Caveat Emptor (Gaius Petreius Ruso Series #4)

Caveat Emptor (Gaius Petreius Ruso Series #4)

3.9 30
by Ruth Downie
     
 

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In her fourth novel, Ruth Downie brings to life the corruption and treachery of Roman-occupied Britain, as it closes in on her winsome leading man. Gaius Petreius Ruso and his new wife Tilla have moved to the town of Verulamium, where a tax man named Julius Asper has gone missing, along with a lot of money. As the investigation deepens, and despite our hero's best

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Overview

In her fourth novel, Ruth Downie brings to life the corruption and treachery of Roman-occupied Britain, as it closes in on her winsome leading man. Gaius Petreius Ruso and his new wife Tilla have moved to the town of Verulamium, where a tax man named Julius Asper has gone missing, along with a lot of money. As the investigation deepens, and despite our hero's best efforts to get himself fired, he and his bride find themselves trapped at the heart of an increasingly treacherous conspiracy involving theft, forgery, buried treasure, and the legacy of Boudica, the rebel queen.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Downie excels in bringing the ancient world to life as well as making the attitudes and customs of its inhabitants accessible to a modern audience." —Publishers Weekly Starred Review
Kirkus Reviews

Downie's wonderful historical mystery series (Persona Non Grata, 2009, etc.) set in 2nd-century CE Roman-occupied Britain cruises along in high gear in this entertaining fourth installment.

Serial physician (medicus) andde factodetective Gaius Petreius Ruso is assigned to investigate the suspicious disappearance of both tax collector Julius Asperandmoney owed to the coffers of Emperor Hadrian. Ruso traces a path between the Roman command center in Londinium and the northern metropolis (Verulamium) whence Asper and his brother (also "missing") have presumably fled. When it appears both fugitives were murdered, Asper's pregnant common-law wife begins hurling accusations. Ruso's former servant and present wife Tilla does what she usually does, helping out, investigating on her own and attracting the threatening attentions of assorted suspects. The latter include multiple high-living magistrates, a sinister security chief, an even more menacing captain of Verulamium's security forces, a craven finance officer, a housekeeper who knows perhaps too many secrets for her own good—oh, and there's also a three-legged dog named (what else?) Cerberus. The intriguingly tricky plot—arguably marred by too many otherwise brisk scenes which do little more than move Ruso from one locale to another—turns on a clever forgery scheme; and, as always, Downie displays a virtuoso's command of pertinent period detail. Along the way, the body count rises rather alarmingly and it seems that as many innocent as guilty parties are severely punished. The subplot concerning Tilla's frustrated yearning to conceive a child takes a poignant new turn, while opening a clear path toward another sequel. Fortunately, when in Britannia, Downie remains a peerless storyteller and a master entertainer.

BBC'sMasterpiece should take a long look at this series. It's a winner.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781608197071
Publisher:
Bloomsbury USA
Publication date:
01/17/2012
Series:
Gaius Petreius Ruso Series, #4
Pages:
352
Sales rank:
442,983
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.00(d)

Meet the Author


Ruth Downie is the author of the New York Times bestselling Medicus, Terra Incognita, and Persona Non Grata. A part-time librarian, she is married with two sons and lives in England.

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Caveat Emptor 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 30 reviews.
LN_Adcox 3 months ago
RUSSO IS CLUELESS AS USUAL Lured by the promise of work by his friend, Valens, Russo returns to Britannia with his new wife Tilla and their wedding crockery. To Russo’s chagrin, the job is not as a medicus, but as an investigator searching for missing tax collectors and tax money. The element of mystery in this historical fiction mystery is rather weak as we are led to suspect the death of the tax collectors from the beginning. It is only the details that are lacking. However, the primary element that supports this series is present – the “everyman” character of Russo and his frustration in trying to understand women in general and his wife in particular. It amazes me that Ruth Downie appears to understand the mindset of men while I am nearly as clueless as Russo and Valens concerning women. It doesn’t seem fair but it makes this series distinctive.
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