John Maddox Roberts takes listeners back to a Rome filled with violence and evil. Vicious gangs ruled the streets of Crassus and Pompey, routinely preying on plebeian and patrician alike. So the garroting of a lowly ex-slave and the disembowelment of a foreign merchant in the dangerous Subura district seemed of little consequence to the Roman hierarchy.
"Love these! Need more!"
It was a summer of glorious triumph for the mighty Roman Republic. Her invincible legions had brought all foreign enemies to their knees. But in Rome there was no peace. The streets were flooded with the blood of murdered citizens, and there were rumors of more atrocities to come.
"Darn... Want more in this series. Please?"
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.
"It just keeps getting better"
In his extensive series featuring the detecting feats of Decius Caecilius Metellus the younger, set in the Rome of 70 BC, Roberts achieves a very believable modern feeling with his well-researched description of the stories' background. This seventh episode, however, combines a familiar view of the demands office-seeking makes on a candidate with a situation that is impossibly bizarre to us today. An entire city, versed in literature, music, and the other arts, ruled democratically, for its time, is thrown into panic by an enraged man's curse.
"My favorite of the series"
When a sacret woman's rite in the ancient city of Rome is infiltrated by a corrupt patrician dressed in female garb, it falls to Senator Decuis Caecilius Metellus the Younger, whose investigative skills have proven indispensable in the past, to unmask the perpetrators. When four brutal slayings follow, Decius enlists the help a notorious and dangerous criminal.
"Different narrator, same ol' Decius"
As I walked back through the City, my mood was moderately elevated. This appointment did not displease me nearly as much as I pretended. Like most Romans I abhorred the very thought of sea duty, but this was one of the rare occasions when I was looking forward to getting away from Rome..... For years I had complained of the disorder of the City, and now that it was gone, I found that I missed it. All the peace and quiet seemed unnatural. I did not expect it to last.- Decius Caecilius Metellus the Younger in SPQR IX: The Princess and the Pirates.
Julius Caesar, as we know, arrived in Gaul (now France) and announced "I Came, I Saw, I Conquered." But when Decius Metellus arrives from Rome, not seeking military glory but rather avoiding an enemy currently in power, he finds that although the general came and saw, so far, at least, he has far from conquered. The campaign seems at a standstill. Decius' arrival disappoints the great Caesar as well. He has been waiting for promised reinforcements from Rome, an influx of soldiers to restart his invasion. Instead he is presented with one young man ridiculously decked out in military parade finery and short on military skills.
"Decius the reluctant warrior"
Decius Caecilius Metellus is moving up in the world. He's won some money and glory fighting pirates in the Mediterranean and expects a speedy election to the office of praetor. That all changes when a man he's never seen before publicly accuses him of corruption. Decius and his powerful family of Rome's leading politicians scramble to prepare a defense. However, the day of the trial they are greeted with a strange surprise on the steps of the courthouse: the corpse of the man who made the accusation. Now Decius is up against a much more serious charge of murder.
"another great book from j m roberts"
Decius Caecilius Metellus, this year's magistrate for cases involving foreigners, is living the good life in southern Italy, happy to be away from Rome, a city suffering war jitters over Caesar's impending actions. He thinks he is merely visiting one of the local sights when he takes a party to visit the Oracle of the Dead, a pre-Roman cult site located at the end of a tunnel dug beneath a temple of Apollo. He quickly learns that there is a bitter rivalry between the priests of Apollo and those of Hecate, who guard the oracle.
When Roman junior senator Decius Caecilius Metellus the Younger has a chance to join a diplomatic mission to Alexandria, he welcomes the opportunity to temporarily elude his enemies in the Eternal City - even though it means leaving his beloved Rome. Decius is just beginning to enjoy the outpost's many exotic pleasures when the suspicious death of an irascible philosopher occurs, coinciding with the puzzling and apocalyptic ravings of a charismatic cult leader. Intrigued, Decius requests and is given permission by the Egyptian Pharaoh to investigate the heinous crime. What he discovers is beyond shocking.
"One of my favorite series"
Ancient Rome, in this accurate and evocative series, is just as politics driven as any major American city - possibly even more. Decius Caecilius Metellus has, through a series of rather wild adventure, and in the act of tracking down killers and other reprobates, barely escaped annhilation several times. Now, newly elected to the office of aedile, the lowest rung on the ladder of Roman authority, he must smoke out corruption and conspiracy that threaten to destroy all of Rome.
"excellent story and performance"
Things are going well for Decius Caecilius Metellus. He is Praetor Peregrinus, which means he has to judge a case or two, but those cases are outside of the city. His cases will be those dealing with foreigners, and all of Italy is his province. His first stop is Campania, "Italy’s most popular resort district". Decius and his wife, Julia, are happy for a change of scenery. But the good times end when, in a town near Vesuvius, a priest’s daughter is murdered. Decius must find her killer and keep the mob off a young boy who everyone blames but he believes to be innocent.
"Rome unlike you would imagine"
Caius Julius Caesar, now Dictator of Rome, has decided to revise the Roman calendar, which has become out of sync with the seasons. As if this weren’t already an unpopular move, Caesar has brought in astronomers and astrologers from abroad, including Egyptians, Greeks, Indians, and Persians. Decius is appointed to oversee this project, which he knows rankles the Roman public: "To be told by a pack of Chaldeans and Egyptians how to conduct their duties towards the gods was intolerable."
"please sir, i want some more"
When the Lord of Tarsis finds himself with a politically volatile murder on his hands, he turns to the three most expendable inhabitants of the city of a solution. A mercenary, a poet-assassin, and a thief might not be everyone's first choice for detectives. But they find they're quite good at bringing murderers to justice.
Since shamus Gabe Treloar can't say no to his boss, he drops his caseload in Knoxville and takes off after doting Randall 'Kit' Carson's daughter Sibyl, who seems to have traded grad school - despite her all-American credentials - for the dubious company of used-car con artist Nick Switzer. A look at some diaries and photographs suggest that Sibyl's been reading too much Nietzsche and posing for some very odd pictures, but they don't tell Gabe where she is. So Gabe hits the desperate highways for points west.
"Far too much description."
The Ghosts of Saigon delivers crime thriller suspense as dark secrets from the past are unearthed.
Former Los Angeles policeman Gabe Treloar, on his way to Cleveland and a new job as private eye, visits his hometown of Monticello for a respite and befriends his landlady, a warm, middle-aged woman who is promptly murdered.
"Good Old Fashion Who Done it?"
While traveling throughout the south, Ansa, son of King Hael, meets Fyanna, and together they become caught up in the chaos caused by the arrival of the conquering armies of Grania.
Long ago, so legend says, the world was destroyed, and everthing changed. Once there were animals called bull and bear; now men ride horned cabos, and avoid the deadly long-neck. Now there are new nations, new empires, for the hearts of men have changed little. In this world, Hael, Shasinn warrior exiled from his home islands for breaking a taboo, has found a life among the nomadic tribes of the plains, but his past is coming to find him. The Shasinn have changed and and old enemy is leading them to conquest. The Black Shields are coming, and the civilized world rocks on its foundations.
For Kelly, it was an impossible dream come true when he shipped out on the Space Angel. Ship's boy was the most menial job aboard, but it was excitement enough just to be in space. Things became more exciting than even Kelly wanted when an unimaginably old and powerful entity commandeered the Space Angel and sent the freighter on an incredible mission to the center of the galaxy - with two hereditary killers and a poetic crab added to the crew for extra interest! Kelly knew that he would finish the trip as a seasoned spacer - or a very dead one.
"Good solid enjoyable listening"