As a founder member of Mystery Women in 1997, promoting Crime Fiction has always been my passion.
Following the closure of Mystery Women, a new group was formed on 30th January 2012 promoting crime fiction.
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Grampus, 9 July 2019. ISBN: 978-1-9164694-8-8 (PB)
A new adventure for Gaius Petreius Ruso is always something to look
forward to – but this one seemed to be over almost before it started. The
latest in Ruth Downie's delicious series is only a novella, and dedicated fans
(like me) will gobble it up in one sitting (as I did).
Numerically it's number nine,
but chronologically it slots in between numbers seven and eight. Ruso, his
British wife Tilla and their adopted baby daughter Mara are on their way back
to Britannia after an eventful visit to Rome, and en route they decide they
can't avoid paying a visit to his family home in southern Gaul.
If you're not familiar with
the series (and I strongly recommend you correct that error of judgement
immediately) you may have gathered it's set during the Roman occupation of
these isles back in the second century AD. Ruso is a medic by trade, but murder
and mayhem seems to follow him around and demand that he gets involved with
crime-solving. This time the victim is one Titus, a sort of Roman Hooray Henry,
who met a nasty end during a boisterous party with a wine jug to the
skull.Every finger is pointing at Verax,
Ruso's sister's boyfriend, who insists he is innocent – and somehow the job of
exonerating him falls in Ruso's lap.
As if that wasn't enough,
Ruso's brother, who runs the family farm, is away, and Ruso finds himself
fending off the demands of his stepmother, both his sisters and an assortment
of creditors, patching up assorted nephews who behave pretty much as children
still do a couple of thousand years later, and much as usual, failing to
prevent Tilla from taking a hand in solving the murder.
The result is a
tongue-in-cheek, engaging novella which takes a large cast of well observed
characters and the world they inhabit and portrays them in exuberant Technicolor.
I just have one complaint: it's much too short!
Reviewer: Lynne Patrick
Ruth (RS) Downieleft university with an English degree and a plan to
get married and live happily ever after. She is still working on it. In the
meantime, she is also the New York Times bestselling author of a mystery series
featuring Roman doctor Gaius Petreius Ruso. Ruth is not the RS Downie who
writes real medical textbooks. Absolutely none of the medical advice in the
Ruso books should be followed. Roman and Greek doctors were very wise about
many things, but they were also known to prescribe donkey dung and boiled
cockroaches.Memento Mori is the eighth book in the series.
Lynne Patrick has been a writer ever since she could pick up a pen,
and has enjoyed success with short stories, reviews and feature journalism, but
never, alas, with a novel. She crossed to the dark side to become a publisher
for a few years and is proud to have launched several careers which are now
burgeoning. She lives on the edge of rural Derbyshire in a house groaning with
books, about half of them crime fiction.