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A Murder on the Appian Way (1996)
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0312961731, Mass Market Paperback)This is the fifth in Steven Saylor's "Roma Sub Rosa" series: murder mysteries set in classical Rome just before the fall of the Empire. Once again, Saylor's sleuth is Gordoianus the Finder, a sort of Sam Spade in a toga, who is hired by the rich and infamous of Roman society to solve their personal and political troubles. This time the powerful politician Publius Clodius is murdered on an open road and as riots break out, the fate of the Republic is in doubt. The plotting is deft and the action -- both physical and intellectual -- is nonstop. Most of the characters here are heterosexual but Saylor (who also writes great erotica under the name Aaron Travis) brings a critical gay sensibility to his tales that forms the cultural and emotional crux of his work.
(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:43:18 -0400)
Rome is in a state of turmoil as the rival gangs of Publius Clodius, a high-born, populist politician, and his archenemy Titus Milo fight to control the consular elections. When Clodius is murdered on the famed Appian Way and Milo is accused of the crime, the city explodes with riots and arson. Even the sacrosanct Senate House is burned to the ground. As accusations and rumors fly, Gordianus the Finder - whose famed investigative skills and integrity have made him much sought after by all sides in the escalating conflict - is charged by Pompey the Great with discovering what really happened on the Appian Way on 18 January 52 B.C. What were the circumstances of Clodius's death? Who is responsible? And should his murderer be despised as a villain or hailed as a savior of the Republic? As Cicero fights to save Milo, and the Clodians to destroy him, the answers become ever more vital and ever more obscured. While the city descends into chaos, Pompey and his rival Julius Caesar watch from a distance, and plot their own ambitions.
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