Gordianus

Created by Steven Saylor

Now here's something new! A gumsandal! GORDIANUS, citizen of Rome, circa 80 B.C., is a professional finder, a "consorter with assassins and a professional ferret". Gordianus is -- at least initially --a bit more respectable than Lindsey Davis' Marcus Didius Falco, but not by much. Gordianus lives on Esquiline Hill, in the city of Rome, in a small house with a tiny garden and a half-Jewish housegirl, Bethesda, who doesn't seem to know her place, and of whom Gordianus is quite fond of.

He's also quite chummy with nobleman Lucius Claudius, a "one-time client and since-then friend," and a young lawyer named Cicero (yes, that Cicero). A more recent addition to the cast of characters is Eco, a ten-year old mute whom Gordianus has adopted, after rescuing him from a gang of bullies. And eventually he succumbs to Bethesda's charms, and she becomes his manumitted legal wife, and eventually, the mother of his daughter, Gordiana.

And don't sneer, thinking this is some just cozy in togas. Gordianus is suitably hard-boiled, and the distance between ancient Rome and our present-day society is a mite closer than you'd think.

A well-written series, highly recommended; a nice balance of hard-boiled grit and a setting that hasn't been done to death, by an author not afraid to shake things up a bit, even within the boundaries of a series. The latest books in the series stray from the carefully constructed world of Roman intrigue and world-weary middle age that he's created. The Seven Wonders (2012) and Raiders of the Nile (2014) are sequels, follow a much younger Gordianus on some of his earlier adventures in Egypt.

And by gum, it's educational!

An expert on Roman politics and life, Steven Saylor has appeared on the History Channel and, besides the Roma Sub Rosa series featuring Gordianus the Finder, has written the internationally bestselling historical novels Empire and Roma. He currently divides his time between Berkeley, California and Austin, Texas.

UNDER OATH

  • "Faithful and entertaining historical novel(s) and...compulsively entertaining whodunit(s)."

-- The New York Times

  • "Saylor read Michael Grant's translation of Cicero's Sextus Roscio speech and thought it would make a good novel. He was wrong; the speech not only made a terrific novel, but led to a whole series of novels and short stories about Gordianus the Finder, a P.I. in classical Rome. Saylor's first one, Roman Blood, is my favorite."

-- Vince Emery, The 14 Best Private Eye Novels of All Time (2012)

NOVELS

SHORT STORIES

  • "A Will is a Way" (March 1992, EQMM)
  • "Death Wears a Mask" (July 1992, EQMM)
  • "The Lemures" (October 1992, EQMM)
  • "The House of the Vestals" (April 1993, EQMM)
  • "The Tale of The Treasure House" (Spring 1993, The Armchair Detective)
  • "The Disappearance of the Saturnalia Silver" (Mid-December1993, EQMM)
  • "The Alexandrian Cat" (February 1994, EQMM)
  • "Little Caesar and the Pirates" (March 1995, EQMM)
  • "King Bee and Honey" (October 1995, EQMM)
  • "The White Fawn" (December 1996, EQMM)
  • "Poppy and the Poisoned Cake" (December 1998, EQMM)
  • "If a Cyclops Could Vanish in the Blink of an Eye" (September 2002, Candis; also August 2003, EQMM)
  • "A Gladiator Dies Only Once," (2003, The Mammoth Book of Ancient Roman Whodunnits)
  • "Death by Eros" (2003, Death Comes Easy: The Gay Times Book of Murder Stories)
  • "Something Fishy in Pompeii," (July 2003, Candis; September/October 2003, EQMM)
  • "The Cherries of Lucullus" (May 2005, EQMM)
  • "The Monumental Gaulâ (August 2011, EQMM)
  • "Styx and Stones" (2011, Down These Strange Streets).. Buy this book.. Kindle it!

COLLECTIONS

RELATED LINKS

The author's official web site.

Historical Eyes

Report respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith. And thanks to W. A. Billingsly for the update.


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