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Fortune's Fool: A Sixth Case from the…

Fortune's Fool: A Sixth Case from the Notebooks of Pliny the Younger (edition 2017)

by Jr. Bell, Albert A. (Author)

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631,910,461 (4)1
On the shores of beautiful Lake Como in Roman Italy, a Greek tragedy has taken place. Twenty years later, a skeleton falls out of a wall in Plinyâe(tm)s villa, bearing mute witness to family secrets and crimes.Pliny the Younger is intelligent about everything but women. He agrees to his wifeâe(tm)s and motherâe(tm)s wishes to marry off his lover, Aurora, to another slave, but neglects telling her until the wedding! To add to his problems, when building a wing onto his Lake Como villa, workmen discover a skeleton. As is Plinyâe(tm)s habit, he launches a scientific investigation of the crime, but soon receives anonymous warnings and threats to cease. Then his wife, Livia, is kidnapped!âe¢ As in the earlier books, a glossary of Roman terms and a list of historic and fictional characters are included… (more)
Title:Fortune's Fool: A Sixth Case from the Notebooks of Pliny the Younger
Authors:Jr. Bell, Albert A. (Author)
Info:Perseverance Press (2017), 240 pages
Collections:ebooks and online books, Currently reading, Read but unowned
Tags:contemporary, novel, detective fiction, historical, Roman, Pliny, American author, ebook, Scribd, currently reading

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Fortune's Fool: A Sixth Case from the Notebooks of Pliny the Younger by Jr. Albert A. Bell



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While demolishing a 20-year-old wall on an estate he inherited from his father, Pliny finds a skeleton buried inside the wall. Who was it and why was it put there? Some people seem determined that he will not find out.

The 'who' was fairly obvious, though watching Pliny uncovering the 'why' was good fun. I could think of several ways out of the dilemmas in his personal life but of course he didn't ask my advice. ( )
  Robertgreaves | Dec 2, 2019 |
This novel brings the series back to the high standard of the first four in the series, combining a compelling mystery with more complications in Pliny's complicated personal life. The story is set at Pliny's villa on the shores of Lake Como (a beautifully evoked setting). The mystery begins when a skeleton falls out of a wall that Pliny is having demolished so that he can enlarge the villa, in a (fruitless) attempt to placate his unpleasant wife Livia. Nothing, of course, will placate Livia except the disappearance of Pliny's slave and lover Aurora. Pliny of course wants to find out whose skeleton it is, and how it got in the wall, and the plot devolves from there, reaching back into the past to touch Pliny's family. Well written and lively, this novel leaves me waiting for the next book in the series. ( )
  annbury | Feb 11, 2018 |
Another delightful Pliny the Younger mystery. In this outing, while remodeling his property at the behest of his wife, Livia, while demolishing a wall, a skeleton falls out. Who is this person and who has put him there? Pliny and his mistress, Aurora, figure out that this body has been in there for 20 years. This leads to the families both of Pliny and of his wife and little by little more metaphorical skeletons fall out of closets--family secrets that have been buried. At one point, Livia is kidnapped and there is a scramble to get her back. The kidnappers want not monetary ransom but a certain document. There's also a sinister abandoned villa, the Fox's Den, and a taberna and its proprietor, Lutulla, that play important parts in the novel. A convoluted but ultimately satisfying mystery is finally solved.

I liked the author's notes about who was fictional, e.g., Aurora, and who really lived, e.g., Romatius Firmus, who grew up with Pliny and was a lifelong friend. The epilogue consists of one of Pliny's "Letters" addressed to him. I wondered, as with the novel concerning Pliny's estate at Laurentum, [The Corpus Conundrum: A Third Case from the Notebooks of Pliny the Younger] [love that title!], if the author had used his own translation of the Pliny letter here, as he did with the one describing Pliny's Laurentine villa.

Highly recommended. ( )
  janerawoof | Jun 30, 2017 |
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