SPQR IV: The Temple of the Muses : SPQR

  • by John Maddox Roberts
  • Narrated by John Lee
  • Series: SPQR
  • 7 hrs and 6 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

When Roman junior senator Decius Caecilius Metellus the Younger has a chance to join a diplomatic mission to Alexandria, he welcomes the opportunity to temporarily elude his enemies in the Eternal City - even though it means leaving his beloved Rome. Decius is just beginning to enjoy the outpost's many exotic pleasures when the suspicious death of an irascible philosopher occurs, coinciding with the puzzling and apocalyptic ravings of a charismatic cult leader. Intrigued, Decius requests and is given permission by the Egyptian Pharaoh to investigate the heinous crime. What he discovers is beyond shocking.
And when the corpse of a famous courtesan mysteriously turns up in his bed, Decius suddenly finds himself entangled in a web of conspiracy far more widespread and dangerous than he ever imagined - one that threatens to bring about the downfall of the entire Empire.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

One of my favorite series

I am rereading this series - I own all of the books in print form, and am now listening to them via Audible. The main character is interesting, has wry comments, and I like the spin Roberts puts on ancient Roman events. After all, we have so little real information, just the rough outlines, that someone who can write - Roberts can - has a lot to work with. One problem with Roman historical mysteries is that the society was incredibly brutal and primitive, and slavery is ugly - there is no way these things can be completely evaded. It was an amazing civilization given the world at the time, but the Romans were basically a tribal people who somehow found a way to achieve some mind boggling feats of engineering, art, and architecture. I appreciate that the author does his best to keep the worst of these things enough in the background so that you aren't so grossed out you can't enjoy the story and characters. If he uses some creative license - that's what creative people are supposed to do!

This is only #2 in the series, and it gets better over time - but I wanted to give it all the stars, since I feel I'm rating the series as much as this one book. The only thing that's missing in the audio version is the glossary and I admit I'm not sure how they would do it without putting the reader to sleep. However, it's more than worth it to get the book out of the library to read the glossary, which explains how the names work, what the various weapons are, how the political system works, and other things that are so different from our world. It's not necessary, but it does help flesh out and enrich the story. All told, I think that this series may be my all time Roman mystery series.
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- Terry

Hard to beat the system

What made the experience of listening to SPQR IV: The Temple of the Muses the most enjoyable?

Decius, always tries to hold the high ground. Once again he's sent from Rome (for his own health) on a mission to Alexandra. There is murder and mystery that he must solve. As usual the political situation puts him in a position of having to flee or die.


What was one of the most memorable moments of SPQR IV: The Temple of the Muses?

The last chapter, when he makes it to the Roman headquarters thinking he will be save........there is always a twist in the SPQR series.


Which scene was your favorite?

The last scene, seems like Decius can't get a break. even thought he solves the crime he must let many of the guilty people go because of politics. He's learned a lot since the first book but even so he's the one that has to leave Alexandra to go to Rhodes to make sure his life is spared.


Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

All the SPQR books are amazing with historical facts and keep you on the edge of your seat.....at least for me Even though they changed narrators from Simon Vance who did the first two books in the series to John Lee who is doing the rest of the books. I find that I love both narrators, they are in my top ten so to me it really didn't make a difference.


Any additional comments?

I love historical mysteries this is one of my favorites.

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- Bonnie "BJS"

Book Details

  • Release Date: 02-26-2013
  • Publisher: Audible Studios