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Illegally Dead
Book 12 in the Marcus Corvinus series

by David Wishart

      When Marcus Corvinus receives a letter from his adopted daughter, Marilla, demanding he come as soon as possible due to a a murder, naturally he goes. Marilla lives in rural Castrimoenium with Corvinusí elderly Aunt Marcia and lots of animals. The murder victim is a local lawyer. The doctors said that he was dying anyway, but part of his condition seemed to be a persecution complex, causing him to suspect everybody around him of various vile deeds. There are many suspects, and Marcus is soon hot on the trail. But what is wrong with temperamental chef Meton?

This popular Roman series seems set to run and run, and you wonít hear this reviewer complaining. Wishartís plots are labyrinthine, keeping the reader on their mental toes and adding more clues and red herrings to the mix on almost every page. They are pacey, readable and enjoyable, although perhaps the only alloy here is the narrator Marcus with his modern voice. We all know the characters would speak Latin, but some of Marcusí narrative jars and seems rather later than the 1st century AD. This aside, fans of the series can look forward to meeting all the usual characters (plus a few new ones) and plenty of humor amid the sleuthing. Light, engaging; yet all that plotting puts it in a class of its own.

The Book

Hodder and Stoughton
7 February 2008
0340840382 / 9780340840382
Historical Crime /1st century AD Near Rome, Italy
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The Reviewer

Rachel A Hyde
Reviewed 2008
© 2008