Monday, December 7, 2009

Ancient Rome, Greece & Egypt as Settings for Mystery

This past year I discovered the mystery novels of Lindsey Davis, a British writer, featuring Marcus Didius Falco as her sleuth to be reckoned with. These occur in the mid-to late first century of the common era, under the reign of Vespasian. It seems, though, that I have missed a number of other authors, most of them British (one good thing for their "public" education is a good grounding in Classics) who have used the ancient world as their settings for their mysteries. Right now I have not read any of these; but, the books will be placed on my-to-be-read list.

Albert Bell: Pliny the Younger is the major character; takes place during the reign of Domitian (c. 83 CE)
1. The Blood of Caesar
2. All Roads Lead to Murder

Ron Burns: the Gaius Livinius Severus series set in the time of Marcus Aurelius
1. Roman Nights
2. Roman Shadows

Paul Doherty: three series: Rome; Alexander the Great; Egypt
1. Domina
2. Murder Imperial
3. Song of the Gladiator
4. The Queen of the Night
5. Murder's Immortal Mask
1. The House of Death
2. The Godless Man
3. The Gates of Hell
1. The Mask of Ra
2. The Horus Killings
3. The Anubis Slayings
4. Slayers of Seth
5. The Assassins of Isis
6. The Evil Spirit Out of the West
7. The Season of the Hyena
8. The Year of the Cobra

Ruth Downie: her series is based on the character of a physician, Gaius Petreus Ruso:
1. Medicus (possibly seen under title: Ruso and the Demented Doctor)
2. Terra Incognita
3. Persona Non Grata

Jane Finnis: the Aurelia Marcella series set in first century Roman Britannia
1. Get Out or Die
2. A Bitter Chill
3. Buried Too Deep

Barbra Hambly: chief character, Marcus Silanus
1. Search the Seven Hills (aka The Quirinal Hill Affair)

Ben Pastor: his mysteries are set in the time of Diocletian (early fourth century CE)
1. The Water Thief
2. The Fire Walker

John Maddox Roberts: the SPQR series
I The King's Gambit
II The Catiline Conspiracy
III The Sacrilege
IV The Temple of the Muses
V Saturnalia
VI Nobody Loves a Centurion
VII The Tribune's Curse
VIII The River God's Vengeance
IX The Princess and the Pirates
X A Point of Law

Steven Saylor: so far the settings of his novels are in the mid-to late first century BCE
1. Roman Blood
2. The House of the Vestals
3. A Gladiator Dies Only Once
4. Arms of Nemesis
5. Catilina's Riddle
6. The Venus Throw
7. A Murder on the Appian Way
8. Rubicon
9. Last Seen in Massilia
10. A Mist of Prophecies
11. The Judgment of Caesar
12. The Triumph of Caesar
(not in the series: Roma -- an epic novel)

Marilyn Todd: Claudia Seferius mysteries (character is an ex-prostitute who marries a wine merchant who dies)
1. I, Claudia
2. Virgin Territory
3. Man Eater
4. Wolf Whistle
5. Jail Bait
6. Black Salamander
7. Dream Boat
8. Dark Horse
9. Second Act
10. Widow's Pique
11. Stone Cold
12. Sour Grapes
13. Scorpion Rising

David Wishart: Marcus Corvinus mysteries set in the early first century CE
1. Ovid
2. Germanicus
3. Sejanus
4. The Lydian Baker
5. Old Bones
6. Last Rites
7. White Murder
8. A Vote for Murder
9. Parthian Shot
10. Food for the Fishes


HOWARD said...

There is an American author to be reckoned with: Kelli Stanley, who writes "Roman Noir", whose first book, NOX DORMIENDA, with the character Arcturus, has been published. Her next book, MALEDICTUS, hopefully will be published in 2010.

The lady is polyfaceted, she also writes SanFrancisco noir, her new book CITY OF DRAGONS will come out February second.

Julia Ergane said...

Thanks, Howard, for the heads up. I really like noir, especially the Bogart movies from the 40's.

Kay said...

Julia, sorry to jump into your blog comments here. I emailed you yesterday to let you know you'd won one of our Searching for Pemberley book giveaways at The Cuckleburr Times.

Congratulations! Please send me your mailing address ASAP. I need to pass it on to the publishers to dispatch it and want to give them both addresses together. I thought I'd leave this here in case for some reason you didn't get the email.