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SPQR II: The Catiline Conspiracy
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SPQR II: The Catiline Conspiracy (SPQR #2)

3.91 of 5 stars 3.91  ·  rating details  ·  651 ratings  ·  36 reviews
It was a summer of glorious triumph for the mighty Roman Republic. Her invincible legions had brought all foreign enemies to their knees. But in Rome there was no peace. The streets were flooded with the blood of murdered citizens, and there were rumors of more atrocities to come. Decius Caecilius Metellus the Younger was convinced a conspiracy existed to overthrow the gov ...more
ebook, 288 pages
Published April 1st 2007 by Minotaur Books (first published 1991)
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(showing 1-30 of 912)
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Georgina Ortiz
I enjoyed this second installment of J.M. Roberts' SPQR series. Though I was familiar with Catilina's character (the bearded suspects were no suspense for me anymore), there were a lot of very good parts in the novel; I had a good fill of history, witticisms, useful Latin adages, and plain clever humor (that made me laugh out loud a number of times).

The Catiline Conspiracy makes me look forward to the third book in this series, which is a great thing. It only means more of Ancient Rome for me.
Lance McMurchy
Well, it is more of the same from John. I did enjoy the book, even though it was on the back of other books that have dealt with the Catiline plot to over throw the government. This, for me, took away the suspense of the novel. In fact, it was not much of a mystery, more of explanation of the historical event from the perspective of government questor, being recruited into the group of conspirators.
I think have 'done the dash' with this conspiracy.
Joyce Lagow
In 63 B.C.E., Lucius Sergius Catilina, an aristocrat from one of the oldest families in Rome, planned a coup d'etat to overthrow the Roman Senate as then constituted. Cicero was Consul that year, at the height of his power. The Catiline Conspiracy, as it is now know, was discovered in the nick of time. Catilina himself escaped from Rome, but many of his fellow conspirators were arrested. Cicero, claiming emergency powers, ordered the execution without trial of 6 of the conspirators. His action, ...more
Whoever wrote the blurb for this book didn't read the same story I did. "The streets were flooded with the blood of murdered citizens," it says. I counted five murders, each carried out in a fairly circumspect fashion. A city who could still remember the proscriptions of Sulla hardly blinked an eye at five mundane murders. The blurb is actually the most dramatic part of this book.

I learned a fair amount, not only about the Catiline conspiracy but also about various customs of the time such as th
Christine E.
I haven't finished this because I kept losing the thread of the plot, so I decided to move onto something else. I didn't dislike it, though, and will pick it up another time when I'm in the mood for it. I think I'd prefer reading this one to listening to it.
Jeffrey Rasley
I listened to it on audiobook, so the experience is not the same as reading. I find that I miss some details on audio that I pick up when reading, because it seems easier to re-read than to play back. Not sure why that is. But, seems to me there were two problems with "Conspiracy".

I had not read the preceding book in the SPQR series nor any of the others, so this was my first exposure to John Maddox Roberts. At several points in the book, there were details about Decius that were unexplained. Hi
Shannon Appelcline
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Second listening of this book. Wanted to hear it immediately after listening to the Roma Sub Rosa series' Catalina's Riddle. While in this book Catalina is a more straightforward character, the historical details are much richer and organic to the story.
Decius Caecilius Metellus the Younger is back in Rome, and although he is in charge of the treasury now, a chance discovery leads him to a conspiracy to topple the Roman government. When he links this to a series of murders, Decius' investigations lead him into a dangerous game of spying and infiltration that could lead to his own demise or that of one of his oldest allies.

Another excellent mystery set in the time of Rome. The complex nature of Roman society is easily explained by the author, ye
Roman intrigue. The description of the festivals and the horse racing was terrific.
I do enjoy the historical details about daily routines and Roman political life. The mystery of the main plot was a bit difficult to track, listening to the audio version and trying to sort out those names and alliances. Since books are narrated from Decius' old age, I can't feel he's ever in any real peril. After this 2nd book in the series, the main fault for me is the lack of any three-dimensional female characters so far. That's not egregious enough to put me off the series, though. I look f ...more
Steve Clark
Mystery of a sort set in the waning days of the Roman Republic. A low level Roman official (quaestor) tries to figure out who is killing wealthy bankers and why.
An enjoyable historical mystery that used the same historical event for the plot as Catilina's Riddle which I read a number of years ago. Roman intrigue and politics are always interesting and the young hero of this series is very engaging. Listened to the audio version which was ably narrated by Simon Vance.
Ένα βιβλίο που δεν με ενθουσίασε. Ενώ η ιστορία μπορεί να ήταν ενδιαφέρουσα η γλώσσα ήταν πάρα πολύ κουραστική. Πολύ απλοϊκή και το γράψιμο τόσο καθημερινό και βαρετό. Δεν ξέρω αν φταίει ο μεταφραστής ή ο ίδιος ο συγγραφέας. Είναι πάντως πολύ λυπηρό η γλώσσα να είναι ο λόγος που δεν μου αρέσει ένα βιβλίο. Με κάνει να προτιμώ να διαβάζω το πρωτότυπο αντί για μεταφρασμένα στα ελληνικά βιβλία.
I have no idea why I enjoy this series as much as I do. It's not fantastically written, the sex scene wasn't necessary, and the characters don't really seem to grow, but I enjoy it all the same. Again, I'm reminded of Sherlock Holmes stories, and it's an interesting twist to have a "cozy mystery" combined with bloodthristy Romans. I'll be continuing this series.
Siegfried Gony
C'est mal écrit !! Il y a des incohérences, des répétitions mot pour mot qui reviennent plusieurs fois, sans même chercher un effet de style, je pense à Bégaudeau, non, je comprends même pas que les correcteurs aient laissé passé ça. Mais c'est aussi une enquète sur la fin de la République et c'est une leçon d'histoire que j'adore, parmi mes préférés...
The ending was terribly anti-climatic and the action rather vague. The personalities of the peoples involved were well drawn and lush as well as stage on which they moved. Also notably lacking was the dry, sardonic humour of the first volume. Decius seemed more given to patriot "My city, love it or leave it" types of musings this time.
While not as strong as the first book, I still enjoyed this installment. The Catalinarian conspiracy has been tackled by a lot of authors, and I enjoyed that Roberts spends significant time with Cataline himself. Also his descriptions of Rome, its people, festivals, architecture, and political structure, continue to impress.
I'm a fan of the Gordianus' roman mysteries and these share some similarity: murders, a good rinse in Roman mores and milieu, and a fairly likable protagonist. I set a rather low bar and this novel barely vaults over it w/almost no plot to speak of but enough of the Roman history to keep me reading this thin book.
Good sequel to the first book. I enjoy the peculiar combo of mystery, history, and historical fiction in this series. It's light enough for me to pick it up and go through it in a couple days, but it does such a fine job of world-building that it draws on my imagination too.
Audiobook read by Simon Vance
Series continues well. Rather taken aback by how I have managed to miss so many as I thought I was fairly well up on this genre. My local library seems to have missed Roberts, so it looks as if I need to take out a loan to buy the audiobooks
Kathy  Petersen
I am undecided about the three stars: it wasn't all that much of a mystery but rather a story set in the late Roman Republic in all its gory, convoluted politics. I will give Decius another opportunity to prove himself a true (if amateur) detective of the period.
Entertaining mystery, but I never found myself really engaged by the story. the backdrop is an actual event in Roman history, but the story ends up being more about the political intrigue than the murders, and I read a murder mystery for the murders!
If this had been written as an historical novel I would have rated it four stars. The history, the anthropology were great. But it was sadly lacking in mystery. Still, I enjoy the writing enough to go on to book three in the series.
Aug 04, 2008 Dorothy rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People interested in ancient Rome and those who love a well-crafted mystery
Second in this very interesting series is a take on one of the most confusing incidents of ancient Roman history. Roberts' take on it offers new perspective on the subject and it is a fascinating read.
Ak Hauck

Great fun. As a fan of Cicero, I especially enjoyed reading the attitudes of fellow Romans over the actions he took during the Catiline conspiracy. Look forward to reading through this series.
I really enjoy this series, but didn't enjoy this book in the series as much as the two others I've read, most likely because I liked Steven Saylor's mystery featuring Catalina's conspiracy better.
I'm amazed how much historical knowledge the author has about the time period this book is written in and I'm also glad there is a glossery in the back of the book.
Read this because we had talked about Catiline in our Latin class. A fun mystery. Not sure how historically accurate everything was, but it certainly felt realistic.
Extremely convoluted political goings on in Ancient Rome. Seemed to exist mostly of description of who was conspiring with whom in what faction.
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  • Catilina's Riddle (Roma Sub Rosa, #3)
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aka Mark Ramsay

John Maddox Roberts is the author of numerous works of science fiction and fantasy, in addition to his successful historical SPQR mystery series. The first two books in the series have recently been re-released in trade paperback. He lives in New Mexico with his wife.
More about John Maddox Roberts...
SPQR I: The King's Gambit (SPQR, #1) SPQR III: The Sacrilege (SPQR, #3) SPQR V: Saturnalia (SPQR, #5) SPQR IV: The Temple of the Muses (SPQR, #4) SPQR VI: Nobody Loves a Centurion (SPQR, #6)

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