Catilina's Riddle

Steven W. Saylor, Author St. Martin's Press $22.95 (430p) ISBN 978-0-312-09763-9
Saylor ( Arms of Nemesis ) has written another gripping and entertaining historical whodunit. Narrator Gordianus, disillusioned by the corruption of Rome circa 63 B.C., has fled the city with his family to live on a farm in the Etruscan countryside. But this bucolic life is disrupted by the machinations and murderous plots of two politicians: Roman consul Cicero, Gordianus's longtime patron; and populist senator Catalina, Cicero's political rival and a candidate to replace him in the annual elections for consul. Claiming that Catalina plans an uprising if he loses the race, Cicero asks Gordianus to keep a watchful eye on the radical. Although he distrusts both men, Gordianus is forced into the center of the power struggle when his six-year-old daughter Diana finds a headless corpse in their stable. Shrewdly depicting deadly political maneuverings, this addictive mystery also displays the author's firm grasp of history and human character. (Oct . )
Reviewed on: 10/04/1993
Release date: 10/01/1993
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