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The Cyclops Case : A Judge Marcus Flavius Severus Mystery in Ancient Rome
 
 

The Cyclops Case : A Judge Marcus Flavius Severus Mystery in Ancient Rome [Kindle Edition]

Alan Scribner
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Product Description

Judge Severus returns in "The Cyclops Case". The year is now 161 CE, three years after the events in the highly acclaimed and best selling historical mystery "Mars the Avenger". The philosopher emperor Marcus Aurelius has been emperor for only a few months and Persia has invaded the Roman Empire. Marcus Flavius Severus, Judge in the Court of the Urban Prefect in the City of Rome is on vacation at the Bay of Naples with his family. This is the ancient Roman riviera, the Crater, famous for combining rampant pleasure-seeking and high culture with license and corruption. There, one night on the beach, the notorious General Cyclops, who is slated for recall to the army, has been stabbed through his good eye. Severus is assigned by the authorities in Rome to investigate. The Cyclops case launches Severus into a web of murder, robbery and counterfeiting, ranging in time from the Second Jewish Revolt 30 years in the past to Severus' present. It also puts him in the middle of an espionage duel involving the Roman and Persian secret services and leads to a series of killings which, like General Cyclops', are reminiscent of scenes out of Homer's Odyssey. Ironically, solving a murder leads to more murders to solve. As in "Mars the Avenger", "The Cyclops Case" is both a mystery and a daily life of ancient Rome, a sojourn into the world of Roman life and courts, police and criminal law. The investigation takes Severus and his aides into the society of Romans at their leisure. Scenes are set, among other places, in wealthy summer villas, a gambling hall and a brothel at the Crater to a bookstore, tenement apartment house and secret service headquarters in Rome. There are also scenes in Roman courts and the book is accurate as to the criminal laws of the time. All laws, rescripts and legal procedures are derived from Roman law sources, which are extensive for the 2nd Century CE.

About the Author

Alan Scribner, a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and Yale Law School, was an Assistant District Attorney in the office of Frank S. Hogan in New York County, and a criminal defense attorney. He is also an independent scholar of Ancient Rome and co-author of "Anni Ultimi: A Roman Stoic Guide to Retirement, Old Age and Death". He is the author of "Mars the Avenger", the first of the Judge Marcus Flavius Severus mysteries in Ancient Rome. He is retired and lives in New Hampshire.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1594 KB
  • Print Length: 260 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 148959731X
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00G6EJ38E
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #92,427 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An enjoyable and easy read 28 Jan 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The book was a gentle but well thought out criminal mystery. I read this and another book by the same author and enjoyed the easy relaxed reading with pleasure. One the character of the judge has been established, like any other detective novel, it can go on and on. Reminds me a bit of Cadfile (apologise for spelling) also placed in the same era. I will purchase more books by this author regarding the main character.

I gave this book a 5 star simply due to the pleasure I had in reading it and the need to find out what happened in the end .
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars review 16 Jan 2014
By J Logan
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This was a good book I hope there are more from this authour as I enjoyed it wery much. I look forward to more
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3.0 out of 5 stars Worth keeping an eye on 4 July 2014
By Joyeuse VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I bought this and the author's previous book in one purchase and while I enjoyed them they were ultimately a bit thin, not just in the sense of rather fewer words on a page than one would expect (though that too) but they lacked the world building which is one of the great pleasures of reading. In the last analysis I really am not too bothered about the crime and its solving, the whodunnit is just a peg to hang the story on and it's the characters and the back story that make one come back to an author's world time and again. And I don't want bags of explanation about the ins and outs of that world's functioning. That should be made evident as the plot works itself out of for a reader new to a milieu or let them tootle off and look the facts up for themselves. Too much elucidation of background is a killer - the world of the book exists and you have to find your way in it. Reading the first volume was a bit like being back in junior school only unfortunately teacher hadn't been there to correct the typos etc.

And I suspect that this is going to be more noticable now that authors are able to publish direct without the input of a publishing house to guide them on the early steps to reaching the audience. Though, heaven knows, even books put out by reputable publishing houses are marred far too often by bad or non-existent proof reading these days. I've just re-read a couple of Pauline Gedge's and the joy of a properly edited and proof-read text is an experience one had almost forgotten.

So I may well read some more of this series but I want a meatier text in future please. More words between the covers and more of the life of the time and the characters.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Never trust a Judge 3 Mar 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I am pleased to say this second effort of Scribner's is better than his first. I rather enjoyed the mystery here, not "guessing/deducing" the culprit before the denouement at Judge Severus' final gathering in Baiae.
The story concerns the murder in Rome's seaside resort of two people. A curiosi (read "Secret Service") named Publius Bassianus and General Gnaeus Avidianus Nepos (cognomen Cyclops) have wound up dead. One from a clonk on the head, the other with a dagger through his remaining eye. Public hysteria means there is a fear that a serial killer by the sobriquet of 'Odysseus' is murdering people using methods described in Homer's 'The Odyssey.' He may be on dubious jurisdiction, but Severus has been ordered to investigate and an anxious Town Council is keen to wrap up the case before tourism takes a mighty hit. It's not quite so easy as a trip to the Blue Oyster Bar to work matters out and by the end of the book two more are dead....the culprit is a busy person - involved in a court martial in Judea, a counterfeiting ring in Antioch and the series of murderous events in Baiae over the course of the month and four days that the novel spans.
Scriber keeps his assortment of characters from the first novel. Vulso gets more of a look in as the hard-hitting ex-Centurion. Straton is less evident. There's a few newbies: Proculus, Flaccus and Eclectus. All of them are needed to puzzle out the lies and misdeeds of Galba, Galliancus, Carbo, Herminius, Ambibulus, Meherdates et al. who are all prepared to inveigle their way out of the relentless Stoic pursuance of the suave Severus.
I'll pick up on a few "errors." Examples include:
Historical - Scribner has his hero muse: "Then Persia, as we call that country, or Iran as they Persians, call it.
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