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Monday, April 13, 2015

The Sacrilege by John Maddox Roberts

Genre: Historical Mystery

Setting: Rome, 61 B.C.

First sentence: I wonder if we can ever know what truly happened.

This novel is the third in Robert's SPQR historical mystery series.

Newly minted senator Decius Caecilius Metellus has recently returned to Rome.  Now he is immersing himself in the social and political intrigues of the capitol city.

Outside the city's walls, Roman general Pompey's legions guard a vast fortune and await their long postponed triumphal entry to the city.  Amongst the soldiers and plunder are several Etruscan mystics.

Inside the city, the married woman of Rome celebrated the rites of Bona Dea. Men are expressly prohibited from attending these sacred rites.

Rome is in an uproar when a man is discovered inside the religious assembly.

Decius is asked to investigate the sacrilege.  Soon there are several killings connected to the sacrilege. 

While investigating, Decius survives several attempts on his life.

Who is trying to kill Decius?
Who has defiled the holy rites?
Are the Etruscan mystics involved?
And how are these questions related?

Along with trying to stay alive, Decius picks up a young smart mouthed slave, and meets the niece of Julius Caesar.

This novel was a fun read.  It is written in a nice easy to read style. I really enjoyed it.


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