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The Mammoth Book of Roman Whodunnits (2003)

by Mike Ashley (Editor)

Other authors: Philip Boast (Contributor), Gillian Bradshaw (Contributor), Jean Davidson (Contributor), Miriam Allen deFord (Contributor), Jane Finnis (Contributor)16 more, Tom Holt (Contributor), Michael Jecks (Contributor), Michael Kurland (Contributor), Caroline Lawrence (Contributor), Eric Mayer (Contributor), Wallace Nichols (Contributor), Mary Reed (Contributor), John Maddox Roberts (Contributor), Rosemary Rowe (Contributor), Steven Saylor (Contributor), Steven Saylor (Introduction), Simon Scarrow (Contributor), Darrell Schweitzer (Contributor), R. H. Stewart (Contributor), Marilyn Todd (Contributor), Peter Tremayne (Contributor)

Series: Mammoth Book of Historical, Mammoth Mystery

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1183183,505 (3.83)6
The greatest characters from the Roman era march through these pages: Hannibal, Scipio Africanus, Spartacus, Julius Caesar, Cicero, Nero, Vespasian, Cleopatra and many more. From the famed Julius Caesar to the Fall of Rome, this book contains 20 stories, firmly founded in fiction.

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Showing 3 of 3
I continue on my kick of reading short-story anthologies featuring historical detective fiction, most recently with “The Mammoth Book of Roman Whodunnits,” edited by Mike Ashley, which covers the history of the Roman Empire from Octavian to the so-called Dark Ages. Most of the 20 stories here are original to this 2003 anthology, aside from one from 1952, another from 1966 and a third, anonymous tale that might have been published as early as the 1860s. As ever, readers will differ on their favourites, but here are mine: “A Gladiator Dies Only Once,” by Steven Saylor, featuring Gordianus the Finder; the 1952 tale “De Crimine,” by Miriam Allen deFord, in which Cicero saves the day; a John Maddox Ford entry in his SPQR series, “The Will”; Michael Kurland’s “Great Caesar’s Ghost,” in which Orator Quintilian solves Vespasian’s ghost problem; the anonymous tale from, possibly, the 1860s, “The Missing Centurion”; the long-titled “Some Unpublished Correspondence of the Younger Pliny,” by Darrell Schweitzer, an epistolary story concerning early Christians and a conman; “The Lost Eagle,” by Peter Tremayne, featuring Sister Fidelma, who is asked to find the lost Eagle of the Ninth; and my favourite overall, Marilyn Todd’s “Honey Moon,” wherein wine seller Claudia exacts appropriate revenge. Mike Ashley’s introductions to each story are entertaining and useful, providing information about the authors and the time period in which they have set their story, and while the above are my personal favourites, there really isn’t a bad story in the batch; recommended! ( )
  thefirstalicat | May 16, 2021 |
I used this to get an idea of which authors of Roman mysteries I liked. It didn't have my favorite Lindsey Davis, but got me started on a few I will keep reading. ( )
  Tchipakkan | Dec 26, 2019 |
An anthology of short stories centered around crime, all set in ancient Rome of one period or another. Interesting as a sampler, but I find that the short story genre doesn't allow the development of the absorbing Roman atmosphere that characterizes several of the "Roman Detective" series. ( )
  annbury | Sep 22, 2010 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Ashley, MikeEditorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Boast, PhilipContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bradshaw, GillianContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Davidson, JeanContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
deFord, Miriam AllenContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Finnis, JaneContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Holt, TomContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Jecks, MichaelContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Kurland, MichaelContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Lawrence, CarolineContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Mayer, EricContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Nichols, WallaceContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Reed, MaryContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Roberts, John MaddoxContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Rowe, RosemaryContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Saylor, StevenContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Saylor, StevenIntroductionsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Scarrow, SimonContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Schweitzer, DarrellContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Stewart, R. H.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Todd, MarilynContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Tremayne, PeterContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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The greatest characters from the Roman era march through these pages: Hannibal, Scipio Africanus, Spartacus, Julius Caesar, Cicero, Nero, Vespasian, Cleopatra and many more. From the famed Julius Caesar to the Fall of Rome, this book contains 20 stories, firmly founded in fiction.

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Book description
If I am aware that a short story is part of a series, I have noted that fact in brackets.  I have created records for those stories so that they can be included in their series.   The exceptions are the Roma Sub Rosa and the Sister Fidelma Mystery series: those short stories are already collected into anthologies that are included in their respective series.


Never Forget by Tom Holt

A Gladiator Only Dies Once by Steven Saylor [Roma Sub Ross]

The Hostage to Fortune by Michael Jecks

De Crimine by Mirriam Allen deFord

The Will by John Maddox Roberts [SPQR]

Honey Moon by Marilyn Todd [Claudia Seferius]

Damnum Fatale by Philip Boast

Heads You Lose by Simon Scarrow

Great Caesar's Ghost by Michael Kurland

The Cleopatra Game by Jane Finnis

Bread and Circuses by Caroline Lawrence

The Missing Centurion by Anonymous

Some Unpublished Correspondence of the Younger Pliny by Darrell Schweitzer

A Golden Opportunity by Jean Davidson

Caveat Emptor by Rosemary Rowe [Libertus Mystery of Roman Britain]

Sunshine and Shadow by R. H. Stewart

The Case of his Own Abduction by Wallace Nichols [Sollius the Slave Detective]

The Malice of the Anicii by Gillian Bradshaw

The Finger of Aphrodite by Mary Reed and Eric Mayer [John the Eunuch Mysteries]

The Lost Eagle by Peter Tremayne
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