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Caveat Emptor by Ruth Downie

Caveat Emptor

by Ruth Downie

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2623264,523 (3.72)39
  1. 20
    Roman Blood by Steven Saylor (bookfitz)
    bookfitz: The first of another series involving mysteries set in Ancient Roman times.

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Ruso and Tilla have arrived back in Britain, newlyweds and in need of a place to live and a job for Ruso. Ruso's old friend Valens, from his army medic days, has found him one--as an investigator for the procurator, to locate the missing tax money, not to mention the missing tax collector, Julius Asper, from the town of Verulamium.

Asper's lover Cama (spelling optional since I listened to the audiobook), traveled the twenty miles from Verulamium to Londinium to report Asper's disappearance and what she believes to be the perfidy of the town leaders. She quickly winds up at Valens' house, giving birth to Asper's baby with Tilla as mid-wife.

Meanwhile, Ruso is tracking down Asper, and instead finding his corpse. That's not nearly so unpleasant for Ruso, though he's not pleased, as discovering that his old enemy Metellus is also interested in the case, and also expects a report from Ruso. Soon Ruso is off to Verulamium "to help the town council," and Tilla is also, accompanying her patient Cama and her baby. The tight bond between Ruso and Tilla, and the counterpoint of their disagreement about nearly everything, including marriage, relationships, and investigating crimes, ensures that they are often working at odds even as they have much the same goals in mind.

This is a nicely complex mystery, with enough but not too much Roman and British history layered in, and the continuing growth of Tilla and Ruso as characters. I've enjoyed every one of these stories so far, and I expect to continue doing so.

Recommended. ( )
  LisCarey | Sep 19, 2018 |
Not as good as the other in the series, but did enjoy. Looking forward to the next book..... ( )
  almin | Jul 29, 2018 |
I enjoy this series more for the characters and the worldbuilding than the mystery. This entry is no exception. Ruso and Tilla are their own lovable selves, and the series continues to explore the effects of the Roman occupation of Britain in interesting ways. The mystery itself seemed fairly by-the-numbers. I read the book in one go, because I was eager to see if something unexpected might happen, but everything fell out along fairly predictable lines. Though I think I may have missed the explanation for why Asper and the brother weren't ever the suspected counterfeiters, even though the coin mold was found in their house? ( )
  9inchsnails | Mar 7, 2016 |
Ruso is back in Britain and is looking into the disappearance of the tax money collected by a British municipality.
Although the townspeople feel that the person responsible for the money has run off with it, there is also the strong possibility that the man has met with foul play.
Politics and corruption reign while a decent man and his wife try to do their best work out what's going on in the mucky mess that is left by theft, murder and revenge. ( )
  quiBee | Jan 21, 2016 |
An unwilling but unemployed and just back in Londinium from Gaul Medicus Ruso gets roped into investigating the missing tax money from Verolameum. And the tax collector is missing too. As usual his partner Tilla, a Briton and a midwife, manages to involve herself fully. Ruso's friend Valens' marriage isn't going well either and Tilla is more and more worried about the fact that she and Ruso do not seem to be conceiving a baby which both want very much. So lots going on and the usual tangle and good fun. **** ( )
  sibyx | Jun 10, 2015 |
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nec aliud adversus validissimas gentes pro nobis utilius quam quod in commune non consulunt. rarus duabus tribusve civitatibus ad propulsandum commune periculum conventus: ita singuli pugnant, universi vincuntur. / Nothing has been more useful to us against powerful tribes than the fact that they do not act together. Only seldom do two or three states unite to repel a common danger. So, fighting separately, all are conquered. -Tacitus, "Agricola," on the Britons.
To Chris and Stevie
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This close, even Firmus could see that she was the sort of woman his mother had warned him about.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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"First published in Great Britain in 2011 by Penquin UK under the name Ruso and the River of Darkness" t.p. verso
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Book description
In the far reaches of the Roman Empire, there are three certainties in life for Doctor Gaius Petrieus Ruso: death, taxes and angry barbarians.

In this fourth novel from Ruth Downie, Ruso has arrived back in Britannia with his new wife, Tilla, and a trunk full of wedding crockery. His old friend and colleague Valens has promised to help him find work, but it isn't the kind of work Ruso had in mind. While Tilla longs for somewhere to unpack, and a home for the baby she hopes will soon follow, Ruso is tasked with hunting down missing tax man Julius Asper.

Of course there's something else missing: money. And the Council of the town of Verulamium is bicker over what's become of it. Compelled to dig deeper by a threat from his old sparring partner Metellus, Ruso discovers that the good townsfolk might not be as loyal to Rome as they like to appear.

Depite our hero's best efforts to get himself fired as investigator, he and Tilla find themselves trapped at the heart of an increasingly treacherous conspiracy involving theft, forgery, buried treasure, and the legacy of Boudica, the rebel queen. [from the jacket]
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In the far reaches of the Roman Empire, there are three certainties in life for Doctor Gaius Petreius Ruso: death, taxes, and angry barbarians. The hero finds himself trapped at the heart of an increasingly treacherous conspiracy involving theft, forgery, buried treasure, and the legacy of Boudica, the rebel queen.… (more)

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Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

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Tantor Media

An edition of this book was published by Tantor Media.

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