On a chill January evening in 56 B.C., two strange visitors to Rome—an Egyptian ambassador and a eunuch priest—seek out Gordianus the Finder whose specialty is solving murders. But the ambassador, a philosopher named Dio, has come to ask for something Gordianus cannot give—help in staying alive. Before the night is out, he will be murdered.
Now Gordianus begins his most dangerous case. Hired to investigate Dio's death by a beautiful woman with a scandalous reputation, he will follow a trail of political intrigue into the highest circles of power and the city's most hidden arenas of debauchery. There Gordianus will learn nothing is as it seems—not the damning evidence he uncovers, not the suspect he sends to trial, not even the real truth behind Dio's death which lies in secrets—not of state, but of the heart.