Catilina’s Riddle

By Steven Saylor
Read by Scott Harrison

The Roma Sub Rosa Series: Book 3

18.77 Hours 06/01/1996 unabridged
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The year is 63 BC, and Gordianus the Finder unexpectedly achieves the dream of every Roman: owning a farm in the Etruscan countryside. Vowing to leave behind the corruption of Rome, he abandons the city, taking his family with him. This bucolic life, however, is disrupted by the machinations and murderous plots of two politicians. When Gordianus’ longtime patron Cicero attains his lifelong dream of a coveted consulship, he urgently requests a favor of Gordianus: his help in keeping watch on a radical populist senator, Catilina—Cicero’s political rival and a candidate to replace him in the annual elections. Against his will, Gordianus finds himself drawn deeper and deeper into a maelstrom of deceit and intrigue, uncertain of the dangers and even more uncertain of where his true allegiance lies. When his six-year-old daughter Diana finds a headless corpse in their stable, Gordianus is confronted with the deadliest mystery of his career. Shrewdly depicting deadly political maneuverings, this addictive mystery also displays the author’s firm grasp of history and human character.

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Summary

Summary

Winner of the 1994 Lambda Literary Award for Gay Men's Mystery

A 1993 Hammett Prize Finalist

A 1994 Dilys Award Nominee

SoundCommentary.com’s The Best of the Best, 2013

The year is 63 BC, and Gordianus the Finder unexpectedly achieves the dream of every Roman: owning a farm in the Etruscan countryside. Vowing to leave behind the corruption of Rome, he abandons the city, taking his family with him. This bucolic life, however, is disrupted by the machinations and murderous plots of two politicians.

When Gordianus’ longtime patron Cicero attains his lifelong dream of a coveted consulship, he urgently requests a favor of Gordianus: his help in keeping watch on a radical populist senator, Catilina—Cicero’s political rival and a candidate to replace him in the annual elections. Against his will, Gordianus finds himself drawn deeper and deeper into a maelstrom of deceit and intrigue, uncertain of the dangers and even more uncertain of where his true allegiance lies. When his six-year-old daughter Diana finds a headless corpse in their stable, Gordianus is confronted with the deadliest mystery of his career.

Shrewdly depicting deadly political maneuverings, this addictive mystery also displays the author’s firm grasp of history and human character.

Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

“Engrossing…Ironic and satisfying.” San Francisco Chronicle
“Saylor rivals Robert Graves in his knack for making the classical world come alive.” Oregonian
“Saylor has written another gripping and entertaining historical whodunit…Shrewdly depicting deadly political maneuverings, this addictive mystery also displays the author’s firm grasp of history and human character.” Publishers Weekly
“Saylor carefully plots this novel and accurately depicts Roman society; his attentive study of Roman history and culture is evident throughout. The characters are believable and well delineated.” Library Journal
“Saylor has written a sweeping and marvelously evocative story, with page after page of authentic detail and meticulous descriptions of the people, places, and politics of early Rome.” Booklist
“Saylor’s fashionably inconclusive reading of the conspiracy throws both antagonists, Cicero and Catilina, into bold relief. The result is a spacious, provocative portrait of a fictional detective confronted with a historical mystery finally beyond his powers.” Kirkus Reviews
“Harrison has an emphatic delivery, appropriate to the emotions of the characters, from the frustrated Gordianus to the raging Cicero. His full-voiced reading includes believable female characters. The novel is recommended to history buffs and fans of the series.”  SoundCommentary.com

Reviews

Reviews

Author

Author Bio: Steven Saylor

Steven Saylor is a freelance writer, editor, and the author of novels set in ancient Rome. He studied history at the University of Texas at Austin. Saylor’s writing has appeared in the Threepenny Review, San Francisco Bay Guardian, Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, and the Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction. He lives in Berkeley, California, and Austin, Texas.

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Details

Details

Available Formats : Digital Download, Digital Rental, CD, MP3 CD
Category: Fiction/Mystery & Detective
Runtime: 18.77
Audience: Adult
Language: English