The Corpus Conundrum: A Third Case from the Notebooks of Pliny the Younger

Albert A. Bell Jr.. Ingalls (, $15.95 trade paper (284p) ISBN 978-1-932158-96-0
Pliny the Younger, nephew of the naturalist Pliny the Elder, proves a natural at detection in Bell's third whodunit featuring the future first-century A.D. Roman senator (after 2008's The Blood of Caesar). The discovery of a man's corpse on the grounds of the villa at Laurentum that Pliny inherited from his uncle interrupts Pliny's peaceful sojourn there. The first of many anomalies is his dogs' refusal to go near the cadaver, but that becomes an afterthought when the dead man disappears from a locked room. Pliny's initial decision not to notify the authorities comes back to bite him after they turn up anyway, possibly tipped off by a spy in his household. Bell deftly blends clues and period details in this worthy alternative to the Roman historicals by such better known authors as Steven Saylor and Lindsey Davis. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 07/04/2011
Release date: 12/01/2011
Genre: Fiction
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