In the title story, a beautiful Nubian actress begs to Gordianus to solve an impossible problem: how can she have just seen her beloved brother in the marketplace, when she previously saw him die a gruesome death as a gladiator?
Fresh from his duel of wits with Cleopatra in The Judgement cf Caesar, Gordianus the Finder, detective of ancient Rome, returns in this new collection of short stories. Nine tales of mystery, murder and intrigue take Gordianus from the seamy streets of Rome to elegant villas on the Bay of Naples, and from a Sicilian graveyard with a deadly secret to a bloody battlefield in Spain. Whether against the spectacular backdrop of a chariot race, or settling a domestic dispute with his beautiful Egyptian concubine Bethesda, Gordianus is always on the case. As in Sayior's previous collection, The House of the Vestals, all the stories in A Gladiator Dies Only Once take place early in Gordianus's career. Often at his side, rapidly growing up, is the mute boy Eco, his adopted son. Frequently conferring with Gordianus is his good-hearted patrician friend, Lucius Claudius Cicero, the great lion of the Roman law courts, makes several appearances. Sertorius, the rebel general who set up a rival Roman state in Spain, casts a shadow across the book from beginning to end, and makes a haunting appearance in the story "The White Fawn." In the title story, a beautiful Nubian actress begs to Gordianus to solve an impossible problem: how can she have just seen her beloved brother in the marketplace, when she previously saw him die a gruesome death as a gladiator?
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" 'How wonderful to have a scholar write about ancient Rome; how comforting to feel instant confidence in the historical accuracy of the novel' The Sunday Times 'Saylor's gifts include authentic historical and topographical backgrounds and... sombre themes set off the brilliant scenery and clever plotting.' Times Literary Supplement 'Saylor evokes the ancient world more convincingly than any other writer of his generation.' Sunday Times"
About Steven Saylor
Steven Saylor is best known as the author of the 'Roma sub Rosa' series set in ancient Rome and featuring Gordianus the Finder. His work has been widely praised for its remarkable accuracy and vivid historical detail as well as for its passion, mystery and intrigue. Steven divides his time between Berkeley, California, and Austin, Texas. His website is at www.stevensaylor.com
A Gladiator Dies Only Once by Steven Saylor
Used - Very Good
Little, Brown Book Group
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