This eagerly awaited fifth book in John Maddox Roberts's Edgar-nominated historical mystery series once again takes the reader back to the Rome of Julius Caesar and the Roman Senator Decius Caecilius Metellus the Younger. Decius has won himself a reputation as both an investigator and, most unfortunately, a bit of a playboy. Having been banished by his family for sometimes embarrassing activities to a rather leisurely lifestyle on Rhodes, he is puzzled to be suddenly and unexpectedly summoned home to assist in an investigation.
Quintus Caecilius Metellus Celer, a relative of Decius and his family and the head of a powerful political clan, has been poisoned, and his infamous wife, Clodia, is immediately suspected of disposing of her rather inconvenient husband. Not entirely convinced of Clodia's guilt, Decius delves into the intricacies of Rome's ruling class and discovers that a clandestine, forbidden witches' cult is inextricably intertwined with some very highborn people. A trial for Clodia would be most unwelcome, as it could bring to light some well-kept secrets. To get to the bottom of the corruption that accompanies the intoxicating allure of this ancient city, Decius must form an uneasy alliance with Clodius, Clodia's brother and his sworn enemy, and be extremely careful not to step on any toes.
©1999 John Maddox Roberts (P)2012 Audible, Inc.
As far a historical novels in a series, it is one of the most exciting and interisting. John Maddox Roberts knows his history and keeps the time lines perfect.
I really like the way Decius and his betrothed are working together to figure out the plots and mysteries. Julia is starting to help him, and it's a nice feature. Also in this story Decius really does get rid of the bad guy.
I love John Lee as a narrator, he is one of my favorites and he's wonderful with emothions and voices. I'm so glad that when they changed from Simon Vance, who is also one of my favorites they changed to John Lee.
It seems every book in this series is getting better, and the characters that we know are interacting and we learn more about who they are and why they behave the way they do. There is some deep thought going into many of the stories. Looking forward to the next in series.
Love the SPQR series and characters. Good mysteries, history and lots of fun. I like to listen to series books in order. For some reason SPQR IV is not available. Hope that will change soon. In the meantime, I will keep listening to this series.
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