A Bitter Chill (Aurelia Marcella Roman) Hardcover – 1 Sep 2005
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Chicago Tribune: '...anyone who--like author Finnis--has ever marveled at how straight and well-built many of the Roman roads of England still are should enjoy this entertaining look back.' Booklist: 'Finnis does a good job of interweaving several plot strands into a suspenseful and authentically detailed historical whodunit.'
About the Author
JANE FINNIS has been fascinated by the past ever since as a child she walked the straight Roman roads of East Yorkshire. After reading history at London University, she worked for some years in London as a freelance broadcaster for BBC Radio. Now she is settled in East Yorkshire again with her husband Richard, and spends much of her time researching and writing about the Roman Empire. A Bitter Chill follows Get Out or Die, her debut novel. Visit her website at www.janefinnis.com.
Top customer reviews
This the second book in the Aurelia Marcella mysteries follows the story of Aurelia an innkeeper in the north of Britain not far from York, or as the Roman's called the city Eboracum. The north has never taken to the Roman customs in the same way as southern Britain but as far as Aurelia is concerned that is not a reason to avoid celebrating Saturnalia. However Aurelia's plans for a quiet holiday are shattered by the midnight arrival of her brother.
His sudden arrival is to tell his sister that someone in Rome is spreading rumours that the family is plotting against Caesar himself. As if this is not enough trouble for the family, Aurelia's inn is being threatened by some sort of protection racket. Then to cap it all a party of demanding travelers related to the provincial governor turn up at the door.
There quarrels spill over into the household and then to heap more misery onto Aurelia's shoulders one of the group dies at the feast of Saturnalia and Aurelia's younger sister, Albia is the chief suspect. It would seem that Aurelia is going to need all the help she can get to clear the family name and prove her younger sister Albia's innocence . . .
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
Some of the menus put out by the inn would rival any **** restaurants of today, so it was fun reading about what guests would eat in such a place.
Aurelia's sister is shocked to learn that her fiancé Candidus is the rich Roman son of a senatorial family. A confrontation leads to the threat of him being disinherited but he chooses love over money. When his father's slave is killed in the patriarch's bed, Aurelia and her sister are accused of the murder. When a second slave is murdered, it verifies the patriarch's fear that someone is trying to kill him. Aurelia agrees to help in the investigation once she is cleared of any suspicion but the killer strikes again mounting a full scale investigation with Aurelia's sister and Candidus as two of the prime suspects.
Readers who liked the first book in this series GET OUT OR DIE will find A BITTER CHILL is even more exciting. It is a fantastic historical mystery that gives insight into the Roman culture adjusting to life in the back water provinces. The characters are well drawn and the support cast plays key roles and are as important to the storyline as the protagonist. Aurelia is an independent businesswoman who would have been at home in twenty-first century America instead of a Roman province where women were considered second citizens.
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