Now he has a new problem: a slave who won't talk and can't cook, and drags trouble in her wake. Before he knows it, Ruso is caught in the middle of an investigation into the deaths of prostitutes working out of the local bar.
A few years earlier, after he rescued Emperor Trajan from an earthquake in Antioch, Ruso seemed headed for glory: now he's living among heathens in a vermin-infested bachelor pad and must summon all his forensic knowledge to find a killer who may be after him next.
Who are the true barbarians, the conquered or the conquerors? It's up to Ruso (certainly the most likeable sleuth to come out of the Roman Empire) to discover the truth. With a gift for comic timing and historic detail, Ruth Downie has conjured an ancient world as raucous and real as our own.
©2007 Ruth Downie; (P)2007 Tantor Media Inc.
"Downie's auspicious debut sparkles with beguiling characters and a vividly imagined evocation of a hazy frontier." (Publishers Weekly)
"Fans of Alexander McCall Smith will delight in this series debut set in Roman-occupied Britain and featuring wry army doctor Gaius Petreius Ruso." (Booklist)
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I am a great fan of historic fiction, though I had never ventured into Roman subject matter. This is an excellent introduction. Vance's narration is nothing short of brilliant - I will be looking up other books which he reads, as he truly made the experience memorable. I look forward to 'hearing' other books from this series very soon!
The nuances about life in Britain during Roman rule.
The main character is very likable, the author did a great job of setting the scene, and revealing just enough of the story to keep you listening.
The Medicus (forgot proper name), as well as his contemporary.
The narrator was fine - he just didn't have much to work with.
As a fan of historical fiction, I was disappointed. It didn't seem very authentic to me - more like a modern story with occasional ancient trappings. If I'm wrong and it is authentic - then I would have to say it wasn't very convincing.
I never really warmed up to the characters - didn't feel like I really knew them or cared what happened.
Well written, interesting and well researched setting, engaging characters - and Simon Vance as narrator.I think I’m onto a winning series for the summer!
I doubt if anyone would like this book. It is basically a book about nothing, but the author attempts to put it in Roman times. It isn't very accurate, and you learn nothing about the actual historical landscape or environment. Basically it appears the author took a poor written novel about people and translated the time.
Performance was fine.
The story is interesting for a lot of reasons - but I did not care for the reader/narrator. He was not able to differentiate between characters enough to keep my full attention. Not sure if I will get another in the series.
This was a great book. I love history and I love mystery and this book combined both well. I’ve always found the Roman time period fascinating and I enjoyed the characters and British frontier setting. I’m no expert in the Roman civilization but I thought the historical elements were well researched and believable. Worth a look or listen.
I enjoyed this story for its mystery, its characters and its ability to help me understand what life might have been like for the "real" people who lived at the very edge of their civilization. They were faced with the problems of dealing with the locals, superior officers, politics and everyday life. Not to mention murder.
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