Date: September 2003
it at Amazon US
Historical Crime [1st Century AD, Rome]
Rachel A Hyde
Notes: Holiday: Christmas (well, Saturnalia)
By Marilyn Todd
delightfully bitchy heroine Claudia is back for a ninth adventure,
still trying to stay solvent, free, and a step ahead of her long-suffering
patrician lover Marcus. This time it is Saturnalia, and Claudia
has to show her clients that she had plenty of money to throw around.
This entails having a house full of not only whining, sponging relations
but a whole troop of thespians. Although it is the festive season,
there is a rapist loose--the same one as last Saturnalia and who
is determined to have a victim for each of the fourteen days. Trouble
is, Marcus thought that he had had the rapist executed a year ago.
So who is on the loose now?
As usual, this is a lot of fun
and boasts a fine, teasing plot that I didn’t manage to guess.
The mixture of comic actors and the usual harum-scarum adventures
makes for a fast, enjoyable read and there isn’t a spare page;
here is a novel that does not sag anywhere or tread water. I’ve
read books that conjured up Ancient Rome more convincingly, and
at times there seemed to be too much modernity for a truly authentic
read. There seems to be more emphasis on the plot and the humor
here than in some of the other entries in the series, but why not
just sit back and enjoy it? There is a lot here to entertain.