At long last, Gaius Petreius Ruso and his companion, Tilla, are headed home-to Gaul. Having received a note consisting only of the words "COME HOME!" Ruso has (reluctantly, of course) pulled up stakes and brought Tilla to meet his family.
But the reception there is not what Ruso has hoped for: no one will admit to sending for him, and his brother Lucius is hoping he'll leave. With Tilla getting icy greetings from his relatives, Lucius' brother-in-law mysteriously drowned at sea, and the whole Ruso family being sued for bankruptcy, it's hard to imagine an unhappier reunion. That is, until Severus, the plaintiff in the bankruptcy suit, winds up dead, and the real trouble begins...
Engrossing, intricate, and-as always-wonderfully comic, Ruth Downie's latest is a brilliant new installment in this irresistible series. This is everything we've come to expect from our charming, luckless hero.
The third installment to Downie s Roman Empire series the second-century saga of a witty and courageous army surgeon, Gaius Ruso, and his smart and loyal lover, Tilla, a barbarian woman from Britannia continues in gripping fashion. Ruso returns to his family home in southern Gaul, summoned by a forged letter pleading for his immediate return. Once Ruso and Tilla return, Ruso is thrust into a dangerous quagmire involving a missing ship, huge family debts and, before long, the murder of the family s principal creditor a crafty phony named Severus who is poisoned in Ruso s home. While Ruso and his family are quickly suspected of the murder, Ruso and Tilla s attempts to solve the crime are hampered by interfering family members, a lying politician, a greedy banker and a pair of too-eager investigators sent from Rome. Ruso and Tilla must also deal with prejudice, envy and a new religion, Christianity. The plotting is clever and suspenseful, with subtle clues and lots of action, while the setting and supporting cast are vividly drawn. This is solid entertainment, nicely done.
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A charming series
Ruth Downie's series is clever and a joy to read. I've warmed to the two main protagonists and I find myself rooting them and hoping the achieve success and happiness.