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.
-- The New York Times
-- Vince Emery, The 14 Best Private Eye Novels of All Time (2012)
The author's official web site.
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