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SPQR IV: The Temple of the Muses
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SPQR IV: The Temple of the Muses (SPQR #4)

4.06 of 5 stars 4.06  ·  rating details  ·  518 ratings  ·  21 reviews
When Roman junior senator Decius Caecilius Metellus the Younger has a chance to join a diplomatic mission to Alexandria, he welcomes the opportunity to temporarily elude his enemies in the Eternal City-even though it means leaving his beloved Rome. Decius is just beginning to enjoy the outpost's many exotic pleasures when the suspicious death of an irascible philosopher oc ...more
ebook, 240 pages
Published April 1st 2007 by Minotaur Books (first published 1992)
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Joyce Lagow
Deciding that cowardice is the better part of valor, Decius, who has once more antagonized the powerful politicians of Rome, leaves the city for Alexandria, where his kinsman, Quintus Caecilius Metellus Creticus (a historical figure), is on a diplomatic mission to King Ptolemy of Egypt. Despite being away from his beloved Rome, Decius is having a high old time, especially since his girlfriend Julia is there to enjoy Alexandria's vast cultural heritage; the most famous is the throne-supported Lib ...more
Another excellent Decius Metellus mystery. This time the novelty is to shift the setting from Rome to Alexandria as Decius is sent there to assist a relative in the Roman diplomatic mission there - not to mention to steer clear of his enemies in Rome and theoretically to stay out of trouble. Of course, Decius can do no such thing and soon enough a Greek philosopher turns up dead in the titular temple and Decius prevails upon the Pharaoh to investigate. As with previous novels, the simple murder ...more
Lance McMurchy
Quite a good little story. There were lots of running through streets, fights and general disobedience. I suppose they are things that makes thing interesting, but not very roman except may be the fighting. The encounter Decius had with the young Cleopatra was quite interesting, and seems to have stood out to me. As well as the visit to the Daphne, with a Greek prostitute, for the obvious reasons. Looking forward to reading more in the series.
I had never read a mystery set in Roman gladiator times (50 BC) before. I was pleasantly surprised by John Maddox Roberts "The Temple of the Muses" with its vivid descriptions of a time and place I knew little about. A real treat from the protagonist, Decius Caecilius Metellus, whose droll sense of humor and ability to get into and out of trouble must in some way reflect his creator. I couldn't help but laugh at his antics while simultaneously following the intricate plot. The author also educat ...more
These books are quick reads due to the fast-moving plots. This time our hero (Decius Caecilius Metellus the Younger) travels to Alexandria, Egypt, in the time of Pharaoh Ptolemy (the "flute player") and his young daughter, Cleopatra.

A murder occurs and Decius is called in to investigate. As usual, he has many things on his mind during his hunt for the killer. Not least of these is how he can promote his own political career that seems to have slowed to a halt.

My favorite part of the book is wh
Randomly found this book on our shelves a few weeks ago and decided to pick it up. This was a VERY quick read, even despite all the Roman and Greek names. Though the setting is Alexandria during the Roman era, the main characters came off as being somewhat more contemporary in their speech/thoughts than I would have expected. This is especially true of Decius (the main character), who comes off somewhat like Sherlock Holmes (the new bad boy version), but less exalted and definitely less British. ...more
Shannon Appelcline
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Vicki Cline
Decius Caecilius Metellus has gone to Alexandria as part of a diplomatic mission with his relative Quintus Caecilius Metellus Creticus (a real historical person). While he's there, one of the scholars at the Museum is murdered, and Decius can't resist getting involved. We (and he) meet several historical personages, including Cleopatra and the Egyptian general Achillas. Decius' impertinent slave Hermes is along with him, as is his friend and doctor Asklepiodes, who gets Decius out from under a m ...more
For once, the exile isn't skipped over, here we find our friend Decius in Alexandria once again deemed by the family better out of Rome. Of course, he quickly finds his way into trouble once again. This time he finds himself investigating the murder of a scholar from the Library of Alexandria and stumbles into so much more. We meet the whole set of Ptolemys - Ptolemy, Berenice, and Cleopatra. The general who later kills Pompey is lurking about as well. Fun mystery and nie look at younger version ...more
Georgina Ortiz
There's a great deal of running in this book, with Decius Metellus escaping from quite a number of enemies. The setting of the story was in Ancient Egypt's Alexandria, made even more exotic by the author's vivid descriptions.

The plot was okay; I liked the story's details (e.g. description of Alexandria, the dialogues, the characters esp. the Metellii) better. However, there were many many parts which I found exceedingly funny. Decius is turning out to be quite the comic.

The Kindle format of thi
Elizabeth Scheller williams
Another good series which I've read all of and again as soon as they come out.
A far better book than the previous two and we have the return of Decius' cynical smart ass humour. Still loyal to Rome and the Senate, he isn't the flag waving "my country love it or leave it" ultra conservative of Book three. The characters were enjoyable and while perhaps not entirely three dimensional, they were far from boring. Happily Asklepiodes has a decent part in the action and a moment in the limelight. I look forward to more with Julia as well.
I would say that this book is the best I've read in this series. Its setting of Alexandria, as well as the main character's reactions to it, really adds to the story. The mystery is involving and the character's tendencies for getting into trouble with his own relatives as well as the "bad guys" makes it fun. His fiancee Julia makes a good sidekick as she is more grounded than Decius.
Diana Sandberg
Decius gets up to his usual mayhem, this time in Alexandria. A few annoying errors, mostly typographical – and I’ll stretch that point for using “augur” when “auger” was meant – otherwise, amusing and diverting. I enjoyed the change of venue and the glimpse of 10yo Cleopatra, too
Aug 04, 2008 Dorothy rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Those insterested in the history of ancient Rome and well-written and plotted mystery.
More on the history of ancient Rome in the time of the Caesars as seen through the eyes of Decius Caecilius Metellus who is frequently called upon to investigate mysteries in high places. These stories are particularly interesting for their insights into everyday life in ancient Rome.
I enjoyed Roberts rendering of ancient Alexandria. His research and descriptions are as always impeccable. While I enjoyed this story as well, I missed Decius being in Rome and some of the usual cast of characters.
A very good Decius mystery which made me laugh out loud numerous times. Historical detective story can hardly get much better without losing a certain charm.
A mystery of sorts, set in late Ptolemaic Egypt with a visiting Roman senator. Nice evocation of the setting and characters, while the plot lumbered a bit.
A good read (as it were). I feel like Roberts is hitting his stred with this series.
Another really good installment in the SPQR historical mystery series.
Elena. (theresmiling)
My edition: German Audiobook - Audible exklusiv, gelesen von Erich Räuker
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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...

Other Books in the Series

SPQR (1 - 10 of 13 books)
  • The King's Gambit (SPQR, #1)
  • SPQR II: The Catiline Conspiracy (SPQR, #2)
  • SPQR III: The Sacrilege (SPQR, #3)
  • SPQR V: Saturnalia (SPQR, #5)
  • SPQR VI: Nobody Loves a Centurion (SPQR, #6)
  • SPQR VII: The Tribune's Curse (SPQR, #7)
  • SPQR VIII: The River God's Vengeance (SPQR, #8)
  • SPQR IX: The Princess and the Pirates (SPQR, #9)
  • SPQR X: A Point of Law (SPQR, #10)
  • SPQR XI: Under Vesuvius (SPQR, #11)
The King's Gambit (SPQR, #1) SPQR II: The Catiline Conspiracy (SPQR, #2) SPQR III: The Sacrilege (SPQR, #3) SPQR V: Saturnalia (SPQR, #5) SPQR VI: Nobody Loves a Centurion (SPQR, #6)

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