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simon scarrow (Norwich, Norfolk United Kingdom)

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The Secrets of Vesuvius: A Roman Mystery
The Secrets of Vesuvius: A Roman Mystery
by Caroline Lawrence
Edition: Paperback

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!


The Thieves of Ostia
The Thieves of Ostia
by Caroline Lawrence
Edition: Paperback
Price: 5.03

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An evocative and pacy read - the new Sutcliffe?, 19 Jun 2002
This review is from: The Thieves of Ostia (Paperback)
While one questions the need for yet another Roman detective, this book is an interesting variant from the growing range of adult series. There's none of the increasingly painful tongue-in-cheekness that is so much a feature of much of this oeuvre. Instead we get a refreshingly straight narrative voice that describes Ostia in tangible terms and Lawrence simply gets on with telling the tale. And she's good at it. I found this book to be a real page turner, thanks to the obvious (but still effective) use of cliff-hanger chapter endings (which I'm fond of in my own writing). The characters are a little flat at times and the identity of the villain was never much of a secret. But that's no great problem, since most detective novels suffer from the same measure of predictability.
Having finished this I have tried to buy the others from my local bookstores, but it seems the print runs are quite small. So, once this is written I'll just have to use Amazon!


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