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Arms of Nemesis by Steven Saylor
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Arms of Nemesis (1992)

by Steven Saylor

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6901913,798 (3.72)39
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Showing 1-5 of 16 (next | show all)
Not as satisfying as the first one, but I did enjoy the tension he built up around the fate of the slaves. Red herrings too obvious, but the skillful writing and believable dialogue made it a good read. I fell in love with one of the minor characters...that tells me something about myself. I look forward to the next one! ( )
  Annmarie_Banks | Jan 26, 2014 |

This is the second book in a series featuring Gordianus “the Finder”, a Roman citizen during the period of the Republic, who makes a living as a private detective. In this episode, which takes place some years after the events of the first book in the series, [b:Roman Blood|102720|Roman Blood (Roma Sub Rosa, #1)|Steven Saylor|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1312011787s/102720.jpg|2569207], Gordianus is engaged to discover whether the murderer of Marcus Crassus’ cousin is someone other than household slaves suspected of having joined Spartacus in his revolt.

Saylor makes use of his Classics degree to write an engaging novel, with an interesting combination of real-life and fictional characters and a pleasing prose style. The imparting of historical information – an important feature of both this novel and its predecessor in the series - is achieved with a light hand. I know almost nothing about Roman history, but I was able to acquire pertinent facts without feeling either confused or patronised. That said, the mystery itself is only moderately interesting, even though it contains the usual quotient of suspects and red herrings. For a “finder”, Gordianus does relatively little finding. Indeed, he spends more time being beaten up or otherwise assaulted than he does solving the crime.

Overall, this was a pleasant excursion into historical mystery fiction, made all the more pleasant by (a) reading some of the novel while I was in Rome and (b) sharing the experience with my friend Jemidar. I will definitely want to read the next book in the series at some point.
( )
  KimMR | Apr 2, 2013 |
A young Finder finds the solution to a difficult mystery—just in the nick of time, amidst danger and desperation. Gordianus uncovers a scheme by unscrupulous nobles to sell weapons to the Spartacus and his slave rebels. One noble is murdered in an attempt to hide this treason, but a thorough investigation leads inexorably to the guilty party. Along the way Gordianus manages to embarrass and anger the powerful politician Crassus, and acquire a new, young slave, who will become his adopted son. An entertaining and fast moving story, rich with detail. ( )
  Traveller1 | Mar 30, 2013 |
This episode of the Roma sub Rosa series mainly takes place in the coastal town of Baia, a place where the rich have sumptuous villas. Gordianus is brought here by Marcus Crassus, a very wealthy man, bent on building his own army to bring down Spartacus and his rebellious slaves. He is transported on a trireme manned by slaves which horrifies Gordianus and his adopted son, Eco. Crassus' cousin, Lucius Licinius was killed by a blow to his head and the main suspects are two slaves that have disappeared. Unless Gordianus can find that the true murderer was not a slave, all 100 slaves of Lucius' house and estate will be slaughtered in the arena by Crassus' soldiers.

Gordianus feels great empathy for slaves. He married his first slave, Bethesda, who he bought in Alexandria. He was appalled at the treatment of the slaves on the trireme and he is determined to save these innocent slaves.

Saylor has wonderfully mixed a murder mystery in a historical fiction setting with thoroughly researched details about the life and time of Rome in the 50s BC. ( )
1 vote mamzel | Mar 23, 2012 |
This is a pretty cool novel.

(8/10). ( )
  Tullius22 | Feb 18, 2012 |
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Steven Saylorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Hjukström, CharlotteTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Para Peni Kimmel, helluo librorum et litterarum studiosus
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A pesar de sus excelentes cualidades -sinceridad, lealtad, inteligencia y extraordinaria agilidad-, Eco no estaba capacitado para atender a la puerta. Eco es mudo.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0312978324, Mass Market Paperback)

The hideously disfigured body was found in the atrium. The only clues are a blood-soaked cloak, and, carved into the stone at the corpse's feet, the word Sparta . . . The Overseer of Marcus Crassus's estate has been murdered, apparently by two slaves bent on joining Spartacus's revolt. The wealthy, powerful Crassus vows to honor an ancient law and have his ninety-nine remaining slaves slaughtered in three days. Gordianus the Finder is summoned from Rome by a mysterious client to find out the truth about the murder before the three days are up.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:18:37 -0400)

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When two slaves kill an overseer on the estate of the richest man in Rome in 72 B.C., the master of the house demands the public execution of every slave in the household and in so doing begins a political coup.

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