Gordianus the Finder - the large, eccentric, philosophical investigator whose skills and integrity have made him much sought after in Rome - is hired by the young Cicero to acquit or convict a man accused of murdering his own father in a delicate case that soon produces dangerous fireworks.
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My high school Latin teacher -- Sister Ethelreda, are you out there in cyberspace? -- enthralled her class for four years with her tales of ancient Rome, from culinary trivia to the deeds of the noble generals and the great Roman patriots. It was her hope, as she said, not only to teach us this beautiful language but to be able to bring to life for us the people who formed the vibrant culture that was Rome's. I heard an echo of her words many years later when I read THE FAR ARENA, in which the protagonist wished earnestly to be able to turn a doorknob in time and find the Roman behind the door.
With Steven Saylor's mysteries, we have that Roman behind the door. Set in ancient Rome before the rise of Julius Caesar, these are not your usual cozy reads. His detective, Gordianus the Finder, seems a scruffy sort, not a noble Roman from the history books by any means, and his Rome is a rough-and-tumble place full of noisy street vendors and con artists as well as more well-to-do, upstanding citizens, a city full of gossip and intrigue and nasty politics as vicious as anything we see today. The noble Romans do appear in his books, of course, but they're a far cry from the bloodless statues who watch serenely from the covers of Latin books as students painstakingly translate their dry speeches. Marcus Tullius Cicero, for one, appears in CATILINA'S RIDDLE not as a statesman but as an underhanded schemer obsessed with destroying Lucius Sergius Catilina, who has gone down in history, rightly or wrongly, as a man who attempted to bring down the Roman Republic. You, the reader, will be left to judge.
--Margaret Sanborn, Senior Publicity Copywriter
"Remarkable...Takes the reader deep into the political, legal and family arenas of Ancient Rome, providing a stirring blend of history and mystery, well seasoned with conspiracy, passion and intrigue."
One unseasonably warm spring morning in 80 B.C., Gordianus the Finder is summoned to investigate a murder. Sextus Roscius is accused of killing his own father. This, in a society rife with deceit, betrayal, and conspiracy, where neither citizen nor slave can be trusted to speak the truth. But even Gordianus is not prepared for the spectacularly dangerous fireworks that will attend the resolution of this ugly, delicate case....
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Descripción Robinson Publishing, 1997. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. book. Nº de ref. de la librería M1854879731