Roman Games: A Plinius Secundus Mystery

Front Cover
Poisoned Pen Press, 2010 - Fiction - 391 pages
16 Reviews

Rome: September, 96 AD. When the body of Sextus Verpa, a notorious senatorial informer and libertine, is found stabbed to death in his bedroom, his slaves are suspected.

 

Pliny is ordered by the emperor Domitian to investigate. However, the Ludi Romani, the Roman Games, have just begun and for the next fifteen days the law courts are in recess. If Pliny can't identify the murderer in that time, Verpa's entire slave household will be burned alive in the arena.

 

Pliny, a very respectable young senator and lawyer, teams up with Martial, a starving author of bawdy verses and denizen of the Roman demimonde. Pooling their respective talents, they unravel a plot that involves Jewish and Christian 'atheists,' exotic Egyptian cultists, and a missing horoscope that forecasts the emperor's death.

 

Their investigation leads them into the heart of the palace, where no one is safe from the paranoid emperor. As the deadline approaches, Pliny struggles with the painful dilemma of a good man who is forced to serve a brutal regime—a situation familiar in our own age as well.

 

The novel provides an intimate glimpse into the palaces and tenements, bedrooms and brothels of imperial Rome's most opulent and decadent age.

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
3
4 stars
6
3 stars
6
2 stars
0
1 star
1

Review: Roman Games: A Plinius Secundus Mystery (Plinius Secundus Mystery #1)

User Review  - Laurentiu Lazar - Goodreads

Let's play a bit with some quotes… the novel has its setting in Rome “The greatest city in the history of the world, built by blood and iron, but equally by a native sense of propriety, dignity, and ... Read full review

Review: Roman Games: A Plinius Secundus Mystery (Plinius Secundus Mystery #1)

User Review  - Lance McMurchy - Goodreads

This is a great first effort by Bruce. He knows his stuff and has written an entertaining and informative book. this is my sort of book, it has mystery, politics and religion. And probably the most ... Read full review

About the author (2010)

Bruce Macbain holds a BA in Classics from the University of Chicago and a Ph.D. in Ancient History from the University of Pennsylvania. He has taught Greek and Roman history at Vanderbilt University and Boston University. His special interest is religion in the Roman Empire. He enjoys travelling and was one of the first Peace Corps Volunteers to serve in Borneo. He lives with his wife in Brookline, MA. This is his first novel.

Bibliographic information