Ruso and Tilla's excitement at arriving in Rome with their new baby daughter is soon dulled by their discovery that the grand facades of polished marble mask an underworld of corrupt landlords and vermin-infested tenements. There are also far too many doctors - some skilled - but others positively dangerous.
Ruso thinks that he has been offered a reputable medical practice only to find that his predecessor, Doctor Kleitos, has fled, leaving a dead man in a barrel on the doorstep and the warning "be careful who you trust." Distracted by the body and his efforts to help a friend win the hand of a rich young heiress, Ruso makes a grave mistake, causing him to question both his competence and his integrity.
With Ruso's reputation under threat, he and Tilla must protect their small family from Doctor Kleitos' debt collectors and find allies in their new home while they track down the vanished doctor and find out the truth about the heiress' dead father - Ruso's patient - and the unfortunate man in the barrel.
©2016 Ruth Downie (P)2016 Tantor
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"Life in Ancient Rome"
This is book seven of the series. In this story Gaius Petraeus Ruso, his wife Tila and baby daughter Mara, have arrived in Rome from Britain. Former Tribune Accius has offered Ruso the home and medical practice of a Doctor Kleitos. Kleitos has vanished. Horiatis Balbo, a patron of Kleitos’s is convinced someone is trying to poison him and only Kleitos’s mysterious medial prescription will protect him. Balbo suddenly dies. Ruso and Tila are trying to solve the mystery of Kleitos and Balbo.
The book is well written and the move to Rome adds a new excitement to the story. Downie, as always, provides a realistic view of ancient Rome and provides historical insight to the story. The characters feel real, the plot is complex and the suspense builds throughout the story. As with all Downie books there is a subtle dry humor which I enjoy. I am always amazed at the detail of Roman life that Downie works into her story. The squalid conditions and corruption that was Rome is vividly portrayed by Downie.
Simon Vance does an excellent job narrating the story. Vance is a British actor and award winning audiobook narrator.
"Thank you for another completely wonderful listen!"
I love these books so much I will listen to them again. They transport me to another time as an observer in the midst of the action so clear and colourful is the description of the scenes.
As always, the writing is witty, the characters are now my friends, and the narration is superb! Thank you!
Downie has been right on since her first Russo. He and his sassy wife are good every time out. Simon Vance is the best narrator on audible books.
"Another great Roman murder mystery."
Ms. Downie just keeps getting better. What a wild ride through the eternal city of Rome. she brings the ancients to life.
"A HERO IS NOT ALWAYS THE WARRIOR"
Ruth Downie’s seventh novel Vita Brevis brings a glimpse of Hadrianic Rome and is a wonderful addition to the Medicus series. Ruso and Tilla make great and likeable hero's worth revisiting. Simon Vance is an outstanding narrator. Ruth Downie does a great job mixing her stories with historical events making them real for the reader. If you have enjoyed the previous stories in the series, this one is worth the credit. If you have not tried any of these books, and like believable period historical fiction, with a bit of mystery and detective work, try reading Medicus.
"The series gets better and better."
Set in Rome this time around, it seemed it would be difficult to be as good as all the stories set in Britannia. As good or better. If you haven't read any of this series, you probably could start with this one or any other and enjoy it but you may as well go back to the first book and start there. If you enjoy that one, you'll enjoy them all and each will be that much better for the back story. And then, like me, you'll get to the point I'm at now; trying to be patient as Ms. Downie works her charm and skill into the next book.
Just didn't want us to forget them. No real plot or story. Mystery was a great let down
"Another Delightful Installment"
It has become a fall tradition for me to listen to the latest installment in this series. The series is not particularly deep. In some ways, this is almost a "light-hearted" murder mystery series, if such a thing is possible. There is always a dose of humor and the characters are very easy to relate to, despite being set 2000 years in the past. The stories always follow the same pattern--the heroes unwittingly find themselves caught up in a murder mystery that somehow place them in jeopardy that they always manage to find a way of escaping while solving the mystery. Again, these aren't deep, but they are fun and relaxing. The narration is excellent--Simon Vance is by far one of the best narrators.
absolutely brilliant. Loved the story Simon Vance is trully amazing, Ruth Downie never dissapoints
"Ruth Downie still has it!"
Wasn't sure about moving the action to Rome, but boy did it work. Great book! Simon Vince's superb narration did nothing but add to the enjoyment of it.
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