The year is 63 BC, and Gordianus the Finder unexpectedly achieves the dream of every Roman: owning a farm in the Etruscan countryside. Vowing to leave behind the corruption of Rome, he abandons the city, taking his family with him. This bucolic life, however, is disrupted by the machinations and murderous plots of two politicians.
When Gordianus’ longtime patron Cicero attains his lifelong dream of a coveted consulship, he urgently requests a favor of Gordianus: his help in keeping watch on a radical populist senator, Catilina - Cicero’s political rival and a candidate to replace him in the annual elections. Against his will, Gordianus finds himself drawn deeper and deeper into a maelstrom of deceit and intrigue, uncertain of the dangers and even more uncertain of where his true allegiance lies. When his six-year-old daughter Diana finds a headless corpse in their stable, Gordianus is confronted with the deadliest mystery of his career.
Shrewdly depicting deadly political maneuverings, this addictive mystery also displays the author’s firm grasp of history and human character.
Steven Saylor is a freelance writer, editor, and the author of novels set in ancient Rome. He studied history at the University of Texas at Austin. His writing has appeared in the Threepenny Review, San Francisco Bay Guardian, Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, and the Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction. He lives in Berkeley, California, and Austin, Texas.
“Engrossing…Ironic and satisfying.” (San Francisco Chronicle)
“Saylor rivals Robert Graves in his knack for making the classical world come alive.” (Oregonian)
“Saylor has written another gripping and entertaining historical whodunit…Shrewdly depicting deadly political maneuverings, this addictive mystery also displays the author’s firm grasp of history and human character.” (Publishers Weekly)
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Caustic voice of narrator
I have read or listened to almost all of Steven Saylor's books with great relish. The author has an excellent grasp of Roman culture and his character development of Gordianus the investigator has been interesting to watch evolve. However the voice of Mr Scott Harrison sounds more like someone who should be reading contemporary dectective novels set in Miami or New York rather than ancient Rome. After less than 2 hours I simply turned the audio recording off. I will read the books from the public library rather than buy any historical novel narrated by Mr. Harrison.
Murder on the Appian Way. Features Gordianus the investigator.
I'm sure this narrator is very effective when reading contemporary detective or spy novels. His vowels are very clipped and sharp. His reading pace seldom varies and one's gets the feeling he is racing to be done with the book. Consequently the emphasis on specific scenes is mismanaged
Find a different narrator please.