The gripping first novel of political intrigue in the series set in Ancient Rome and featuring the imperial spy Claudia
313AD. Under the rule of Emperor Constantine, Rome finally appears to be emerging from its turbulent past. In order to consolidate his control and under the guidance of his mother Helena, Constantine plans to harness the power of the increasingly influential Christian Church. But his loyalties are brought into question when three courtesans from the Guild of Aphrodite - a guild Constantine himself frequents - are found dead. All three bodies have crosses etched on their forehead and each cheek. Aiming at protecting her son's future, Helena calls upon the service of an 'agente in rebus politcus' - or spy. Claudia is the niece of a tavern-owner and is placed as a wine-server in Constantine's household. But Claudia has secret motives of her own...
About the Author
Paul Doherty was born in Middlesbrough. He studied History at Liverpool and Oxford Universities and obtained a doctorate for his thesis on Edward II and Queen Isabella. He is now headmaster of a school in north-east London and lives with his family in Essex.