In the unseasonable heat of a spring morning in 80 B.C., Gordianus the Finder is summoned to the house of Cicero, a young advocate staking his reputation on a case involving the savage murder of the wealthy, sybaritic Sextus Roscius. Charged with the murder is Sextus's son, greed being the apparent motive. The punishment, rooted deep in Roman tradition, is horrific beyond imagining.
The case becomes a political nightmare when Gordianus's investigation takes him through the city's raucous, pungent streets and deep into rural Umbria. Now, one man's fate may threaten the very leaders of Rome itself.
The slave who came to fetch me on that unseasonably warm spring morning was a young man, hardly more than twenty.
Usually, when a client sends for me, the messenger is a slave from the very lowest rung of the household--a grub, a cripple, a half-wit boy from the stables stinking of dung and sneezing from the bits of straw in his hair. It's a kind of formality; when one seeks out the services of Gordianus the Finder, one keeps a certain distance and restraint. It's as if I were a leper, or the priest of some unclean Oriental cult. I'm used to it. I take no offense--so long as my accounts
“Gripping…a combination of Hitchcock-style suspense and vivid historical detail.” – Pittsburgh-Post-Gazette on Roman Blood
“Gordinaus has wisdom and prudence; Saylor has intelligence, wit, and insight. Saylor has aquired the information of a historian but he enjoys the gifts of a born novelist.” – The Boston Globe on A Murder on the Appian Way
“Engrossing…contains all the elements that an entertaining mystery and also provides a view of life in ancient Rome. Highly recommended.” – Booklist on Roman Blood
A Novel of Ancient RomeNovels of Ancient Rome