Steven Saylor Catilina's Riddle

ISBN 13: 9780312097639

Catilina's Riddle

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9780312097639: Catilina's Riddle

While keeping watch on a radical populist senator for his mentor, Cicero, Gordianus finds a corpse in his stables without an explanation--or a head--in story of conspiracy and murder set in ancient Rome. By the author of Roman Blood. 25,000 first printing.

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From the Publisher:

My high school Latin teacher -- Sister Ethelreda, are you out there in cyberspace? -- enthralled her class for four years with her tales of ancient Rome, from culinary trivia to the deeds of the noble generals and the great Roman patriots. It was her hope, as she said, not only to teach us this beautiful language but to be able to bring to life for us the people who formed the vibrant culture that was Rome's. I heard an echo of her words many years later when I read THE FAR ARENA, in which the protagonist wished earnestly to be able to turn a doorknob in time and find the Roman behind the door.

With Steven Saylor's mysteries, we have that Roman behind the door. Set in ancient Rome before the rise of Julius Caesar, these are not your usual cozy reads. His detective, Gordianus the Finder, seems a scruffy sort, not a noble Roman from the history books by any means, and his Rome is a rough-and-tumble place full of noisy street vendors and con artists as well as more well-to-do, upstanding citizens, a city full of gossip and intrigue and nasty politics as vicious as anything we see today. The noble Romans do appear in his books, of course, but they're a far cry from the bloodless statues who watch serenely from the covers of Latin books as students painstakingly translate their dry speeches. Marcus Tullius Cicero, for one, appears in CATILINA'S RIDDLE not as a statesman but as an underhanded schemer obsessed with destroying Lucius Sergius Catilina, who has gone down in history, rightly or wrongly, as a man who attempted to bring down the Roman Republic. You, the reader, will be left to judge.

--Margaret Sanborn, Senior Publicity Copywriter

From the Inside Flap:

"A sweeping and marvelously evocative story . . ." Booklist.
A mystery of ancient Rome by the author of "Arms Of Nemesis."
When Gordianus the Finder deserts the fierce intrigues of Rome for domesticity on an Etruscan farm, his brilliant patron, the orator Cicero, draws him back with a curious proposal: keep Catilina, Cicero's radical rival, under a watchful eye.
Reluctantly, Gordianus complies -- and soon, despite himself, becomes intrigued by the notorious populist politician. Could Catilina really be conspiring against the Republic? Or are Cicero's accusation no more than vicious lies? Questioning his loyalty to his own patron, Gordianus comes to question even more when he discovers a headless corpse in his stables and is suddenly swept into a mystery more dangerous than any he has ever known.

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