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!