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The House of the Vestals (Roma Sub Rosa #6)

4.0 of 5 stars 4.00  ·  rating details  ·  2,029 ratings  ·  55 reviews
It is Ancient Rome, and Gordianus the Finder has a knack for finding trouble. Stalking about the city's twisting trails looking for clues and finding bodies, Gordianus has had his share of misadventure with nobles and slaves alike. Known to many as the one man in the ancient world who can both keep a secret and uncover one, Gordianus has stories to tell.
Paperback, 275 pages
Published 1999 by Robinson (first published 1997)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,750)
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Alicja
rating: 4/5

Even though his full length novel mysteries are better than these short stories, I think its just the way of mystery writing. Mysteries are better the more involved and complex they are. Saying that, these short stories were still filled with amazing characters, back stories, the sights and sounds of ancient Rome, interesting ancient Rome and Egypt trivia, cats, and Eco solving his very own first case at the age of 10! I can't help but be captivated by the world Saylor weaves, a world
...more
Ensiform
A book of stories featuring Gordianus the Finder, set after the first novel in the series and before the second. The stories, presented in chronological order relative to Gordianus:

“Death Wears a Mask" – a tale of murder at the theater

“The Tale Of the Treasure House" – Bethesda tells an Egyptian tale of a courtesan who captured the thief who robbed King Rhampsinitus

“A Will Is a Way" – a story of a fraudulent will and a murder; this story is given a lot of color by the introduction of Lucius Clau
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Valorie
In The House of the Vestals, Rome’s best finder Gordianus is back in a series of short stories full of political intrigue, murder, theft, and mystery. Set in between the novels Roman Blood and Arms of Nemesis, The House of the Vestals update readers on what Gordianus has been up to in the years that pass between the two books.

In Death Wears a Mask, Gordianus tracks a murderer who targeted an actor in between play scenes. Bethesda tells the story of a King’s missing treasure in The Tale of the Tr
...more
Peejay Who Once Was Minsma
This is a collection of short stories centering around Gordianus the Finder, Saylor's Ancient Roman "detective" first featured in his novel, *Roman Blood.* Chronologically, these stories fall within the eight years separating the first novel and the second, *Arms of Nemesis.* The collection is useful in finding out what has happened in Gordianus's life in the interim (and some events which will come into play in later novels): how Gordianus met his noble friend Lucius Claudius and Belbo the body ...more
Gretchen
Instead of reading these books in the order listed by Goodreads, I have decided to read them in the chronological order listed by the author on his website. Warning to people who want to do the chronological thing, don't. I feel I may have ruined some of the later books.

That being said, every story I read about Gordianus makes me love him just a little more. Lestat has some serious competition for the title of favorite fictional male. I especially loved the role Bethesda played in The Disappera
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Denise
Steven Saylor developed a passion for all things "Roman" as an adolescent. He's spent years reading and researching everything he could find on this time period and writes stories based on historical events and characters. He doesn't sugar-coat the past nor does he write under the influence of any religious dogma. If you're easily offended by depictions of gladiatorial games, bloodshed, and sexual attractions and situations, do NOT read this series. If however, you're an adult who accepts that a ...more
Kathy Davie
Series:
"Death Wears a Mask", 1.3
"The Tale of the Treasure House", 1.2
"A Will is a Way", 1.4
"The Lemures", 1.5
"Little Caesar and the Pirates", 1.6
"The Disappearance of the Saturnalia Silver", 1.7
"King Bee and Honey", 1.8
"The Alexandrian Cat", 0.75
"The House of the Vestals", 1.9

An anthology of nine short stories with one short story that takes place well before this book's publication (as #6 in the series) and the other eight taking place between the first and the second in the Roma Sub Rosa anci
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Rui
Ah… Gordiano, o Descobridor… o primeiro detective cínico mas com um profundo sentido de justiça, da história. Admito que esta é sempre uma daquelas personagens que me dá um enorme prazer reencontrar. Não se pode dizer que a escrita de Saylor seja genial (há vários momentos em que é óbvio, por demais, que as personagens estão a falar para dar informações ao leitor e não umas às outras) mas isso é mais que compensado pelos retratos detalhados e vivos que temos de Roma durante os últimos anos da Re ...more
Ed
Feb 11, 2013 Ed rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Roman crime and historical fiction fans.
I am not a big fan of short stories so I started this book, more with the idea that it would make the other Gordianus stories more understandable than with a desire to read a bunch of short stories. The stories are all chronologically in order and cover the period between book one in the series and book two.

“Death Wears a Mask" - Murder at a theater.

“The Tale Of the Treasure House" – Bethesda, Gordianus ex-slave and current wife tells a story about a courtesan who captures a thief who robbed a
...more
Seth
If you haven't read any of Steven Saylor's novels about Gordianus the Finder, these short stories would be an uneven introduction. Go read one of the other books first. Or get someone to pick the stories that will be most appealing and rely least on knowing the characters already.

If you are already a fan of Gordianus, these stories are loads of fun. They are more in the "old detectives reminiscing about cases" tradition than the novels are, which might put some people off. Several stories are to
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Vicki Cline
This is a series of short stories dealing with Gordianus' life between the end of Roman Blood and the beginning of Arms of Nemesis. Eco is still mute but can communicate well with Gordianus by gesture. Lucius Claudius, Gordianus' patrician friend who leaves him a farm in Catilina's Riddle is in many of these stories. The final one, "The House of the Vestals" includes Catilina as well as Cicero, where Gordianus has to solve a murder committed in the House of the Vestals. Another good one is "King ...more
Bruce
Sep 25, 2008 Bruce rated it 1 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: nobody
A short review of The House of the Vestals, a short book of short detective stories set in late Republican Rome featuring Saylor's protagonist Gordianus the Finder. Like his unrelated anthology Roma, which I just reviewed at greater length, it ain't subtle. Steven Saylor's the kind of author who likes to name his grudge-bearing stepsons "Furius" and his beekeepers "Ursus." The story from which this collection takes its name isn't even a mystery, just ambiance and anticlimax. Our hero is summoned ...more
Herlock
After Marcus Didius Falco, Gordinus (called "the Finder") is second PI working in Rome I have come across. Well, technically he is a a century or so older than Falco, living in the last days of Roman Republic. Another difference, Gordinus will seem more prosperous than Falco (he owns at least one slave, and mingles with people like Cicero etc.)

A note to the readers of Falco: these mysteries seem a lot more serious (and crimes and resolutions dark) than most of Falco mysteries. Probably because w
...more
Leigh-ann
This is a collection of short stories from Steven Saylor's "Roma Sub Rosa" series. Although the book is the 6th in the series, the stories take place in the time period between the first and second novels, which is why I'm reading this title prior to picking up "Arms of Nemesis". I didn't enjoy these quite as much as I enjoyed Saylor's first novel, but only because the short story format doesn't allow for much character or tension buildup. I also found the mystery plots to be pretty formulaic an ...more
Kt Thames
This is a collection of short stories, the 6th book written but chronologically it comes 2nd in the series. I am not a great fan of short stories, but it was a quick read.
Kim Jackson
This is a collection of short stories, the 6th book written but chronologically it comes 2nd in the series. I am not a great fan of short stories, but it was a quick read.
Djrmel
A collection of nine short stories that fall chronologically between the first and second book in Saylor's Roma Sub Rosa series. These are more (small) mysteries that involve Gordianus the Finder, some touching on historical figures (Cicero is back, and there's a story inspired by a young and brash Julius Caesar) and well as show some of the cultural differences between the Romans and the Egyptians. Master/slave relationships come up in every story, I suspect getting more attention than they rea ...more
Argum
This book is not so much a book or an entry in the series as it is an interlude. Several short stories that fill in some gaps from earlier in the I was expecting the much discussed story of the House of the Vestals. I found that one especially to provide nothing new to the series we heard almost all of that in Catalina's Riddle. Nothing too exciting, but nice little vignettes and it was nice to get to know the benefactor we see later effects of.
Ian
Oct 09, 2014 Ian rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommended to Ian by: ireide@graduate.uwa.edu.au
A short story collection. Each is entertaining, and well written, though I prefer novel length to shorts.
Willo Font
This is actually the seoond book on thei series if you look at it chronologically. It collects nine investigations by Gordianus the Finder between the years 80 and 72 B.C.
Kim
This is a fine collection of short stories featuring Gordianus the Finder set between the novels, "Roman Blodd" and "Arms of Nemesis".

Includes:

Death Wears a Mask (adopts Eco)
The Tale of the Treasure House
A Will is the Way (meets Lucius Claudius)
The Lemures
Little Caesar and the Pirates (meets Belbo)
The Disappearance of the Saturnalia Silver
King Bee and Honey
The Alexandrian Cat (recounts an adventure from his youth
in Alexandria)
The House of Vestals
Elizabeth
This series is very fun. Goodreads is showing this as the 6th but its more like the 2nd - apparently there's a gap of 8 years between the 1st and 2nd books and the House of Vestals is a series of short stories that take place during that 8 year gap.

Anywho, the main character is Gordianus the Finder, a ancient Roman version of a private investigator. The author knows his way around a plot and develops the characters enough to make them interesting. I'll be reading and possibly buying this series
...more
Mike
This sixth book in the series was a collection of short stories meant to explain the eight year gap between the first and second books in the series. There is not much to say about these stories. I am being generous with the four stars. I think the best way to explain it is that if you enjoy this series, these stories are interesting and enjoyable. If you read this as your first exposure to this series, you probably would not find it very impressive.
Dev
A slight book of stories that are inviting but spare. The Roman culture and the period setting is always interesting. After reading this and a few others in the series, my main problem is that the main character is a bit of a wimp, who gets himself out of jams mostly by the timely intercession of others. After awhile I began to expect this; however, books are good enough for me to read the next, though its not high up on my book reading queue.
Rob
9 short stories for Gordianus the Finder. Similar style to A Gladiator Dies Only Once. Saylor attempts to fill in some of the gaps within the Roma Sub Rosa series and does draw on some good Roman historical backdrop. I just prefer the traditional 300 page murder mystery route for Gordianus. Some of the short stores are good and some not as good. If you are new to Roma Sub Rosa, then wait at least 4-5 books before reading this one.
Dustin
Saylor's brand of fiction set in ancient Rome really intrigues me, but before committing myself to any of his long-form stuff, I wanted to get a sense of what he is all about. This collection of short stories was the perfect introduction. The little Sherlock Holmes-esque mysteries introduce the character of Gordianus the Finder quite nicely and show Saylor's attention to ancient Roman detail. Now on to the longer books!
Bonnie
I really have liked all the books by Mr. Saylor that I've read and this book was certainly no exception. There is an assortment of mysteries, only a few of which involve murder. Gordianus, the main character and narrator, has help from his female slave Bethesda and adopted son Eco, each of which solve a mystery.
Fernando Delfim
É um dos títulos da série Roma Sub Rosa e comprei-o enganado, pois não sabia que era um livro de contos (e não é referido nada sobre isso na capa). Mas acabou por ser uma boa surpresa! Para quem goste de policiais históricos recomenda-se. No entanto se não conhece esta série é preferível começar pelo 'Sangue Romano'.
Barry Nabbs
The second in the series and an anthology of stories covering 8 years of the Finder.
I always have mixed views on the short stories as some almost are fillers (but then some of the novels are padded out at times).
I enjoy the relationships though and the title story is my favourite.
Sandi
Saylor proves the master of the short form too with these stories that fill in the gaps between the first and second novels in the series. Probably my favorite historical series. I have given all of them a top rating so far.
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Steven Saylor is the author of the long running Roma Sub Rosa series featuring Gordianus the Finder, as well as the New York Times bestselling novel, Roma and its follow-up, Empire. He has appeared as an on-air expert on Roman history and life on The History Channel.

Saylor was born in Texas and graduated with high honors from The University of Texas at Austin, where he studied history and classi
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More about Steven Saylor...
Roma (Roma, #1) Roman Blood (Roma Sub Rosa, #1) Arms of Nemesis (Roma Sub Rosa, #2) Catilina's Riddle (Roma Sub Rosa, #3) A Murder on the Appian Way (Roma Sub Rosa, #5)

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