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The House of the Vestals: The Investigations of Gordianus the Finder
     

The House of the Vestals: The Investigations of Gordianus the Finder

3.6 9
by Steven Saylor
 

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It is Ancient Rome, and Gordianus the Finder has a knack for finding trouble. Stalking about the city's twisting trails looking for clues and finding bodies, Gordianus has had his share of misadventure with nobles and slaves alike. Known to many as the one man in the ancient world who can both keep a secret and uncover one, Gordianus has stories to tell.

Overview

It is Ancient Rome, and Gordianus the Finder has a knack for finding trouble. Stalking about the city's twisting trails looking for clues and finding bodies, Gordianus has had his share of misadventure with nobles and slaves alike. Known to many as the one man in the ancient world who can both keep a secret and uncover one, Gordianus has stories to tell.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Cahners\\Publishers_Weekly
After five novels in the Roma Sub Rosa series (A Murder on the Appian Way, 1996), Saylor fills the time frame between the first two books-80 to 72 B.C.- with this first collection of short stories featuring series sleuth Gordianus the Finder. In the crowded streets of late-Republic Rome, the rich and the poor, the living and the dead occupy close quarters. In "The Lemures," a wealthy couple's home, previously owned by an executed political enemy, is haunted by the dead man's ghost. When the new owner dies unexpectedly, his widow is sure that the ghost will kill her next. Gordianus mines his knowledge of botany, history and human psyches to ferret out the solution. The nobleman Lucius Claudius, summoned into the house of dying young man to witness his signing of his will, days later sees the young man out walking. He asks the Finder to investigate and, as Gordianus follows the trial of deceit in "A Will Is a Way," the two men embark upon a lasting friendship. Gordianus adopts a young mute boy, Eco; and his sultry Egyptian servant, Bethesda, gradually evolves from slave to friend to lover, and finally, wife. Her Egyptian-Jewish origins permit the author to incorporate sections of biblical lore in his stories. Saylor's fluid prose and probing characterization work as effectively in the short story as they have in his admirable Gordianus novels.
Seattle Times
Ingenious...Saylor offers rich history with great imagination.
Washington Post Book World
Entertainment of the first order.
Kirkus Reviews
It's no wonder Gordianus the Finder solves so many of these nine cases in a single flash of insight. Most of the mysteries aren't very mysterious; even Gordianus' slave (and future wife) Bethesda picks out the thief of his friend Lucius Claudius' silver the minute she hears the story. Still, three groups of readers will find these stories irresistible: history buffs who appreciate Saylor's careful research into Roman politics and Roman mores; fans of his five novels (A Murder on the Appian Way, 1996, etc.) who want to find out how he first became Lucius Claudius' friend, or how he acquired his faithful slave Belbo; and anyone who enjoys leisurely, literate storytelling.

Though none of the stories is more than five years old, nearly half ("A Will Is a Way," "The Lemures," "King Bee and Honey," "The Alexandrian Cat") have already been anthologized. All the others could well follow.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781429927574
Publisher:
St. Martin's Press
Publication date:
06/15/1997
Series:
Novels of Ancient Rome , #6
Sold by:
Macmillan
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
272
Sales rank:
225,971
File size:
725 KB

Meet the Author

Steven Saylor is the author of the long running Roma Sub Rosa series featuring Gordianus the Finder, as well as the New York Times bestselling novel, Roma and its follow-up, Empire. He has appeared as an on-air expert on Roman history and life on The History Channel. Saylor was born in Texas and graduated with high honors from The University of Texas at Austin, where he studied history and classics. He divides his time between Berkeley, California, and Austin, Texas.


Steven Saylor is the author of the long running Roma Sub Rosa series featuring Gordianus the Finder, as well as the New York Times bestselling novel, Roma and its follow-up, Empire. He has appeared as an on-air expert on Roman history and life on The History Channel. Saylor was born in Texas and graduated with high honors from The University of Texas at Austin, where he studied history and classics. He divides his time between Berkeley, California, and Austin, Texas.

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House of the Vestals 3.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
DeoVindice More than 1 year ago
Another great success for Saylor. Being partial to the author hasn't really colored my view of this book. As a compilation of short stories it is a great book to pick up, read and and replace for short periods of time. At about 20 minutes a story you can continue on with the further adventures of Gordianus the finder. It is not a starter book in that the stories occur on a timeline within the periods between the full novels and it helps to be familiar with those novels. For the fans of the "Finder" it definitely fills in the blanks.
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