Monday, March 23, 2015

Detecting in Rome in the First Century A.D.

"Enemies at Home" by Lindsay Davis   Minotaur Books   342 pages   $25.99

The Romans had an interesting system of justice - if a home owner was murdered at home and the guilty party was not immediately apprehended, , it was assumed that one of the servants (which easily outnumbered family members) had done it and ALL of the slaves were promptly put to death. 

A number of citizens worked as "private informers" and one of them was a young woman named Flavia Albia, the adopted daughter of Marcus Didus Falco, a former private informer.   She has assumed his old job.

It is an unusual enough thing today - let alone 1st century A.D. - to find a female investigator but Albia is called in to see who killed a rich couple, found strangled in the marital bed.  Meanwhile, the terrified slaves have fled to the Temple of Ceres which is a recognized haven for refuges.

Flavia is an interesting heroine, believable with a good sense of humor.  It's an interesting book and I recommend it.

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