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This is book number 1 in the The Medicus Series series.
our three favorite "Ancient Rome proto-detective" series, Steven Saylor
has great historical figure portraits, Lindsay Davis has a bit o' the
music hall and Ruth Downie has Tula - the Celt slave of the army
doctor/investigator Gaius Ruso. Slave she may (start out to) be, but
she causes no end of...complications for our hero. Medicus is the 1st
book of the series, all of which are vastly satisfying.
Gary — From Medicus
Divorced and down on his luck, Gaius Petreius Ruso has made the rash decision to seek his fortune in an inclement outpost of the Roman Empire, namely Britannia. In a moment of weakness, after a straight thirtysix-hour shift at the army hospital, he succumbs to compassion and rescues an injured slave girl, Tilla, from the hands of her abusive owner.
Now he has a new problem: a slave who won't talk and can't cook, and drags trouble in her wake. Before he knows it, Ruso is caught in the middle of an investigation into the deaths of prostitutes working out of the local bar. Now Ruso must summon all his forensic knowledge to find a killer who may be after him next.
With a gift for comic timing and historical detail, Ruth Downie has conjured an ancient world as raucous and real as our own.
“I loved this book.” —Scott Simon, NPR
“[A] lavishly, often hilariously detailed portrayal of the world that absorbs Ruso's exhausted wits and energies. [He] is a wonderful character, fueled by a dyspeptic machismo and sullen charm reminiscent of Harrison Ford in his heyday. A charming novel.” —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)