommend, starting the series with book #1 "Medicus", to get the background on the characters, however each book can stand on it's own. I always find myself hating for each of these books to end. I also suggest, the anyone who has not listened to this narrator listen to a sample that Audible offers, then you will know if you like his style.(I suggest that will all books)

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jean Santa Cruz, CA, United States 01-10-14
    Jean Santa Cruz, CA, United States 01-10-14 Member Since 2010

    I am an avid eclectic reader.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    601
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    "money in Roman times"

    This book is set in second century A.D. In this book of the series Ruso and Tila have returned to Britannia from their visit to Ruso’s family in Gael. Gallus Petreius Ruso, medic is now retired from the Roman Army and starting off his married life with Tila. He obtains an assignment as an investigator by the procurator’s finances office. Ruso is hired to trace the nearby city of Verulamium’s tax collector, who has disappeared with the city’s tax money. The book is more complex than prior books in the series but is balanced with some humor, murder, babies, missing money, and a great deal of information about the making of money in the second century Rome and in Britannia. I found that most interesting part of the book. Simon Vance does a great job narrating the book. If you enjoy historical fiction about the Roman age this book would interest you.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Marie ALEXANDRIA, VA, United States 02-04-12
    Marie ALEXANDRIA, VA, United States 02-04-12 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    305
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    114
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    "Waiting for the next one"

    I have now finished all four of Ruth Downie's series. The stories and characters grew better with each volume and I can't wait for the next one. Simon Vance is a great narrator. I love the continuing characters that run throughout the four books. I recently listened to the first book in Maddox's SPQR series and was disapointed, having enjoyed the Medicus and his adventures so much.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Book and Movie Lover Austin 03-07-11
    Book and Movie Lover Austin 03-07-11 Member Since 2003
    HELPFUL VOTES
    603
    ratings
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    512
    97
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    5
    Overall
    "Another cool Roman Empire/Brittania mystery"

    If you've listened to previous adventures of Russo, the Roman doctor/detective in Brittania, you'll want to listen to this one. If you haven't, you should start with Terra Incognita, the first of this series that I've found on Audible. It's a fun series and I continue to be amazed at how similar life in the Roman Empire was to life today. Human nature simply remains constant. Great series. Highly recommend!

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David Houston, TX, United States 12-17-12
    David Houston, TX, United States 12-17-12 Member Since 2008

    Actor/director/teacher. Split my time between Beijing and Seattle now. Listen to Audible on the subway and while driving. Love the reviews.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A trifle dreary"

    Ruth Downie does a great job of involving us in the lives of her characters, and her evocation of life in Roman Britannia is sure handed and masterful. If you have read previous books in this series, you will already be invested in Russo's life with his British wife, Tilla, and if you have not, it will not take you long to develop real affection for them.

    Unfortunately, I found the plot for this book to be a bit plodding. It did not engage me consistently as I expect a murder mystery to do whatever its setting may be. In addition, the book fairly limps to its ending with very little in the way of satisfaction. As a result, despite the author's deft touch when it comes to creating very human characters, I found this a dreary listen at times and was ready for it to end.

    As usual, Simon Vance's narration was superb.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Beverly Chandler, AZ, United States 10-22-11
    Beverly Chandler, AZ, United States 10-22-11 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
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    23
    6
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    1
    6
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great Listen"
    Where does Caveat Emptor rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    This is one of the top book I have listened to. Simon makes each person seem so real


    Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

    Not all of the time - but I did enjoy listening and sometime would sit in my car to hear more of the audio before I came into the house from work or I would drive slower so I could listen to more.


    Have you listened to any of Simon Vance’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Yes - I look for audios that he has performed. I totally enjoy listing to his voice and the way he changes character.


    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Erik Sooke, British Columbia, Canada 10-13-12
    Erik Sooke, British Columbia, Canada 10-13-12 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "An entertaining listen"

    While not "high literature", this was well put together story that entertained me on my commute. The setting was unique, although the underlying thread could have been set in any time period. The narrator is quite good and I would listen to more of his works. I will check out more in this series.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brian Lower Waterford, VT, United States 01-11-14
    Brian Lower Waterford, VT, United States 01-11-14 Member Since 2011
    ratings
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    8
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    "Great series"

    This series is engaging, charming, and thoroughly entertaining. The performance is equally good, and I definitely recommend them.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Don Somerville, MA, United States 04-20-13
    Don Somerville, MA, United States 04-20-13 Member Since 2001

    dhm

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Entertaining unsophisticated historical novel"

    It was fun imagining Roman era Britain although highly tinged w/ 21st century ideals. The story is a fun dime-store detective story which plays well enough.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Christine CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO, United States 01-21-13
    Christine CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO, United States 01-21-13 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
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    "Gave me a different view of Roman Briton"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes I would recommend this book. It is always delightful not to know how a story will end and the author didn't give it away.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Caveat Emptor?

    The funeral was memorable when it was obvious that so few people cared about the victims.


    Have you listened to any of Simon Vance’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Not sure


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    The fact that the main character's wife would never have a child due to her own past and he decided he lover her enough to stay with her


    Any additional comments?

    very entertaining!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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