This very fine Roman mystery is the 6th volume of the cheeky and delightful "Claudia Seferius" series. It's certainly a Roman mystery which is told with a lot of wit, and the storyline itself is once again well fabricated by the author. Story-telling is of a very good quality, and all the characters come superbly to life within this exciting murder tale. The story itself is about Claudia Seferius who after she sets out for a journey for Gaul and in her possession a certain pouch sealed with the sign of the "Black Salamander", soon finds herself in all kinds of danger. First of all on entering the Alpines there's a rock fall in which five men die, and certainly one of those deaths is not accidental. All Claudia wants to do now is to get out of that valley where they are hiding as soon as possible, but there are those who go to any lengths to stop her from reaching her destination, and so she's trapped into this game of high treason. When they do finally make it to their destination, which is Vesontio in Gaul, Claudia has to use her wits and determination to try to outthink and outrun her pursuers, and so save herself from the clutches of those people who'll still like to hunt for human heads and human sacrifices, if she wants to survive and live on for another day. Really recommended, for these series deserves so much more credit in my opinion, so I like to call this book "A Thrilling Imperial Roman Mystery"!
Having read the entire collection I highly recommend Marilyn Todd's 'Black Salamander', which is the latest in her series of books featuring the superbitch heroine. Black Salamander is set during the period of Augustus. Claudia sets out to Gaul carrying a peice of a map, which she believes will make her fortune but instead puts her in danger of becoming a victim of the Wicker Man. Marilyn is an accomplished writer in the historical crime genre, which has a good dose of humour.
Claudia Sefirius is offered a large sum to take part in a trade delegation travelling to Vesantion in Gaul to mark the 50th anniversary of the cooperation between the Sequani and Rome provided she delivers a certain package when she gets there. And then the delegation gets cut off from its escort and the bodies start mounting up.
Lots of twists and turns but not as funny as some of the earlier ones in the series.
Marilynn Todd's series of historical mysteries involving the nefarious Claudia Sefarious are incredibly enjoyable reading. The reader is constantly grateful for the period accuracy, yet relieved that the characters speak in modern no-nonsense terms. I could read one of these every day and never be bored.