Synopses & Reviews
When the body of a mason is found in the library of current Princeps (first citizen) Domitian, Pliny the Younger is asked by his mother to find the killer.At the same time, Domitian orders Pliny and his friend Tacitus to find out if there is a real heir to the throne. Their exploits in Syria (All Roads Lead to Murder)have reached the ears of all in Rome, and they now have the reputation of being competent detectives. Readers will delight in the duo's tracing of Caesar's blood line; walking with Pliny through his daily routine is entertaining, too. Outstandingly researched and laden with suspense, this journey into ancient Rome by history professor Bell could be one of the masterpieces of the historical mystery genre. Lindsey Davis and Steven Saylor will hold readers over until the third casebook of Pliny the Younger publishes.Highly recommended for all collections.Jo Ann Vicarel - Library Journal, Starred Review - named one of the 5 best mysteries of 2008
Pliny the Younger and Tacitus have another mystery to solve - actually layers of mysteries. During dinner at the emperor Domitian's palace, a workman is discovered dead in the archives. Why is this humble man's death important to the ruler of Rome? Domitian assigns Pliny to uncover references to an unknown heir of Augustus Caesar in a memoir of Nero's mother. Why does Domitian suspect his own copy of the memoir is incomplete? And how does his suspicion relate to the niece of Pliny's old friend and mentor? Is Tacitus' father-in-law Agricola a villain or a potential victim? Like a sinister red line slashed through a carefully prepared manuscript, the legacy of the great Augustus marks the connections to slaves of Pliny's own household. Pliny and Tacitus must descend to the Stygian underworld of Nero's buried "golden house" to find answers. Will the answers save the peace of Rome, or mark its doom?
About the Author
Albert Bell is a literary renaissance man. His published books include nonfiction, historical fiction, and mysteries. Bell discovered his love for writing in high school with his first publication in 1972. His articles and stories have appeared in publications from Jack and Jill and True Experience to the Detroit Free Press and Christian Century. Dr. Bell has taught at Hope College in Holland, Michigan since 1978 and has served as chair of the History Department since 1994. He has a Ph.D. from UNC-Chapel Hill, an M.A. from Duke and an M.Div. from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. He has been married for over 40 years to Bettye Jo Barnes Bell, a psychologist; they have four children and a grandchild.