Well, I do love reading the Falco books, and have all the SPQRs and have
become hooked on Claudia Seferius--Marilyn Todd's female Roman detective. It's
written in a modern tone, but I just can't help liking the characters, even when
they don't think like ancient Romans. LOL. David Wishart has a good series as
well, as does Rosemary Rowe. I have found Rowe's books (set in Roman Britain
and the detective is a freed slave who is a tile worker) over here in the U.S.
but I order all my Wisharts and Todds from England over the internet. But they
aren't always to everyone's taste. I'm one who just gobbles up the Roman
settings, whether they are true to the period or not. hehe. My faves are still
McCullough's with Davis a close second.
I actually have some of the books at my desk at work, having not taken them
Wishart: Marcus Corvinus, in the time of Tiberius. Described in the Dramtis
Personae at the front of the books as "a rich young noble with no interest in
politics." He has a fussy cook and often there are interesting descriptions of
the fancy Roman dishes fromt he Imperial period. Married to Perilla,
stepdaughter of Ovid, with an adopted daughter who brings home stray animals, usually
to hilarious effect.
Rowe: Longinius Flavius Libertus, freedman, mosaicist, a Celt who was taken
as a slave and eventually bought his freedom, set in Roman Britain, around 187
AD. His patron is Marcus Septimus Aurelius (regional governor's
representative). Has a "scruffy and cheerful" slave of his own, Junio, who is also learning
the art of the mosaic.
Todd: Came up from the subura district and poverty to catch the eye of a wine
maker, Gaius, who dies and leaves her everything and she tries to run the
wine business. One of the themes is the wine guild trying to undercut her and buy
her out at every turn. An Egyptian cat, Drusilla, is her constant companion
and she is bedeviled and persued by the assistant to the head of Rome's
security police, Marcus Cornelius Orbilio (patrician), who wants to enter the Senate
but keeps getting in trouble, is always disappointing his family. Augustus is
Emperor. Very modern writing and thinking, but fast paced and enjoyable
You can read excerpts and such at Amazon.co.uk.
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