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The Sirens of Surrentum (Roman Mysteries) [Hardcover]

Caroline Lawrence
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)

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Hardcover, 30 May 2007 --  
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Book Description

30 May 2007 Roman Mysteries (Book 11)
Summer AD 80. Flavia and her friends receive an invitation to stay at the luxurious Villa Limona in Surrentum, where their friend Pulchra has a mystery she desperately wants them to solve. After a year of hardship and disasters, people are in cheerful spirits - there is even talk of love and romance. But it seems one of the guests has murder in mind. Can Flavia and her friends track down the would-be poisoner before it's too late?
--This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 214 pages
  • Publisher: Roaring Brook Press (30 May 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1596430842
  • ISBN-13: 978-1596430846
  • Product Dimensions: 21.1 x 14.5 x 2.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 409,827 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


'a marvellous introduction to the favourite murder methods of Roman times... this book also offers an ingenious introduction to Epicureanisma and Stoicism plus reflections on what constitutes a happy marriage and the true meaning of bravery.' (Angela Kiverstein JEWISH CHRONICLE)

'the 11th title in Caroline Lawrence's excellent series... in this one Lawrence emphasises the much narrower divide between childhood and adulthood that pertained in the Roman period and the result is something much more sophisticated that a pure adventure or mystery novel... It's good to see a series developing and growing with its readers. (Michael Thorn TES)

'Lawrence's Roman Mysteries have humour, drama and tragedy and The Sirens of Surrentum is another emotional, action-packed tale to delight her legions of fans.' (BRIDLINGTON TODAY)

'It is very exciting and I couldn't put it down... I can't wait for the next books.' (Flora Murray (age 9) JOURNAL OF CLASSICS TEACHING) --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

Book Description

Passions run deep beneath the tranquil surface in a summer holiday adventure in the eleventh Roman Mystery. --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars She's done it again 1 April 2006
So you've read the rest of the books, watched as Flavia is fed to the crocodiles in the coliseum, laughed at Tigris's untimely bladder problem and cried as well loved charcters meet there end.
But now comes the next instalment, how could it possibly live up the the action packed chase of Fugitive or the wish-ful suspense of assasins? I can't tell you how, but it manages it, and it does it brilliantly.
All emotions are thrown in as the four friends are sent back to the fateful Villa Limona where 7 guests are residing. 3 hanndsome men, 3 beautiful women and 1 boy that we've been waiting for since "Tasks".
Caroline Lawrence has added yet another amazng book to her cult series "Roman Mysteries" and I for one will be re-reading my set until "Charioteer" comes out in around 6 months time.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Laughter, Love, and Lessons Learned 13 May 2008
By Nephele
When it comes to accurate historical detail and convincing depiction of ancient Roman society, author Caroline Lawrence knows whereof she writes. Before becoming a children's book author, Caroline Lawrence was a student of Classics at Berkeley and later at Cambridge, as well as a teacher of Latin at a small London primary school.

I am a librarian by profession and have read all of the books in Caroline Lawrence's Roman Mysteries series. The Sirens of Surrentum is one of her best. The protagonist of the story, Flavia Gemina, is about to celebrate her 11th birthday and is just one year away from being of marriageable age (!) by ancient Roman custom. Readers around the same age as Flavia (perhaps age 10 and older being the best age level for the younger readers of this book) will laugh at the foolishness of boys, as well as learn the valuable life-lesson that one can be too young for love.

There is delicious danger in the story, as we follow the young adventurers to the villa of a famous poisoner in their quest to solve the mystery. And, as with all of Caroline Lawrence's books, we learn a few fascinating facts of Roman history and culture along the way, such as the story related by the Roman philosopher Seneca about the German barbarian who killed himself with a sponge-stick (an object customarily employed for more mundane purposes).

Wittily written, NEVER condescending to young readers, and an absolute delight even for adult enthusiasts of stories set in ancient Rome and its environs, The Sirens of Surrentum is a gem from start to finish!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Story - More Adult Themes 15 July 2010
Roman mysteries is a bit like the Famous Five with a Roman setting. Four children and a dog solving criminal conspiracies and unravelling some wonderful mysteries in a set of books that just keeps on going. This series deserves to be a classic, and is rich with well researched historical detail that is thoroughly educational as well as thoroughly entertaining. For this reason I would recommend the series to anyone.

However the author has deliberately departed from any Enid Blyton model, and rather like J K Rowling, she has written her books to age with their readers (or their initial readers at least). From the start there are some gruesome storylines. Those storylines will appeal to young readers though, even if their parents shy away a little from having their 8 year old reading about Lupus having his tongue cut out!

In this book though the story takes a leap into teen fiction. This is a story of sexual intrigue. It is carefully written, but that is the overarching theme. This being the case, younger readers will either not wholly understand it or else be turned off by it and parents will be well advised to consider carefully the books suitability.

Those readers who grew up with Roman Mysteries and are already in their teens by the time they read this will not be troubled by the themes though, and the story is another great mystery. Personally I found the resolution a little obvious, but maybe I have just read too many mysteries! It did not matter though as I enjoyed the book thoroughly.

I would give it five stars but I think it would be helpful if the nature of the story was flagged a little more clearly.

I will not be encouraging my 9 year old daughter to read this book any time soon, but I will keep it around for when she is a little older.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Completely unsuitable for younger readers 23 Mar 2010
My 9-year-old daughter has read and enjoyed all the other books in this series, but she mentioned that another friend warned her off this one as it was 'all about people not loving each other any more'. I picked it up to check and was horrified to read sentences like this:
'As her honey-coloured hair tumbled free, he turned her and kissed her full on the mouth. This time she did not resist, but responded hungrily.'

Not only that, but the book is full of references to promiscuity, adultery and sexual attraction. Most of it is veiled and there is plenty of innuendo, but it's completely misplaced in a book aimed at pre-teens.

Very, very disappointing.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant ! ! ! 30 Aug 2007
This book was totally brilliant! i have read all of the roman mysteries and enjoyed them all, but i thought that this was the best. as the four grow older, the stories become more adult, and this one in particular is more mature than the others, but i think that it appeals more because as the readers grow up, they like more grown-up-but-not-quite-totally-adult books that teenagers need
Caroline Lawrence, you are a brill writer!!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars An Excellent read.
Once again Caroline Lawrence has produced a great mystery.Well written and despite years of reading differing murder mysteries was unable to guess who the poisoner was. Read more
Published 3 days ago by And Griff
5.0 out of 5 stars I don't want to write a review
Why can't you just rate a book you have read? Why are you forced to write a review. Just ridiculous
Published 3 months ago by Laurel Bowden
4.0 out of 5 stars Roman romance.....?
This series by Caroline Lawrence is fabulously evocative of the Roman Empire in all its noise, glory, social etiquette & even seediness. Read more
Published 5 months ago by DrEvil
5.0 out of 5 stars a great hit
Once again Caroline Lawrence wrote another fantastic story of Flavia and her four friends on an amazing mystery.
All packed with romance,laughter and the unexpected culprit.
Published 5 months ago by I. D. Steeper
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent!
I loved it, however I understand why parents of younger readers are concerned with some of the language.

A wonderful book, as always more please!
Published 8 months ago by DC HARRISON
4.0 out of 5 stars Good mystery book
It was a good book and I never guessed it was polla over all good book. I would recommend it to tweens
Published 14 months ago by Queeniez64
5.0 out of 5 stars Never underestimate a book by it's cover!
The first time I picked up this book a few weeks ago in my form room, I was thinking... "Wow this book will look exciting just like the one's before it! Read more
Published on 7 July 2012 by Mrs L F Cook
4.0 out of 5 stars More YA
The mystery is, as usually, first class, but the age bracket (9-12) is a little to young for this one, dealing as it does with a supporting character's (who had been a kind,... Read more
Published on 17 Oct 2011 by C. Smith
5.0 out of 5 stars How does she do it?!
The sirens of surrentum is an amazing book. Pollius Felix invites Flavia and her friends to a party in his villa. His wife is feeling very sick. Read more
Published on 27 Dec 2009
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Masterpiece
This book fits together like a jigsaw puzzle. Perfectly. There's no pices missing and that is what makes a perfect story.
Published on 22 Oct 2007 by M. Osullivan-day
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