It's the summer of AD 79, and Flavia Gemina the sea captain's daughter along with her friends Jonathan the Jewish boy; Nubia the African slave-girl; and Lupus the homeless beggar-boy set sail for the Bay of Naples, to stay with Flavia's uncle near Pompeii. They are soon absorbing in trying to solve a riddle that may lead to treasure. But then tragedy strikes—Mount Vesuvius erupts and the children are fleeing for their lives, in one of the worst natural disasters ever recorded. Not just a mystery—an absolutely thrilling action adventure that makes you feel you were there!
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Caroline Lawrence grew up in California and went to England when she won a scholarship to Cambridge to study classical archaeology, which she followed with a degree in Hebrew and Jewish studies at the University of London. She is the author of The Roman Mysteries, which has been turned into a television series for BBC.Review:
Publishers Weekly Young detective Flavia Gemina and her sidekicks Jonathan, Nubia and Lupus return in The Secrets of Vesuvius, the second in The Roman Mysteries series after The Thieves of Ostia. Here the quartet travels across the Bay of Naples to spend time with Flavia's uncle near Pompeii. They investigate a potentially treasure-yielding riddle, but when Vesuvius erupts, the friends run for their lives. Kirkus Reviews Four young friends in ancient Rome, 79 C.E., and environs attempt to solve a riddle at a time of great historic importance in this absorbing sequel to The Thieves of Ostia. . . . The riddle the children try to solve is also real, and no one, even today, knows what it means.”— Booklist In this peril-wrapped sequel to Thieves of Ostia, a trip to her uncle's farm near Mount Vesuvius provides more opportunities for teenage sleuth Flavia Gemina, along with her multitalented sidekicks, to solve mysteries against a superbly detailed first-century B.C.E. backdrop. . . . The author conveys the flavor of the times, but modern kids will have no trouble identifying with the young characters, thanks largely to some timeless bathroom humor and horseplay; mystery fans will have the chance to watch this Roman Nancy Drew in action while witnessing one of the world's worst natural disasters through her eyes. School Library Journal The mystery element is somewhat confusing and hard to follow. However, the many interesting details about Roman life incorporated into the story provide insight into the period. Readers who are interested in the time as well as fans of the first book in the series, The Thieves of Ostia, may be willing to stick with it until the end.
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