Gordianus the Finder features in the Roma Sub Rosa series


Shown here, the US covers, UK covers differ considerably

Steven Saylor's Roma Sub Rosa series features the private investigator Gordianus throughout his long career. Saylor's gift for turning real events in history into mystery thrillers has engaged readers for years. There are now 12 titles in the series, listed below.

Rome, 80 B.C.: When an aspiring young advocate named Cicero takes on his first big murder case, he draws the wrath of the dictator Sulla...and turns for help to Gordianus the Finder.

Volume 2 in the series collects nine short stories; all take place in the period between the novels Roman Blood and Arms of Nemesis. It includes Gordianus' journey to Alexandria and his purchase of beautiful, intelligent Bethesda as a slave/concubine.

A second collection of short stories finds the young Gordianus investigating suspicious doings at gladiator matches and chariot races.

As the Spartacus slave revolt rages through Italy, Gordianus is summoned to the Bay of Naples by Rome’s richest man, Marcus Crassus. Two escaped slaves appear to have murdered their master...and unless Gordianus can prove otherwise, every slave in the household will be slaughtered.

Gordianus and his family become enmeshed in the political rivalry of Cicero and the charismatic radical Catilina. Why do headless bodies keep turning up on Gordianus’s property? Which side in the bloody conflict will he ultimately choose?

Gordianus is drawn into the decadent circle of the poet Catullus and his amoral lover Clodia. Who poisoned the philosopher Dio? What does the eunuch Trigonian secretly desire? As the crumbling Roman Republic spins out of control, Gordianus confronts temptations he never dreamed of.

As civil war between Caesar and Pompey looms, demagogues wage gang battles in the streets of Rome. When the rabble-rouser Clodius is killed on the Appian Way, Rome erupts in flames. His arch-enemy Milo is the obvious suspect...or is he?

Caesar marches on Rome, the Senate flees in panic, and Gordianus the Finder is faced with the most unusual investigation of his career. A murder in his own garden leads the Finder into a deadly maze of wartime espionage.

In search of his missing son, Gordianus travels to the besieged seaport of Massilia and finds himself entangled in a deadly web of wartime espionage and intrigue.

The death of a beautiful seeress and the wartime intrigues of Rome’s most powerful women propel Gordianus the Finder into a web of deceit, murder and forbidden passion.

Gordianus travels to Egypt, even as Julius Caesar arrives for his first encounter with Cleopatra in the turbulent city of Alexandria.

Rome, 46 B.C.: Now dictator for life, Julius Caesar prepares to celebrate his triumphs with stupendous pageantry—but Caesar’s wife Calpurnia is convinced of a plot on her husband’s life. Once again, murder and intrigue draw Gordianus into the vortex of history.


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With Falco, Lindsey Davis created a hero detective who dishes out violence, stoic wisdom and super-human dollops of irony – all in the same paragraph. The combination of geographic adventure and rib-tickling humour make every book in this series a gem.
The Silver Pigs
The first in the series introduces Marcus Didius Falco, a Roman informer in AD 70, who finds himself in Britain on the trail of bullion theft – the ‘silver pigs’.The weather is filthy, the natives are restless, the women are angry, and his mission turns into a nightmare from which he only narrowly escapes alive. At least he meets patrician Helena Justina, destined to be his wife.
Shadows in Bronze
Shadowy figures glimpsed late at night and a series of fatal accidents convince Falco and the Emperor that traitors are still conspiring and must be brought to book. Flaco’s journey takes him to the tow of Italy and around the Bay of Naples.
Venus in Copper
When the man he is protecting dies, Falco finds himself paid off and rehired by the chief suspect, a ‘professional bride’ who does a lot of sewing. There is a closed circle of characters, all with suspicious motives; they are seedily unpleasant and their friends are worse.
The Iron Hand of Mars
Falco is sent to Germany to end the rebellion of Civilis and Veleda, who had tried to created a united Celtic Europe. In the course of the adventure an uppity legion stands in his way and faces death in the barbarian forests.
Poseidon’s Gold
Commissioned by his mother to exonerate his late brother from a catalogue of appalling schemes, Falco first finds himself suspected of murder, then – worse – compelled to work with his father Geminus, a disreputable antiques dealer.
Last Act in Palmyra
Dispatched to Nabataea by his arch-enemy, the Chief Spy Anacrites, who hopes he will die there, Falco and Helena end up in palmyra, which would be a holiday – but for the scorpions, evangelists, perpetrators of human sacrifice, drought, plague, and constant reminders that they have a murderer in their midst.
Time to Depart
Falco joins his friend Petro – someone big in the vigiles – in a desperate attempt to stop gangsters taking over Rome. The intrepid pair are forced into brothels and horrible eating houses, as they encounter waterside fleecers, Forum degenerates, bad men who want to cut out their innards and women who want worse things than that.
A Dying Light in Corduba
Weeks before Helena is due to give birth, Falco and she set off to unravel an oily conspiracy in southern Spain. Lying in wait are tycoons with low motives, murderous women in disguise, and a slippery trail laid by a Roman bureaucrat who knows nothing, thinks he can do everything, and wants something more than is good for the Empire.
Three Hands in the Fountain
A serial killer who has been dumping dismembered bodies in the aqueducts. Lacking forensic tools, hampered by administrative indifference, and dogged by the tiresome Anacrites, Falco and his new partner Petronius discover unexpected tensions that may destroy their relationship.
Two for the Lions
This time Falco finds himself partnered by none other than Anacrites hot on the trail of tax evaders. There are lions in there somehwere as well – and plants.
One Virgin Too Many
A member of the Arval Brethren is murdered in their Sacred Grove, causing a sinister cover-up by the establishment. Hemmed in by priests, grappled by Vestal Virgins without consciences, and imprisoned under threat of execution, Falco is in deep trouble.
Ode to a Banker
When a body is found in the Greek Library, Falco is brought in by Petronius. tHe angles with unscrupulous bankers, publishers and authors, despising all of them and trusting none. Once again the vigiles watch and wait for him to fail. Can Falco assemble all the suspects for a showdon in th library and force the killer to come clean?
A Body in the Bath House
Five years after they met in Britain, Falco and Helena go back to Britain – to the royal palace at Fishbourne, its grand extension still on the drawing board and likely to remain there without careful management. After the discovery of a corpse in the Great King’s quarters, Falco faces one challenge after another.
The Jupiter Myth
Still in Britain, it’s holiday time in Londinium for Falco and Helena – until a character he had disposed of reappears, dead, and causes a diplomatic incident. Then he gets lumbered with an outraged king, a traumatised orphan, corruption, inefficiency, and British fast food outlets.
The Accusers
Needing to re-establish their presence in Rome, Falco and Associates become embroiled in the legal manoeuvres of Silius Italicus and Paccius Africanus, real-life uppercrust informers who thrive on exploiting the sins of the rich.
Scandal Takes a Holiday
Falco visits Petronius and his favourite brother-in-law, Gaius Baebius, at fashionable Ostia while on a missing person hunt for a vanished scribe. Fun and frights and family pressures colour a sunny adventure beside the sea – and there are pirates, of a sort…
See Delphi and Die
Falco and Helena are escorting a young relative to Athens when they get sidetracked by a mystery at Olympia. The site guides babble incomprehensibly, the hotels are always under construction and when things go wrong, the travel companies don’t want to know. It’s history, really…
During the festival of misrule, when masters and slaves exchange places, , a young man who has everything to live for dies a horrific death. Falco has a race against time to find a dangerous missing person, aided and hindered by faces from the past, while running the gauntlet of the best and worst Roman society can offer as Saturnalia entertainment.
On a family trip to Egypt, Falco gets dragged into a mystery as corpses start turning up in the Great Library. he academic world festers while management dithers, diplomats dose, undertakers fib and businessmen diddle. Fortunately a mad inventor is on hand – and Falco just happens to know how his most useful invention works…
Nemesis (hardback, UK paperback in February 2011)
Escaping the demands of family life, he makes the first of several trips to the coast where he stumbles upon a mystery. Unexpected disappearances of innocent citizens are the relief he needs. Soon Petronius has an interest too. One evil location precedes several that are worse. There are heart-broken women and manipulative men, singers to shun, caterers to curse and – of course – Anacrites up to no good.


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