This, the seventh book in the series, is undoubtedly the best Roman Mystery yet. At a blistering pace, it tells of Jonathan's worry that his father might have a new love interest, and his plan to avert this by getting his father to Rome. There Jonathan's supposedly dead mother now lives in Nero's Golden House. Jonathan hopes that by some chance his parents will meet, so he writes to the young Emperor, Titus Flavius, and recieves an imperial summons to himself, Flavia, Nubia, Lupus and his father, requesting their presence in Rome.
However, upon their arrival, they find that not only is Mordecai (Jonathan's father) wanted to help cure the plague sweeping through Rome, but that the Emperor has had a dream foretelling that a Pandora's Box has been opened, and that all Rome will fall into ruin. The four friends must race against time to avert disaster in the capital of Italy, by finding the person who would open this "Pandora's Box." But can they do this before disaster strikes? And will Johnathan be able to help, or will he be too preoccupied with his mother, Susannah?
This is a story of hatred, love and betrayal, once again told with inspiration by author Caroline Lawrence. It is another of Caroline's books in the Roman Mysteries series, and is indeed better that all the others that have come before. Another superb, must- read tale from this astounding children's author.