Bruce MacBain

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Bruce MacBain

Goodreads Author

in Chicago, The United States


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Charles Dickens, Robt. Louis Stevenson, Patrick O'Brien, George Macdon ...more

member since
January 2010

About this author

From boyhood, Bruce Macbain spent his days in reading history and historical fiction. The Greeks and Romans have held a special fascination for him and this led to earning a master’s degree in Classical Studies and a doctorate in Ancient History. Along the way, he also taught English as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Borneo. Later, he taught courses in Greek and Roman civilization at Vanderbilt University and Boston University, and published a few dense scholarly monographs, read by very few. Recently, he has turned to writing fiction, a much more congenial pursuit. He has previously published two historical mysteries set in ancient Rome, Roman Games and its sequel, The Bull Slayer. Now, he has turned his attention to his other favorite folk, t ...more

Average rating: 3.43 · 280 ratings · 63 reviews · 6 distinct works · Similar authors
Roman Games: A Plinius Secu...
3.39 of 5 stars 3.39 avg rating — 217 ratings — published 2010 — 19 editions
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The Bull Slayer (Plinius Se...
3.52 of 5 stars 3.52 avg rating — 61 ratings — published 2013 — 15 editions
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Odin's Child: Book One of t...
5.0 of 5 stars 5.00 avg rating — 1 rating — expected publication 2015
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Prodigy And Expiation: A St...
4.0 of 5 stars 4.00 avg rating — 1 rating
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3 Great Historical Mysterie...
0.0 of 5 stars 0.00 avg rating — 0 ratings — published 2013
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3 Great Historical Mysteries
0.0 of 5 stars 0.00 avg rating — 0 ratings — published 2014
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More books by Bruce MacBain…
Roman Games: A Plinius Secu... The Bull Slayer
Plinius Secundus Mystery (2 books)
3.420863309352518 of 5 stars 3.42 avg rating — 278 ratings

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Blood from a Stone by Donna Leon
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So-so. I generally like Donna Leon's Commissario Brunetti mysteries but this is not one of her best efforts. It starts out well but runs out of steam by the end.
Fierce Patriot by Robert L. O'Connell
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I knew only a little about Sherman before and now I know more, but I think there are probably better biographies than this one. Too much psychologizing for my taste and an attempt at a 'hip' style that I find rather off-putting. The book could also u ...more
Boomerang by Michael Lewis
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I'm not very smart about economics--I didn't grasp all the ins and outs of this, but even without that you get a powerful sense of the knaves and rascals and greedy fools who brought us the world credit collapse. Lewis devotes short chapters to Icela ...more
The Mansion of Happiness by Jill Lepore
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I'm a great fan of Jill Lepore--both her books and her New Yorker articles. This is a book she wrote some years ago: a lighthearted exploration of the stages of human growth from conception to death, always with an eye to the quirkier, wierder byways ...more
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Blood Shot by Sara Paretsky
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Pretty good read. Par for the course.
Dead Wake by Erik Larson
Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania
by Erik Larson (Goodreads Author)
read in March, 2015
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Very well done; a nice balance between following the Lusitania and her passengers and crew, and following the submarine in alternating chapters. My only complaint is that the book has no plates or illustrations--a serious shortcoming.
31 Bond Street by Ellen Horan
31 Bond Street
by Ellen Horan (Goodreads Author)
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Borderlands by Brian McGilloway
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" Can I be so bold as to recommend my two Roman mysteries, Roman Games and The Bull Slayer. You might enjoy them. "
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Topics Mentioning This Author

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The History Book ...: VICKI'S 50 BOOKS READ IN 2012 101 153 Jan 04, 2013 01:41PM  
Cozy Mysteries : This topic has been closed to new comments. Mystery ABC's - Archived 9524 1133 Jul 15, 2013 12:01PM  
The Seasonal Read...: This topic has been closed to new comments. Winter Challenge 2013: Completed Tasks (Do Not Delete Posts) 2517 547 Feb 28, 2014 09:00PM  
The History Book ...: VICKI'S 50 BOOKS READ IN 2014 90 153 Dec 31, 2014 09:48PM  
Ancient & Med...: The Vikings 1058 670 Mar 06, 2015 05:53PM  
Ancient & Med...: Roman Empire to 476AD 1169 640 Apr 07, 2015 11:58AM  
19126 The Mystery, Crime, and Thriller Group — 12226 members — last activity 0 minutes ago
April 2015/ May 2015 Group Reads Child 44 by Tom Robb Smith and Bruno, Chief of Police by Martin Walker _ _ _ _ _ “It was a dark and stormy night. Lig ...more
104111 Goodreads Office Hours — 235 members — last activity Jun 06, 2013 05:00PM
Goodreads staff members will be answering questions about the author program and giveaways on June 6 between 3:00 - 5:00 pm PST.
54239 Ancient & Medieval Historical Fiction — 3660 members — last activity 18 minutes ago
The focus of this group is historical fiction set in ancient, middle, or early modern ages (now including modern history), in any geographical locatio ...more
25x33 Brookline scribes — 6 members — last activity Jan 04, 2010 12:51PM
Brookline writers who also read
8255 Tips for Self Promotion, Sales, and Advertising — 2268 members — last activity Apr 21, 2015 04:46AM
Tips from authors for authors. List what works for you and what hasn't. Whether you're selling a few author copies or just trying to get your name out ...more
74404 Q&A with Catherine McKenzie — 149 members — last activity Sep 30, 2012 07:23PM
...July 25, 2012 to August 24, 2012...
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Comments (showing 1-2)    post a comment »
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message 2: by Stacy

Stacy Juba Hi Bruce, Thanks for the friend invite. Your novel sounds intriguing! My book is set in the present, but incorporate some ancient Roman and Greek mythology. Best of luck with it.


Stacy Juba
Twenty-Five Years Ago Today, Now Available
Sink or Swim, Coming in December 2010

message 1: by Beth

Beth Hi Bruce,
Thanks for befriending this mystery author on Goodreads as well as elsewhere! I hope you'll put my books, A Real Basket Case and To Hell in a Handbasket, on your to-read list. If you'd like to enter a contest for a free copy of To Hell in a Handbasket, sign up for my email newsletter at: .
- Beth

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