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The Dead Virgins (The India Sommers Mysteries #1)

3.64  ·  Rating Details ·  489 Ratings  ·  59 Reviews
India Sommers is a librarian and a talented historian, so when a stranger asks her opinion on an ancient coin she is happy to oblige but when the same man is murdered less than an hour later, it soon becomes apparent that there is far more to the situation than meets the eye.

Recognising her unique talents for historical reference, she is quickly recruited by Brandon Walk
Kindle Edition, 323 pages
Published December 10th 2013 by Silverback Books (first published July 24th 2011)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Jun 29, 2012 Paul rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Choosing a work of historical fiction can be something of a Marmite moment for me, you either love it or hate it, but in this instance I'm pleased to say I loved it.

What makes this book stand apart from others is that the author has beautifully entwined both the historical with the modern. This creates a thrilling tale that not only provides us with a colourful insight into life in ancient Rome, through the telling of Rubria's story and that of her escape from the tyrannical Nero, it also envelo
Apr 24, 2012 Sarah rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
A potentially good storyline spoiled in my view by a very unsophisticated and rather annoying hero and heroine. It was as if, at times, I was reading something from the 'Famous Five' series. Very 'jolly hockey sticks' in humour. The heroine often kicks and punches the hero in a teenage 'mock indignant' fashion throughout the book. Whilst in Rome they both drooled over beef and yorkshire pudding rather than the "foreign muck"(!). In fact the author seemed to relish talking about very plain & ...more
Mar 07, 2016 Michelle rated it liked it
Probably 2.5 stars. I enjoyed the storyline, but the writing style didn't really work for me. I didn't ever really connect with the two central characters, either.
Sep 19, 2013 Denise rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The story had potential but it didn't flow. The characters were 2 dimensional and very annoying. There was no tension or excitement built by the narrative. I probably won't be reading the sequels.
Dec 09, 2014 Marian rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I found this book in a Facebook promotion group. The synopsis immediately caught my attention. From the first paragraph K.M. Ashman had me. I couldn't put the book down. I've told everyone about it, and now they are reading it and texting me how much they love it.
It is unique in that one chapter is in 2010 and the next in 64 AD and how the two tie into each other. The mystery and flow of the story were excellent.
India Sommers, librarian and old coin aficionado, is going about her normal business when a mysterious man stumbles into her library, asks her to examine a curious ancient coin, stumbles back out, and is murdered. When the enigmatic Brandon Walker asks for her aid to tie the artifact to a high-profile kidnapping and a string of brutal murders, India is thrown into a breakneck adventure that leads her all over Europe as well as back in the past. The novel deftly interweaves the 64AD narrative of ...more
Katherine Coble

So. Many. Infodumps.
This book is yet another DaVinci Code clone, where comparative religious studies are mined to create a (not very thrilling) thriller, complete with typos and misspellings galore. (People do not worship at an "alter".)
The historical details were mildly interesting. Nothing else was. Oddly enough the historical details--told in protracted infodumps--are the best part of the book. The rest of it is chasing around England and Greece to find clues. Both of the modern day hero
Dec 27, 2014 Kathie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
While I appreciated the amount of research the author completed to write this and found the subject interesting, his writing was much too sophomoric for my taste. And the large number of unedited typos always annoys me.
Elizabeth Grieve
A promising book but spoiled by complete lack of proofreading, resulting in the many, many errors distracting too much from the story.

This was a free Kindle copy.
Jun 22, 2013 Melody rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
So many errors it detracted from the story. Great premise, but edit your book before you publish it please!
Michele bookloverforever
alternates between 94 and 2010 in alternating chapters. I found the story about the Crystal virgin more interesting than the one set in modern times.
Jun 12, 2015 Blagica rated it it was ok
Shelves: read-in-2015
this was an okay read. I wanted more history then i did present day but for a free book it was good
Dolores Ayotte
Jun 16, 2012 Dolores Ayotte rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"The Dead Virgins" by Author Kevin Ashman is a well-written, suspense/mystery novel. I thorougly enjoyed the double plot between Rubria...Rome 54 AD, the ancient Vestal Virgin...and the disappearance of a young girl in London 2010. The author masterfully ties these stories together to create a captivating style of writing which drew me in right at the onset.

India Sommers, a librarian with a penchant for studying old coins, has knowledge of both Greek and Roman history. After the mysterious murde
Babus Ahmed
Apr 01, 2013 Babus Ahmed rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This epic piece of historical fiction weaves modern day with Rome 64 AD. We follow the fate of Rubria, a child chosen to be a Vestal Virgin serving the Great Mother Goddess, Vesta. Meanwhile present day abductions and killings of young girls escalates in the Prime Minister's niece, 10 year old Camille, being abducted and a link to Roman artefacts.

Intriguing and suspenseful though this book is I found it informative and enlightening about Roman culture. If you enjoy historical fiction about the
Nov 22, 2015 Catherine rated it liked it
My rating is actually 3 1/2 stars.

This is the first in the new India Sommers mysteries, and it shoots out of the gate. India is a British librarian with expertise as a numismatist and history lecturer at a local college who has been asked to evaluate a necklace of ancient origin. (Sound familiar?) She becomes a slightly unwilling participant in a modern conspiracy that has roots in the ancient Rome of Nero's reign. The investigation takes her on a roundabout tour of locales that I rarely read a
Wendy Unsworth
Review to follow.

The Dead Virgins is a quick and enjoyable read. I don't know a great deal about the historical period in the book ( Ancient Rome) but it all sounded 'right' as if the author had done plenty of research.
The book alternates back and forth between Nero's Rome and the present day where India ( a specialist in the period) and Brandon , a Special Forces operative are about to team up to solve an ancient mystery.
Even though there were a few jarring moments in the historical sections
Jan 21, 2016 Shanon rated it liked it
The tale was reasonably well blended between the present and past excerpts, and the history explained simply enough to be followed by someone who isn't already familiar with the timeline.

Unfortunately, the heroine was just a little too annoying, which made it difficult to hold interest in following the mystery. The flirtation between the hero and heroine was juvenile, with frequent slapping and poking on the heroine's part. It was also hard to believe, and frankly felt like something that had b
Mar 02, 2016 Nigel rated it liked it
An enjoyable read but from my point of view this was wrongly categorised on Amazon as an historical mystery whereas I would say this was an adventure. For me it was more in the genre of a Dirk Pitt adventure /thriller where the hunt for an historical artefact is a race against time to beat the well organised violent opposition to it.
I liked the characters but I did feel it was a bit unrealistic that a librarian after discovering the body of a murder victim would willingly jump into an unknown
Sep 15, 2013 M.B. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
From the very first page, this book is compelling and pulls you into the story straight away.

The differing timelines that the chaptering is split into, isn't confusing at all as it gives a well rounded plot. The 64BC storyline compliments the 2010 plot as the reader learns, alongside Brandon, about the history of The Vesta Virgins and the Palldium (not the theatre in London).

The pace is consistent and this keeps the reader engaged and rooting for India and Brandon on their quest to find, not onl
Grace Elliot
Sep 04, 2013 Grace Elliot rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I 'bought' this book after being altered to it as a freebie. It isn't the genre I usually read but was attracted by the historical element.
The story takes place in two different time periods - Rome at the time of the Emperor Nero, and the modern day. There are no annoying 'time-slip' passages but the distinct time periods are kept separate and help to add detail and texture to the story.
I surprised myself by loving this book. The author is definitely a talented story-teller who kept me turning
Mar 22, 2016 Angela rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed the story, it was different and imaginative, but the poor editing spoilt the reading for me. There were very elementary errors in the writing, such as mixing up "their" and "they're", and not just the once either. There were many instances of incorrect spelling and grammar, and also the incorrect usage of capitalization which although some people may not mind, I found it grated on my nerves. However, the biggest bug-bear for me was the constant usage of the word "okay" being ...more
Dorothy Gagnon
Oct 03, 2014 Dorothy Gagnon rated it it was amazing

When I began the first chapter I was caught off guard with the story going years back to Rome in 54 AD. Once my interest was captured with thie start of this mystery,I continued reading Chapter 2 where the mystery began in the year 2010, and the reasons the author brought you there was quite unique and very interesting.

The book keeps on in this manner every other chapter capturing your attention while relating the tale that involves Ancient Romans and it's virgin's to the present case
Nov 17, 2015 Sara rated it really liked it
A great combination of historical fiction and intrigue. The novel switched between Rome 64 AD and London 2010. In Rome it was the time of Emperor Nero and the Great Fires that destroyed most of the city. The story begins with Rubria- a Vestal Virgin as she leaves home and becomes a priestess to the goddess Vesta. Later she is introduced to Nero and the story unfolds there. In modern London, librarian India Sommers becomes entangled with an ancient coin, a dead man and later a secretive British ...more
Aug 16, 2015 Carolyn marked it as abandoned
I abandoned this book after about 10% read. I found the characterization unrealistic and I just couldn't find any sympathy for the main character. On the one hand she had prodigious historical knowledge, yet I thought her foul mouthed and childish. I see there are many many 5 star reviews and I congratulate Mr. Ashman on publishing a book that has garnered respect. But it's a matter of taste and what appeals to one will not to another. This review is entirely personal and not a criticism of his ...more
Roger Neilson
Mar 23, 2015 Roger Neilson rated it liked it
Easy reading, Indiana Jones and conspiracy theories. Lots of 'derring do' and the usual secret society stuff.

Actually the best bits for me were the early part of the plot start involving the library and the Romand flashbacks. Once it got into SAS and unlimited credit cards etc etc it paled a bit.

Could do with some pruning in places..... Example -
They walked into the typical english country pub an approached the bar.
'Good afternoon'said the landlord.
'Good afternoon' said Brandon, 'A pint of smoo
Really good historical fiction. The story is told my switching between the past and present. Along the lines of Roanoke Vanishing by Auburn Seal (nice plug huh!!). It is well written and kept me guessing which is so nice!! Each time period was well represented with enough detail to make a picture in my mind of what and where. There was just enough conflict between good and bad. I did feel bad for the cabbie and thought Brandon should have at least acknowledged him in the end--missing piece I ...more
Jun 24, 2016 Anameeka rated it liked it
Not bad. Wish there had been more characterization/ emotional depth in the modern characters. About 1/3rd of the book is told in the past and I really liked that part. The rest of the book was a decent action thriller mystery. The history is pretty sound so I really liked that. Ashman really grounded his plot in authentic accurate history with nice detail touches, and made is fairly plausible. The main hero Brandon is nicely BAMF with out being a dumb jock, and our main heroine is smart and no ...more
Mar 15, 2015 Bob rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was an unexpected pleasure. Two intersecting plot lines, one from the first century, one in the 21st. A cult of vestal virgins disguised as a catholic sect of nuns. Kidnappings. Murder. And all of it skillfully spun into this book. I'd be hard pressed to think of anything bad to say about this book. The only reason it doesn't get 5 stars is that it doesn't raise itself to the level of Art. It's just a damn good book.
❀ Hana
Really good storyline (such a page turner) and well researched historical background but I was a bit put off by humongous grammatical errors. My English is not that good, but I find it quite annoying to read 'your' or 'their' when the correct usage is 'you're' and 'they're' respectively. I rated this book as 4 3 stars purely for the great storyline. Nevertheless, I'm looking forward to read 'Roman: The Fall of Britannia' by the same author.
M.C. Rayne
Sep 01, 2013 M.C. Rayne rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This isn't the kind of book I would normally read, but this is one I am glad I had the opportunity to experience. The Dead Virgins has an intriguing plot, and moved from 64AD to 2010, giving the reader two sides of a great story. Other than a few slight grammar errors (and I am no grammar master), this book is fantastic and do not effect the readers enjoyment.

I will be reading more from this author, once I finish my current reading list, especially more of his India Sommers mysteries.
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Married for 31 years to the lovely Jan. with four wonderful grown up children.

I took the decision to write full time a few years ago and now make my living as a full time author with eighteen books published so far and another 2 due out in January and July 2017.

Links to my books, poetry and short stories can be found on my website at...
More about K.M. Ashman...

Other Books in the Series

The India Sommers Mysteries (4 books)
  • The Treasures of Suleiman (The India Sommers Mysteries #2)
  • The Mummies of the Reich (The India Sommers Mysteries, #3)
  • The Tomb Builders (The India Sommers Mysteries, #4)

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