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Formats
Paperback Book Details
  • 10/2017
  • 9780648002000
  • 256 pages
  • $18.95
Open Ebook Ebook Details
  • 08/2018
  • 9780648002017
  • 256 pages
  • $2.99
A Roman Death
Joan O'Hagan, author

Adult; Mystery/Thriller; (Market)

Skullduggery and scheming in Ancient Rome on the eve of Caesar's assassination.

Historical thriller set in Ancient Rome. In 45 BC, Julius Caesar is at the height of his power. Lucius Scaurus, the young, good-looking fiancé of a high-society girl is poisoned at the couple's own pre-wedding banquet. In the trial that follows, Roman society is shocked when the girl's mother, Helvia, is accused of not only of murder, but of incest. Cicero comes to Helvia's defence, but the killer's identity remains a mystery until the final twist – or two.

Praise for A Roman Death:
‘Poison, poetry (both high-minded and salacious), marriage for money, marriage for love, gang-rape, cowardice in battle, scheming slaves, conniving aristocrats, malicious matrons casting magical curses, and (as if all this were not enough) a previously unknown oration by Cicero - there's so much going on, so expertly conveyed ...’ —  Steven Saylor

‘An absorbing story, with fully drawn characters, a fascinating place and period, all given vibrant life in the author’s best work so far.’ — Kirkus Review

‘An original setting, carefully researched and vividly portrayed.’ — The Times Literary Supplement

‘Religious beliefs and superstition in the ancient world play a key part in Joan O’Hagan’s novel about mayhem in Rome … The identity of the killer, in this excellent classical puzzle that is also a classic whodunit, is revealed in a splendidly contrived shock ending.’ — Gerald Kaufman, The Listener

‘Who put the poison in Lucius’s wine, what truth in the scabrous accusations? Cicero for the defence; an unusual treat, don’t miss it.’ — Christopher Wordsworth, The Observer

‘The contexts are all smartly timed … beware of wicked terminal twists.’ — Stephen Walsh, The Oxford Times

‘In this novel, excellent as a mystery and as a reconstruction of the life of upper-class Rome in 45–44 BC, O’Hagan tells a story of murder, magic, love, greed and intrigue, the plot of which could have come right out of an oration of Cicero.’ — Fred Mench, Fictional Rome: Authors & Reviews.

 

Reviews
First published in 1988, this welcome reissue from O’Hagan (Jerome and His Women) cleverly uses the tensions preceding and following Julius Caesar’s assassination as the backdrop for a murder mystery. Lucius Scaurus, who “served under Scipio in the African war against Caesar,” has returned to Rome, where his magistrate father, Marcus, who’s in financial difficulties, has arranged his betrothal to 14-year-old Fufidia. Fufidia’s father, Quintus, is affluent, and her mother, Helvia, is the sister of the poet Cinna. Misgivings about the match don’t end with Lucius and Fufidia’s engagement, which is followed by a poisoning at a pre-wedding banquet at her family’s home that leads to accusations of murder against one of her parents . O’Hagan is especially adept at making the trial scenes vivid, with the legendary orator Cicero speaking for the defense. Steven Saylor fans won’t want to miss this one. (Self-published.)
Formats
Paperback Book Details
  • 10/2017
  • 9780648002000
  • 256 pages
  • $18.95
Open Ebook Ebook Details
  • 08/2018
  • 9780648002017
  • 256 pages
  • $2.99

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