The Mammoth Book of Roman Whodunnits

The Mammoth Book of Roman Whodunnits

Language: English

Pages: 526

ISBN: 0786712414

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


A host of totally new stories written by some of the most popular writers of historical mysteries brings to life the glorious and nefarious world that for nearly a thousand years—from the founding of the Republic in 510 B.C. to the deposing of the last emperor, Romulus, in 476 A.D.—was ancient Rome. Events from the turbulent reigns of Julius Caesar, Augustus, Caligula, and Nero provide the colorful background to tales ingeniously contrived by contributors like Paul Doherty, Gillian Bradshaw, and Richard Butler. While John Maddox Roberts offers a new SPQR story, Steven Saylor, Marilyn Todd, Rosemary Rowe, Darrell Schweitzer, and Michael Kurland challenge their sleuths Gordianus the Finder, Claudia, Libertus, Pliny the Younger, and Quintilian with baffling new cases. Mary Reed and Eric Mayer conjure new intrigue for John the Eunuch, and Peter Tremayne sends his Fidelma on the trail of a Roman legion lost in Ireland. In addition to the original stories specially commissioned for this volume, this book also includes such rare reprints as a Slave Detective story by Wallace Nichols and one of the earliest historical mysteries to be set in Rome, "De Crimine" by Miriam Allen de Ford. which features Cicero as the investigator.

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and compassion, and the mysteries of the world of the dead. I shall not waste your time with fancies, however. You, who bear on your shoulders the responsibility for nothing less than the welfare of all mankind, will doubtless want to know only the facts . . . 2. Trajan to Pliny Before you departed on your mission, my dear Pliny, I took you aside and requested that you write to me whenever you felt the impulse to do so, not merely in an official capacity dealing with finances and

was kept out of sight. I inquired once of the serving women, and they said that "The Mistress" was sleeping calmly. There was no other mistress in this house, as Magnus's wife had died some years before and he had not remarried. But she couldn't sleep all the time, could she, even if drugged? Sooner or later she would get into more trouble. I appreciated my host's dilemma. Nevertheless, I kept myself occupied with official business. The financial records of Heraclia Pontica were in arrears,

politician and a very famous advocate who handles the legal affairs of some of the most powerful families in Rome." The man lifted an eyebrow. "Don't think much of politicians and lawyers." "No? Well, as a rule, Cicero doesn't think much of funeral games. But he thought your men put on quite a show." So far, everything I had said was true; when lying, I have found it best to begin with the truth and embellish only as necessary. "In his line of work, Cicero is frequently called upon to advise

name that any sensible man would refuse to try to repeat. There never seemed much point. The bastards were never around for long. Either they'd submit to our authority, or they'd die. Either way, they wouldn't be with the army for long. His son was taken to ensure his father's good behaviour, along with eight other close relatives: some other of the chieftain's family, including his own brother, and so on. We didn't piss about when it came to taking folks. And now, as I stared down at his bloody

story about Quintilian, "Blind Justice", will be found in my anthology The Mammoth Book of Historical Whodunnits. It was on the Nones of September in the second year of the reign of Emperor Vespasian, many years ago now, that our involvement in the events that I am recounting here began. For reasons that will become clear as I continue my narrative, I could not record this at the time, as is my custom — as, indeed, is my task. As is, I fear, my excuse for being. I am Plautus Maximilianus

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