This page: US editions available in Canada from

En français: cliquez ici

Saylor puts such great detail and tumultuous life into his scenes that the sensation of rubbing elbows with the ancients is quite uncanny. (New York Times Book Review)

“Steven Saylor is so at home in ancient Rome that you can almost imagine him sitting in a tree-sheltered atrium writing with a stylus and a clay tablet.” (Tampa Tribune & Times)

The detail is meticulous. (Archaeology Magazine)

“...brings alive the last days of the Roman Republic in a manner evocative of Robert Graves’s Claudius novels.”
(Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine)

“If you want to visit Rome—ancient Rome—this is the way to go!” (Oklahoman)

The volumes of the ROMA SUB ROSA series
in chronological order, available from

In this prequel to the series, the 18-year-old Gordianusgoes on a far-flung journey to see the Seven Wonders of the World, encountering murder, mayhem, and magic “As always, Saylor excels at bringing the past alive.” (Publishers Weekly). • Order this book.

Gordianus celebrates his 22nd birthday in Alexandria, capital of Egypt, but gets a rude surprise when his slave Bethesda goes missing—the apparent victim of a kidnapping. Gordianus ventures into the lawless Nile Delta in search of her, and finds himself drawn into a plot to steal the golden sarcophagus of Alexander the Great. “Exuberantly entertaining!” (USA Today) • Order this book.

The novel that began the series. The city is Rome, the year is 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. Gripping...A combination of Hitchcock-style suspense and vivid historical details. (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette) • Order this book or order the audiobook.

Volume II in the series collects nine short stories; all take place in the period between the novels ROMAN BLOOD and ARMS OF NEMESIS. Intriguing adventures set in Romes ancient, grimy and bustling streets, full of a brilliantly-drawn cast of characters. Murder and thievery, blackmail gone horribly wrong and the ghosts of dead heroes throng the pages. (Gay Times/London) • Order this book.

A second collection of short stories finds the young Gordianus investigating suspicious doings at gladiator matches and chariot races. “Intriguing puzzles....The stories are admirably varied—some are extensive mysteries; others offer short, sharp slices of life. All are marvelous reads in themselves and marvelous reflections of ancient Rome.” (Booklist). Order this book

As the Spartacus slave revolt rages through Italy, Gordianus is summoned to the Bay of Naples by Romes 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 in retribution. Order this book or order the audiobook.

Gordianus and his growing family become enmeshed in the political conspiracies of Cicero (on the right) and the charismatic radical Catilina (on the left). Why do headless bodies keep turning up on Gordianuss property? And which side in the bloody conflict will he ultimately choose? The solution of the whodunit is a textbook example of the Least Suspected Person. (Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine) • Order this book or order the audiobook.

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. The best mystery novel of 1995...a work of art. (The Oregonian) • Order this book or order the audiobook

As civil war between Caesar and Pompey looms, lesser demagogues wage gang war 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? Sir Derek Jacobi calls it an enthralling re-creation of its time and place, a fascinating piece of story-telling.Order this book or order the audiobook

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 garden and a cryptic secret message lead the Finder into a deadly maze of wartime espionage. A conclusion as shocking as it is unexpected....A gripping read thats as intense as it is satisfying. (Booklist) Saylor meticulously re-creates a chaotic world...Whats most memorable, though, is the brilliantly simple solution. (Kirkus) • Order this book

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. Stellar...A vivid tableau of an ancient city under siege. (Publishers Weekly) Exemplary...Matchless elegance. (Kirkus) • Order this book

The death of a beautiful seeress and the wartime intrigues of Romes most powerful women propel Gordianus the Finder into a web of deceit, murder and forbidden passion. It would be impossible to imagine a more stellar lineup of suspects in all imperial Rome. (Kirkus ) Order this book

Gordianus travels to Egypt, even as Julius Caesar arrives for his first encounter with Cleopatra. In the turbulent city of Alexandria, many of the plot-threads in the recent novels come to a stunning resolution. “A political thriller of the first order!” (Booklist) • Order this book

Rome, 46 B.C.: Now dictator for life, Julius Caesar prepares to celebrate his triumphs with stupendous pageantry. But Caesar’s wife Calpurnia, having fallen under the spell of an Etruscan soothsayer, is convinced of a plot on her husband’s life. Once again, murder and intrigue draw Gordianus into the vortex of history. •
Order the hardbackpaperback

Books on Audiotape: These titles are on unabridged audio cassettes, available from or directly from Blackstone Audiobooks: ROMAN BLOOD, ARMS OF NEMESIS, CATILINAS RIDDLE, THE VENUS THROW, and A MURDER ON THE APPIAN WAY.

Also by Steven Saylor:
New York Times Book Review: A riveting historical mystery...fascinating and provocative.A gripping novel based on the serial murders that terrorized Austin, Texas, in 1885, and the scandalous trials that followed. Drawing on a decade of research, Steven recreates a forgotten era, and (with O. Henry as his hero) finds a solution to the first recorded serial murders in U.S. history. • Watch an interview with Steven about O. Henry • Now in Kindle from
The sequel to the New York Times bestseller ROMA takes the Pinarius family from the reign of Augustus to the height of empire under Hadrian. Along the way, the Pinarii witness the madness of Caligula and Nero, the eruption of Vesuvius, the opening games of the Colosseum, and much more. Order from
Daily Express (London): “Saylor expertly weaves the true history of Rome with the lives and loves of its fictional citizens.” • Spanning a thousand years, and following the shifting fortunes of two families though the ages, this is the epic saga of Rome, the city and its people. Order from
Three short stories from three different genres: “Insecticide,” a chilling tale of the near-future…“Murder Myth-Begotten,” a modern-day story of suspense…and “The Eagle and the Rabbit,” set in 146 B.C. after the fall of the Carthage, as a handful of survivors are hunted down by ruthless Roman mercenaries—a timeless tale of cruelty and betrayal, courage and freedom.Now in Kindle from
In these three autobiographical essays, Steven writes with remarkable candor about his mother’s death, growing up in a small Texas town, and his marriage to another man. Also included is the prize-winning short story “Kinder, Gentler.” Now in Kindle from
A baker’s dozen of essays written over a period of twenty years, beginning in 1992 when Steven was asked to interview the poet Thom Gunn. All these essays have a connection to reading and writing, including “On Big Trucks, Bush, and Bikes,” which begins at the Texas Book Festival in Austin but ends with a chilling reflection on the near-miss that almost prevented George Bush’s presidency. Now in Kindle from
This massive, multi-genre anthology edited by George R.R. Martin and Gardner Dozois includes Steven’s story “The Eagle and the Rabbit”, set in 146 B.C., about Roman slave traders tracking down the last scattered survivors of Carthage. Coincidentally, there’s another tale about Rome v. Carthage in the anthology, “The Triumph” by Robin Hobb, plus new stories by Diana Gabaldon, Peter S. Beagle, Joe Haldeman, Joe R. Lansdale, Lawrence Block, Robert Silverberg, and many more. Order from
Austin American-Statesman: A “rocket of a read...with enough red herrings and things that go bump in the night to keep you entertained all the way.”For more reviews, click here • Steven says: “This is my most autobiographical work, because it draws deeply on my own past growing up in a small town in the heart of the Texas hill country. But the plot is pure contemporary suspense — a definite change of pace for me.” Order from • Order the large-print edition.

A scholar looks at Steven’s work...

THE DETECTIVE AS HISTORIAN: History & Art in Historical Crime Fiction ed. by Browne & Kresier is a collection of twenty-five scholarly essays about crime fiction ranging throughout recorded history, from ancient Egypt to 19th century America. Among the highlights: Terrance L. Lewis’s John Maddox Roberts and Steven Saylor: Detecting in the Final Decades of the Roman Republic.” Order from

A student looks at Steven’s work...

PRENTICE HALL REFERENCE GUIDE (6th Edition, 2005) by Muriel Harris includes, as its model essay for writing about literature, an award-winning student essay by Claire Sonntag of the University of Delaware, “PUDD’N HEADWILSON and ARMS OF NEMESIS: Two Portraits of Slavery,” in which Steven does not come off badly compared to the great Mark Twain (pp. 534-538). The book is a standard guide for English usage, writing style, and research techniques for college students. Order from

All the Gordianus short stories can be found in
The House of the Vestals and A Gladiator Dies Only Once.
Some stories previously appeared in these anthologies

FELINE FELONIES edited by Abigail Browning, features over 400 pages of the best in feline sleuthing. Steven Saylor contributes “The Alexandrian Cat.” Other contributors to Feline Felonies include Ruth Rendell, Patricia Highsmith, P.G. Wodehouse, Theordore Sturgeon and Lilian Jackson Braun. Order this book.
THE MAMMOTH BOOK OF ROMAN WHODUNNITS edited by Mike Ashley, includes an introduction by Steven Saylor and the Gordianus novella, “A Gladiator Dies Only Once.” Other authors in this 500-page collection include Simon Scarrow, Tom Holt, John Maddox Roberts, Marilyn Todd, and Caroline Lawrence. Order from
DEATH COMES EASY: The Gay Times Book of Murder Stories edited by Peter Burton, includes Steven Saylors Death by Eros, in which Gordianus encounters the powers of love and death on the Bay of Naples. Other authors in this wide-ranging 400-page collection include Perry Brass, Francis King, Josh Lanyon, Felice Picano, and Michael Wilcox. Order from
THE MAMMOTH BOOK OF MORE HISTORICAL WHODUNNITS edited by Mike Ashley, includes Steven Saylors Poppy and the Poisoned Cake, in which Gordianus is called on to help one of Romes leading citizens, who fears his closest relatives may be plotting to kill him — but seems to fear the scandal more than the crime. Other authors in this big (500 pages) collection include Michael Kurland, Peter Tremayne, and Marilyn Todd. Order from
CRIME THROUGH TIME III edited by Sharan Newman with an introduction by Anne Perry, leads off with a solid new case for Steven Saylors Gordianus the Finder (Jon Breen, EQMM). In The Consuls Wife, foreign intrigue and an illicit love affair play out against the backdrop of the chariot races in the Circus Maximus. Other authors in this all-new collection include Harry Turtledove, H.R.F. Keating, Jan Burke, Andrew Greeley, and Sharon McCrumb. Order this book.
CREME DE LA CRIME edited by Janet Hutchings, features 27 stories, all by award-winning authors, all culled from the pages of Americas leading mystery magazine, Ellery Queen. In Steven Saylors Poppy and the Poisoned Cake, Gordianus is called on to help one of Romes leading citizens, who fears his closest relatives may be plotting to kill him — but seems to fear the scandal more than the crime. Other authors include Ruth Rendell, Lawrence Block, Joyce Carol Oates, and Andrew Vachss. Order this book.
CLASSICAL WHODUNNITS edited by Mike Ashley, features 20 cases solved by sleuths from ancient Greece and Rome. Authors include Lindsey Davis, Anthony Price, and Brian Stableford. In Steven Saylors The White Fawn, Gordianus travels to Spain, where the rebel commander Sertorius is waging war against Rome with the help of a supernatural fawn. The volume also features a preface by Saylor, A Murder, Now and Then..., about the allure of the classical whodunnit. Check for used copies at
CRIME THROUGH TIME edited by Miriam Grace Monfredo and Sharan Newman, features historical mysteries from Ancient Egypt to WWII by 21 writers, including Anne Perry, Laurie King, and the late Kate Ross. In Steven Saylors Archimedes Tomb, Gordianus and Eco venture to Syracuse to help Cicero find a lost tomb...and solve a particularly nasty murder. Order this book.