Murder's Immortal Mask (Ancient Rome Mysteries)

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9780755338443: Murder's Immortal Mask (Ancient Rome Mysteries)

September 314 AD and once more death strikes the sprawling streets of Imperial Rome. When two prostitutes are found murdered - their bodies ripped open and their right eyes gouged out - it's feared a notorious killer, the Nefandus, has returned. Rumoured to be an imperial officer, he once waged bloody murder amongst Rome's prostitutes but vanished before his identity could be discovered. Has he reappeared, or is someone working in his guise? Desperate to retain order, the Empress Helena turns to her most trusted agent, Claudia. Helena commands her to discover the truth behind the Nefandus, before Rome descends further into chaos and confusion.

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About the Author:

Paul Doherty was born in Middlesbrough. He studied History at Liverpool and Oxford Universities and obtained a doctorate for his thesis on Edward II and Queen Isabella. He is now headmaster of a school in north-east London and lives with his family in Essex.

From Publishers Weekly:

Doherty's fifth ancient Rome mystery, the first to be released in the U.S., picks up with former legionnaire Attius Enobarbus found murdered in a locked room. Emperor Constantine's mother, pious Christian Helena, dispatches her servant Claudia and the ex-gladiator Murranus to find the secret Attius held: the location of the tomb of the apostle Peter. Claudia discovers that Attius was suspected of being the Nefandus, a brutal serial killer, but the Nefandus resurfaces after Attius's death, and Claudia must discover his or her identity as well as the key to Peter's tomb. Meticulous historical detail, a carefully constructed plot and an intriguing array of prostitutes, German mercenaries and other underground Roman characters make this an engrossing and informative read, though scant backstory and references to earlier books may frustrate first-time readers. (July)
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