Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2011-10-17
- Reviewer: Staff
At the start of Finnis’s well-plotted fourth whodunit set in Roman Britain (after 2008’s Buried Too Deep), feisty Aurelia Marcela, keeper of the Oak Tree Mansio inn near what is now York, receives a disturbing letter from a cousin, Jovina Lepida. Jovina, besides inviting Aurelia to her birthday party at the remote fort where her army husband is stationed, warns of danger and Greeks bearing gifts. Soon afterward, a maid finds one of Aurelia’s guests, a military officer, stabbed to death. The disappearance of the victim’s young servant makes the boy the obvious suspect. The dead man’s effects include a cryptic message apparently referring to a threat to a senior tax official who’s been dispatched from Rome to do audits. Marcela believes there’s a connection between the note and Jovina’s letter. Historical fans who don’t mind modern colloquialisms will have a good time. (Dec.)