The end. The intrigue. The untold story.
Coming Ides of March 2018.
Novelist Ian Ross on The Throne of Caesar:
“Nearly twenty years have passed since I first read Steven Saylor’s novel Roman Blood, the first of his Roma Sub Rosa series. I was very pleased, therefore, to have the opportunity of an early read of his triumphant conclusion to the series, The Throne of Caesar.
“The Ides of March are approaching, Caesar is at the height of his power, but deathly omens stalk the city, and the aging Gordianus the Finder is drawn out of retirement for one last investigation. Writing a detective story about one of the most famous murders in history is no easy feat, but Saylor carries it off with characteristic brilliance. Over the course of sixteen books, he has made this era his own, constructing a detailed and dynamic portrait of Republican Rome in its dying days. In this novel, he captures perfectly the tragic and uncanny charisma of Caesar himself, the sense of gathering threat, and the barely-restrained chaos that will soon shake the city to its core.
“Gordianus, of course, soon finds himself at the heart of the action, and the assassination and funeral of the great dictator are made dazzlingly real in these pages. But the true story leads further still, towards a startling and grisly finale. Saylor has often mined the stranger depths of ancient culture and custom in his stories, and here once again Gordianus’s investigations take him behind the cultured façade of Roman society, to expose the callous barbarity of the elite, and the bloody rituals that darkened the Roman soul.”
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ROMA SUB ROSA
U.K. Editions from Constable, London
“How wonderful to have a scholar write about ancient Rome; how comforting, to feel instant confidence in the historical accuracy of the novel.”
(The Sunday Times on A MURDER ON THE APPIAN WAY)
“These books are strong on plot and utterly convincing;
they are an unalloyed delight.” (3SIXTY Magazine)
Compared by critics to the novels of Robert Graves and Mary Renault for their historical authenticity, to the whodunnits of Agatha Christie for their deft plotting, and to the seafaring books of Patrick O’Brian for their high adventure, the novels of the ROMA SUB ROSA provide a panoramic fictional account of Rome in the last years of the dying Republic. Surrounded by towering figures like Cicero, Pompey, Julius Caesar, and Marc Antony, Gordianus the Finder and his family encounter murder, mayhem, and mystery.
Steven explains the series title: “In ancient myth, the Egyptian god Horus (whom the Romans called Harpocrates) came upon Venus engaged in one of her many love affairs. Cupid, her son, gave a rose to Horus as a bribe to keep quiet; thus Horus became the god of silence, and the rose became the symbol of confidentiality. A rose hanging over a council table indicated that all present were sworn to secrecy. Sub Rosa (‘under the rose’) has come to mean ‘that which is done in secret.’ Thus ROMA SUB ROSA: the secret history of Rome, as seen through the eyes of Gordianus.”
The volumes of the ROMA SUB ROSA series
in chronological order:
THE SEVEN WONDERS
This prequel to the series takes the 18-year-old Gordianus 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). • Amazon.co.uk • BookDepository
RAIDERS OF THE NILE
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) • Amazon.co.uk • Book Depository
WRATH OF THE FURIES
Lured by a cryptic message, young Gordianus journeys to the city of Ephesus, taking his beloved Bethesda with him—even as King Mithridates is planning the overnight massacre of every Roman in the city. “A highly suspenseful plot and a moving resolution.” (Publisher’s Weekly) • Amazon.co.uk • Book Depository
The novel that began the series. 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 Sullaand turns for help to Gordianus the Finder. “Gripping ... A combination of Hitchcock-style suspense and vivid historical details.” (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette) • Amazon.co.uk • Book Depository
THE HOUSE OF THE VESTALS
A collection of nine short stories; all take place in the period between ROMAN BLOOD and ARMS OF NEMESIS. “Intriguing adventures set in Rome’s 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) • Amazon.co.uk • large-print edition • Book Depository
A GLADIATOR DIES ONLY ONCE
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 variedsome are extensive mysteries; others offer short, sharp slices of life. All are marvelous reads in themselves and marvelous reflections of ancient Rome.” (Booklist). • Amazon.co.uk • Book Depository
ARMS OF NEMESIS
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 in retribution. Amazon.co.uk • Book Depository
THE VENUS THROW
Drawn into the decadent circle of the poet Catullus and his amoral lover Clodia, Gordianus confronts temptations he never dreamed of. Who poisoned the philosopher Dio? What does the eunuch Trigonian secretly desire? “Saylor’s scholarship is breathtaking, and his writing enthrals.” (Ruth Rendell, Sunday Times; read the entire review) • Amazon.co.uk • Book Depository
A MURDER ON THE APPIAN WAY
As civil war between Caesar and Pompey looms, 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.” Amazon.co.uk • Book Depository
As Caesar marches on Rome and Pompey flees in panic, Gordianus 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 gripping read...as intense as it is satisfying.” (Booklist) • Amazon.co.uk • Audio • Book Depository.
LAST SEEN IN MASSILIA
Shortlisted for the CWA Ellis Peters Historical Dagger Award
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. “His most compelling yet...Saylor’s plotting remains as deliriously convoluted as ever, while his grasp of historical detail never falters.” (Barry Forshaw) • Amazon.co.uk • Book Depository
A MIST OF PROPHECIES
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. “A gritty depiction of the underbelly of the great city in its heyday...The secret history of Rome has never been so fascinating.” (Maxim Jakubowski, The Guardian) • Click here for more reviews • Amazon.co.uk • Book Depository
THE JUDGEMENT OF CAESAR
To save his ailing wife, Gordianus journeys to Egyptjust as Julius Caesar arrives in the turbulent city of Alexandria for his first encounter with Cleopatra. “A political thriller of the first order!” (Booklist) • Click here for more reviews. • Amazon.co.uk • large-print edition • Book Depository
THE TRIUMPH OF CAESAR
Rome, 46 B.C.: Now dictator for life, Caesar prepares to celebrate his triumphs with stupendous pageantry. But his wife Calpurnia, under the spell of an Etruscan soothsayer, is convinced of a plot on Caesar’s life and calls on Gordianus the Finder. • Amazon.co.uk • Isis Audio Books • Book Depository
THE THRONE OF CAESAR
The end. The intrigue. The untold story. Coming Ides of March 2018. “What a marvel!...Saylor's masterful storytelling puts you right there, wonderstruck and wide-eyed. Deliciously immersive, captivating entertainment from a justly celebrated writer.”—Margaret George • Amazon.co.uk • Book Depository
Also by Steven Saylor:
Daily Express: “Saylor expertly weaves the true history of Rome with the lives and loves of its fictional citizens.” • For more reviews, click here • 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. • Amazon.co.uk • Book Depository
USA Today: “Thrilling...with one of the greatest authors of historical fiction as our guide, it’s a glorious ride.” • For more reviews, click here • The saga begun in Roma continues, as the Pinarii witness the madness of Caligula and Nero, the eruption of Vesuvius, the opening games at the Colosseum, and much more. • Amazon.co.uk • Book Depository
A TWIST AT THE END
Times Literary Supplement:“[Saylor] shows how a society that is founded on inequality and injustice can be a perfect hunting ground for the deranged.” Click here for more reviews and and an interview. 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.Originally published in the UK under the title Honour the Dead. • Available for Kindle
HAVE YOU SEEN DAWN?
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.” Click here for more reviews. 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.” Available for Kindle
FUTURE, PRESENT, PAST
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. Kindle
MY MOTHER’S GHOST
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.” Kindle
A BOOKISH BENT
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. Kindle
A CASUALTY OF WAR
Steven’s early short story “Kinder, Gentler” (from 1989) appears in this anthology of gay fiction edited by Peter Burton. Other authors include Francis King, Richard Zimler, Hugh Fleetwood, and Neil Bartlett. • Order from Amazon.co.uk
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 Amazon.co.uk
THE MAMMOTH BOOK OF ROMAN WHODUNNITS edited by Mike Ashley, includes an introduction by Steven Saylor, “The Long Reach of Rome,” 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 Amazon.co.uk. DEATH COMES EASY: The Gay Times Book of Murder Stories edited by Peter Burton, includes Steven Saylor’s “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 Amazon.co.uk. THE MAMMOTH BOOK OF HISTORICAL WHODUNNITS edited by Mike Ashley, includes Steven Saylor’s “Poppy and the Poisoned Cake,” in which Gordianus is called on to help one of Rome’s leading citizens, who fears his closest relatives may be plotting to kill himbut seems to fear the scandal more than the crime. Other authors in this 500-page collection include Michael Kurland, Peter Tremayne, and Marilyn Todd. Order from Amazon.co.uk. CRIME THROUGH TIME III edited by Sharan Newman with an introduction by Anne Perry, features a brand-new Gordianus short story, “The Consul’s Wife,” in which 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, Peter Lovesey, Andrew Greeley, and Peter Robinson. Order from Amazon.co.uk. CREME DE LA CRIME edited by Janet Hutchings, features 27 stories, all by award-winning authors, all culled from the pages of America’s leading mystery magazine, Ellery Queen. In Steven Saylor’s “Poppy and the Poisoned Cake,” Gordianus is called on to help one of Rome’s leading citizens, who fears his closest relatives may be plotting to kill himbut seems to fear the scandal more than the crime. Other authors include Ruth Rendell, Anne Perry, Ian Rankin, and John Mortimer. Order from Amazon.co.uk. PAST POISONS The Ellis Peters Memorial Anthology of Historical Crime, edited by Maxim Jakubowski, features Steven Saylor’s “Death by Eros,” in which Gordianus encounters the powers of love and death on the Bay of Naples. Others joining in this homage to the late creator of Brother Cadfael include Edward Marston, Peter Lovesey, Lindsey Davis, Anne Perry, Michael Pearce, Peter Tremayne, and (with her final story) the late Kate Ross. Order from Amazon.co.uk. 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 Saylor’s never-before-published “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. Order from Amazon.co.uk. 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 Saylor’s never-before-published “Archimedes’ Tomb,” Gordianus and Eco venture to Syracuse to help Cicero find a lost tomb...and solve a particularly nasty murder. Order from Amazon.co.uk.
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