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The Secrets of Vesuvius: Roman Mysteries 2 (THE ROMAN MYSTERIES) [Paperback]

Caroline Lawrence , Andrew Davidson
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
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Book Description

1 July 2002 THE ROMAN MYSTERIES (Book 2)

It's the summer of AD 79 and Flavia Gemina and her friends, Jonathan, Nubia and Lupus, set sail for the Bay of Naples where they are going to stay with Flavia's uncle near Pompeii. Once they arrive, they are soon absorbed in a quest to solve a riddle that may lead to treasure. But then tragedy strikes: Mount Vesuvius erupts and the friends must flee for their lives!

Not just a mystery - this is an absolutely thrilling action adventure that brings history to life!

Frequently Bought Together

The Secrets of Vesuvius: Roman Mysteries 2 (THE ROMAN MYSTERIES) + The Pirates of Pompeii: Roman Mysteries 3 (THE ROMAN MYSTERIES) + The Thieves of Ostia
Price For All Three: 15.72

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Product details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Orion Childrens; New Ed edition (1 July 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1842550217
  • ISBN-13: 978-1842550212
  • Product Dimensions: 1.7 x 12.7 x 19.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 38,595 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Million-selling author Caroline Lawrence writes detective stories with the double aim of entertaining children and teaching them. Combining fast-moving plots with historical accuracy means her history mystery stories are beloved of children, parents and teachers.

In 2009, Caroline won the Classical Association Prize for her Roman Mysteries series, which comprises over 20 books and inspired a glossy BBC TV series.

In 2011 Caroline launched a second historical detective series, the Western Mysteries, staring P.K. Pinkerton: a 12-year-old doubly orphaned detective who has trouble "reading people". The Case of the Deadly Desperados was the Sunday New York Times Editors' Choice in February 2012.

Caroline says: "I want to know everything about the past, especially the exciting things. Also the sounds, smells, sights and tastes. I write historical novels because nobody has invented a Time Machine. And I write for kids because 11 is my inner age."

Caroline is also writing a spin-off series of Roman books for readers aged 7+, starting with
The Sewer Demon

Here are the Roman Mystery novels in series order:

The Thieves Of Ostia: The Roman Mysteries 1
The Secrets Of Vesuvius: The Roman Mysteries 2
The Pirates Of Pompeii: The Roman Mysteries 3
The Assassins Of Rome: The Roman Mysteries 4
The Dolphins Of Laurentum: The Roman Mysteries 5
The Twelve Tasks Of Flavia Gemina:The Roman Mysteries 6
The Enemies Of Jupiter: The Roman Mysteries 7
The Gladiators From Capua: The Roman Mysteries 8
The Colossus Of Rhodes: The Roman Mysteries 9
The Fugitive From Corinth: The Roman Mysteries 10
The Sirens Of Surrentum: The Roman Mysteries 11
The Charioteer Of Delphi: The Roman Mysteries 12
The Slave-Girl From Jerusalem: The Roman Mysteries 13
The Beggar Of Volubilis: The Roman Mysteries 14
The Scribes From Alexandria: The Roman Mysteries 15
The Prophet From Ephesus: The Roman Mysteries 16
The Man From Pomegranate Street: The Roman Mysteries 17

Here are the mini-mysteries:

The Legionary From Londinium And Other Mini-Mysteries
Trimalchio's Feast And Other Mini-Mysteries

Plus quiz books, omnibus editions, a travel book and a treasury:

The First Roman Mysteries Quiz Book
The Second Roman Mysteries Quiz Book
The Roman Mysteries Omnibus (Books 1-3) (B) (Feb)
The Roman Mysteries Omnibus (Books 4-6) (B)
From Ostia To Alexandria With Flavia Gemina
The Roman Mysteries Treasury

Product Description


"...packed with accurate detail of everyday Roman life... so well paced and involving that you don't realise just how much information you are absorbing." -- School Librarian, Summer 2002

"Lawrence weaves an engaging spell, painting first-century Italy vividly." -- The Good Book Guide

"Lawrence weaves an engaging spell, painting first-century Italy vividly."
-- Good Book Guide

'An enormous amount of information about the ancient world is conveyed under the guise of a jolly good romp.' -- The Times Educational Supplement

'Lawrence weaves an engaging spell, painting first-century Italy vividly.' -- The Good Book Guide

This series promises many delights to come. -- The Times, Nov 21, 2001

Book Description

With her new friends and fellow detectives, Flavia solves a second mystery against the background of the eruption of Vesuvius.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Review from Bekki aged 8 24 Feb 2005
By A Customer
After reading The Thieves of Ostia, I thought The Secrets of Vesuvius was amazing. It was AD79. Flavia and her friends Jonathan, Nubia and Lupus go to stay with Uncle Giaus near Pompeii in August. BIG MISTAKE! Vesuvius is about to erupt and everyone is in MORTAL DANGER!*!*! Join them on a breathtaking adventure. I would recommend the Secrets of Vesuvius for readers aged 8 or older.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I tend to approach Young Adult or Children's literature in the same way that I do any other book, with an open mind and an excited sense of anticipation. Just as a good animation film should deliver treats for all its viewers, regardless of their ages, so a well-written book, ostensibly aimed at younger readers, is more than likely to contain some goodies for the less young reader. I would never like to think of myself as an Old Adult...

And so when a writer I hugely respect, Ben Kane, recommended Caroline Lawrence's Roman Mysteries to me, I snapped one up. Specifically, the second one, The Secrets of Vesuvius. It has Pompeii under volcanic attack in it - big selling point for me. Throw in some Pliny and there was no way I was about to start this series anywhere else.

The Secrets of Vesuvius continues the adventures of a group of children who are drawn from all reaches of the empire, led by the constantly curious, mystery-seeking Flavia, who lives in Ostia with a well-heeled Roman father. Her constant companions are Jonathan (a Jewish Christian), Nubia (a rescued slave and orphan from the Nubian desert) and Lupus (a mysterious, brave Greek boy whose tongue has been cut from him). With them they have an assortment of dogs, led by Flavia's Scuto, who seems to get into even more mischief than his young mistress. And then there is Miriam, Jonathan's beautiful and very marriageable older sister (she's reached the ripe old age of 14).

As the book opens, Lupus saves a floundering tubby drowning man who turns out to be the Admiral of the Roman Fleet, Pliny the Elder. Fortunately, along with his life, the youngsters also save his precious writings and, for both, the kids are rewarded with special, personalised gifts. Flavia's is a riddle from Pompeii.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A lavaly sequel to Thieves of Ostia! 7 July 2002
Caroline Lawrence's second mystery is even better than the first, and provides a fast paced adventure through the Bay of Naples on the eve of the eruption of Vesuvius. Flavia and pals have their characters fleshed out and we get to meet Pliny the elder in the pursuit of another small scale mystery. And once the earth begins to tremble the remainder of the book is a frightening, beautifully described account of the massive eruption that wiped out several towns and communities at the foot of the volcano.
My only regret at finishing this book is that it was not longer, since I it is so easy to get immersed in Flavia Gemina's world. She is a wonderful heroine, who responds feelingly to the condition of those about her, and grown up as I am (sort of), I was moved by this book. About to dive into the next one - report back to you soon!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It was a exciting historical fiction book 20 Mar 2002
By A Customer
While at the beach in 79B.C. Flavia Gemina sees a sinking boat and rescues the sailor. The sailor turns out to be the famous Admiral Pliny. For saving him he thanks Flavia and her friends by telling them a riddle that the blacksmith Vulcan told him. It leads her on a great adventure. She sails to the bay of Naples to visit her Uncle Gaius still trying to figure out what this riddle is. But while staying there something horrible happens in Pompeii. Will Flavia discover the real meaning of the riddle? What will happen at Pompeii? Will she get back to her home in Ostia? I would recommend this book to people who like mysteries with a bit of historical facts. This book would also be right for you if you think suspenseful books are exciting. I enjoyed how you never knew what would happen next.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Overwhelmed and Obsessed Flavia Fan 2 Dec 2001
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
One Brave, Beautiful, and Sassy Heroine, a model for any teenage wannabe detective, with friends we all want to have in real life, Flavia sets out again to solve another exciting and terrifying adventure, here Flavia and her friend's loyalties will be put to the most incredible extremes. Can they solve the Riddle to find Pliny's treasure? And when confronted with the Truth, can their friendship withstand the earth shattering consequences.... This sequel to the Thieves of Ostia is a true Masterpiece. Delicious description, rip roaring adventure, spine tingling scary bits, puppies, jokes, a volcano and some romance, this truly is the best way to spend those cosy moments in literature land and learn your Classics and Latin homework at the same time! You just won't be able to put this down. Miss it, and you've definitely missed out!
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book ROXs for young teens 21 Jun 2002
By Patchy
Lightning-fast plot, heart-pounding adventure, and thrilling secrets are magic in The Secrets of Vesuvius by Caroline Lawrence!
The four main characters - Flavia, Nubia, Jonathan, and Lupus - are stranded on an Island at the farm of Flavia`s uncle Gaius with Mt. Vesuvius threatening to erupt with molten lava pouring down on the city.
Problem? No one knows it! It`s a world where animals start behaving strangly and even die, and earthquakes jar the land! Will they survive? Read this Thrilling adventure to find out!
Adventure lovers will love this book!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars On behalf of my daughter....
She was really happy when it appeared through the letter box (well packaged of course and it arrived a couple of days later) and she is over the moon with the book/story.
Published 9 months ago by Hannomir
1.0 out of 5 stars Roman mysteries
I found this book very boring an I never finished it. I would not read any more of these ever.
Published 13 months ago by Barry howsego
5.0 out of 5 stars Captivated
Book 2 in the Roman Mysteries series and very well written. You are through the book in no time and wanting to read the next one!
Published 13 months ago by David S
4.0 out of 5 stars GOOD
I would recommend this book to 9+. I liked this book a lot especially the bit about the volcano erupting
Published 16 months ago by THOMAS FLINT
4.0 out of 5 stars A good story
A good story and the children enjoy hearing about Roman life and the volcano. A little out dated in some places with some slight editing needed to read to younger children.
Published 17 months ago by lifeisgreener
5.0 out of 5 stars historical novels for kids
This book was the first in the series to attract my son who has a fascination with volcanic eruptions (and similar disasters) we follow the 4 children as they solve the mysteries... Read more
Published 21 months ago by Kat K
5.0 out of 5 stars The Secrets of Vesuvius
A series about four children living in ancient Rome. Flavia Gemina is the daughter of a sea-captain, and with her African slave girl Nubia and friends Jonathan, a Jewish doctor's... Read more
Published on 10 April 2012 by Clare O'Beara
3.0 out of 5 stars Roman Mysteries
Bought it to read to Year 3 class - a little bit too old for them, but they do like it.
Published on 27 Mar 2011 by rachey
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