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Shadows in the Night (An Aurelia Marcella Mystery) Hardcover – 22 Nov 2012

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Head of Zeus (22 Nov. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 178185002X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1781850022
  • Product Dimensions: 14.5 x 2.9 x 22.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 642,369 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

'Highly readable and endlessly absorbing historical adventure' Kirkus.

'If the blood-drenched HBO series Rome makes you want to know what life was like in Britannia, Finnis is the writer for you' Chicago Tribune.

'Suspenseful and authentically detailed' Booklist.

'I recommend Jane Finnis's Aurelia Marcella novels ... these are enjoyable enough to overcome even the deepest-set prejudices against historical detective fiction' Observer.

About the Author

Jane Finnis read history at the University of London before working as a radio producer for BBC radio. She now lives in east Yorkshire and spends her time researching and writing about the Roman Empire.


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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Parm TOP 500 REVIEWER on 4 Dec. 2012
Format: Hardcover
Originally released in the USA in 2003 as "Get out or Die" "Shadows in the Night is book one in the Aurelia Marcella Mysteries

The story is told as a recounting of events / a report to the Roman Governor, which in a way gives away Aurelia survival, but lets face it, who kills the hero / heroine in book 1!

In all honesty i struggled with the style of the book to begin with, so much so that by about page 100 i nearly put it down, and then it suddenly made sense to me, the characters transformed from that 1 dimension paper thin effect that they had had to that point. Suddenly they popped off the page, and i found myself being drawn back to Roman Britain.

I had the bad guy pegged from about page 155, but every now and again the author did have me question myself, she plays the threads of the scheme out very well to keep the majority of readers guessing to the end. I'm going to be very interested to see where Jane Finnis takes Aurelia next in the second Aurelia Marcella mystery, this book was strong enough by the end to make me want to read the next but i will be looking for some growth in the characters and the dialogue which occasionally had a stilted quality.

I feel that the Machiavellian XXXX (name removed as its a spoiler) will return to bring more of his madness and mayhem to the lives of the family at Oak tree inn. This can only be a good thing, he brought a refreshing edge to the story which had the habit of getting a comfortable at times, this coupled with my biggest gripe of Aurelia's bad habit of going all alpha female again nearly destroyed the book for me.
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By Tiger Lily on 19 July 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I was introduced to Jane Finnis and Aurelia Marcella via the website of another author of Roman mysteries who is a favourite of mine, R. S Downie (author of the Medicus books). Intrigued, I sampled this book and before I had finished it, I bought the other 3 books written in this series so far!

Aurelia Marcella is an innkeeper from a Roman family who runs a tavern near Eboracum (the city we know as York). At the start of what seems to be a normal day, she comes across a badly wounded man and thus begins her involvement in a mystery which intrigues the reader as much a it does Aurelia.

The author captures the feel of the times, the characters and the plotlines are believable and the period atmosphere is realistic without being intrusive.

If you haven't read any Roman mysteries, try this one. If you have, and like them, I think you will like this one too. I know I am glad I followed R S Downie's recommendation!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This was a new author to me. I've read many historical novels but not many about Roman Britain so this seemed a good place to start. The first chapter I was getting used to the writing style but then found it an absorbing read and galloped my way through.
The story is told through the report being submitted by Aurelia, the owner of a Roman "pub" near York. A lot of detail is intertwined with the story showing what life was like in 1st century Britain and this adds to the interest.
A nearly dead man is found outside the "Oak Tree" with threats of death to all Romans. Two other corpses are found also with threats. The death-count increases and a pro-British group is laying claim to the campaign. Who will be killed next and must the Romans leave or can they find and stop the killers?
I look forward to the next book in the series
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By Mrs. M. Kirk on 18 Feb. 2015
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Memorable for all the wrong reasons, I'm afraid. Style was simplistic in the extreme and did not work for me - a lot of period detail, but minimal period feel. As they say, YMMV, but sadly I won't be following the series - a real shame, as I came to this with high expectations.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I really liked this book. The characters and setting were interesting and the time when the Romans were settled in Britain but not entirely secure in their relationship with the natives. The language was quite modern in places but not in an obtrusive or annoying way.
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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful By JohnB on 16 Dec. 2011
Format: Paperback
When in September I saw that Jane Finnis's web site stated she had only one new book out in December 2011 but that there were two new books listed on Amazon I emailed her contact address and Jane kindly responded within 4 hrs.

Jane said:-
"SHADOWS IN THE NIGHT ... isn't a new book - just an existing book (GET OUT OR DIE) being re-released in December with a new title. Why the name change? My publishers wanted it. They've never been 100% in favour of the original title" ... "and I'm happy with the change, except where it may confuse people...the last thing I want is for anyone to be misled into buying a book they think is new, when it isn't! On the other hand of course I want *everyone* to rush out and buy DANGER IN THE WIND...well I would, wouldn't I? <g>"

Jane updated her site in September 2011 to explain about SHADOWS IN THE NIGHT.

Jane said that all three existing Aurelia Marcella mysteries are being re-issued with new covers, "but thank goodness only one is changing its title"

When this happened in September 2011 there was no other Amazon mechanism available except the Product Discussion Forum to warn potential readers that this was a re-issue with a name change. I used the "update product info" to contact Amazon but they rejected the advice to add a warning in the product description. Slate Amazon - not the author or the book.
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