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Caveat Emptor (Medicus Investigation #4)

3.91 of 5 stars 3.91  ·  rating details  ·  1,184 ratings  ·  136 reviews
In her fourth novel, Ruth Downie brings to life the corruption and treachery of Roman-occupied Britain, as it closes in on her winsome leading man, Gaius Petreius Ruso.

Ruso and Tilla, now newlyweds, have moved back to Britannia, where Ruso's old friend and colleague Valens has promised to help him find work. But it isn't the kind of work he'd had in mind-Ruso is tasked wit
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published December 21st 2010 by Bloomsbury USA (first published 2010)
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Jul 29, 2011 Terence rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Mystery & historical fiction fans
The fourth book in Ruth Downie’s mystery series about Gaius Petreius Ruso, erstwhile medicus of the XX Legion, finds him and his new bride Tilla (aka Darlughdacha) back in Britain. Wanting to get as far away from his family as possible, Ruso has returned to Londinium looking for a job. His friend Valens, another former legionary doctor, helpfully “volunteers” him for an assignment with the Procurator’s office. An assignment that has nothing to do with medicine: Julius Asper, Verulamium’s tax col ...more
Rachel Thompson
To me this one was really a letdown in the series, which is sad because I spent more on this one than I really wanted to, and it was the shortest installment.

Ruso and Tilla have returned to Britannia where Valens has promised to find Ruso a job. When Ruso arrives, however, he learns the job is as an investigator rather than a doctor. By this time it should be no surprise that a mystery is afoot and bodies are piling up. And even though Tilla and Ruso are married, their relationship is still not
Kathy Davie
Fourth in the Gaius Petreius Ruso Roman mystery series---the series keeps changing with more of a government and politics air than military in this installment.

Caveat Emptor begins oddly. I feel as though I've missed a story as, previously in Persona Non Grata, we're left believing Ruso and Tilla are off to Rome to track down stolen money instead, it's two years later and Ruso and Tilla are married, Ruso is unemployed, and, for some reason, they're sailing back to Britain (mostly for Tilla's sak
Rebecca Huston
In this, the fourth book in the Gaius Petreius Ruso novels, Ruso and his bride Tilla have returned to Britannia to start their lives as a married couple. However, it's not going to be as easy as it seems, as Ruso finds himself dragged into an investigation to find a missing tax-collector and more importantly, the money he was transporting. Along with that, there's rival native tribes, a very pregnant Iceni woman, native councils ready to betray each other for a denarii, and all sorts of mayhem. ...more
Old Firehouse Books
Wow! I really enjoyed this book. It's apparently the fourth in the Medicus series, but this is the first one I've read. I will now go back and read the first three. The book's main character is a Roman doctor, recently discharged from the army. He has married a Scottish woman named Tilla, and the book takes place in the environs of London in the year AD 120. I loved how you could just dig into the historical details in the book- I felt like a time traveler. Tilla and Ruso, her husband, both have ...more
A pregnant Iceni woman, a descendent of the fearsome Boudica, bursts into Britain’s procurator’s office claiming that her husband has been murdered and did not steal the tax money. Ruso, freshly back from Gaul and in need of work – any work – takes on the job of investigator. What he uncovers exposes the delicate peace between Rome and even the most “civilized” British tribes.

The Ruso series is written in a fairly straightforward and often humorous style. Ruso’s (and occasionally Tilla’s) commen
Gary E
I have really enjoyed this series thus far. This is not the type of novel I usually read but I have enjoyed it. I do not like taking the chance that I give away plot points in my reviews so I try to stay away from discussing plot all together. This being the fourth in a series likely means that most readers have already decided to read this novel before they finished the previous book in the series so discussing plot is likely unnecessary.

Put simply this series is about a reluctant detective set
It seemed to me that Downie couldn't make up her mind as to who the villains were. First it was one of the councilmen. No, wait, it wasn't him it was a guard. No, wait, it wasn't the guard it was the other councilman. No, wait, it was the guard and the first councilman. By the time I reached the third turn around I was so thoroughly confused I couldn't remember half the evil deeds the bad guy (whoever that was) was supposed to have done.
Ruth Downie's Medicus series is just a perfectly balanced set of works. Her plots are rich with historical and psychological detail without feeling overworked or mechanistic or manipulative. The personal dynamics that Ruso-- the doctor/hero/detective/bumbling husband, friend, inspector--offers make sense and lead the reader on to ever more fascinating mysteries. Tills--woman of strength in her situations, situations of tribe, captivity, impairments, love, freedom--never ceases to delight in her ...more
Gaius Petreius Ruso is a soldier, medic and investigator in Roman Britain. This story takes place in the time when Hadrian was Emperor. This is several decades after the Iceni tribe's revolt which was barely put down by the Roman legions. Rome has given self-government to certain cities that have shown their willingness to adopt Roman culture and pay their taxes to the Empire.

In this fourth novel in the series, Ruso has remarried and, having taken some time with his family in Gaul, has returned
It was good but did not feel as interesting as previous books in the series and I'm not sure why. Maybe there was too much about the politics or maybe the whole storyline was just a downer or just maybe I'm so sick of the snow and ice that nothing can penetrate the winter blahs. Was not happy with the way the Ruso/Tilla relationship is going. I liked it better when Ruso was with the legion.
Antoher writer using the Roman empire as a setting. This is the latest book in a 4-book series and I have not read the other 3 yet. It is set in 2nd-century CE southern Britain, which was interesting. I found the plot to be complicated but I enjoyed the main character, although I don't find him as humorously cynical as Falco.
Craig Cote
I'm drawn to historical mysteries, particularly those set in the Roman empire, and have been ever since I read The Silver Pigs. Ruth Downie's "Medicus" series was the 4th or 5th series I found that matched this spec, and I've enjoyed all four of the first books in the series, including this one.

The best part of this series is the same thing that makes the Falco novels great: the relationships feel "real". Ruso and Tilla are believable, and that adds depth to the novels that others lack. Their re
"Caveat Emptor," the fourth book in the Ruso series, was a nice improvement on the last two volumes, although still not quite as good as the great opening book.
As with the previous books, the highlight is in the setting; Downie has a knack for enveloping the reader into the daily life of Roman Brittania. Tilla became a more dynamic character here, as she struggles with trying for a child and with maintaining her British ways while also trying to accept her new role as a Roman wife.
The humor was
Karen Klein
Ah, sadly I have now finished the last book in this series that has been written so far ..... I am hoping that there are further adventures of Ruso and Tilla in the near future.
Amanda McCrina
I enjoy this series more for the characters and the worldbuilding than the mystery. This entry is no exception. Ruso and Tilla are their own lovable selves, and the series continues to explore the effects of the Roman occupation of Britain in interesting ways. The mystery itself seemed fairly by-the-numbers. I read the book in one go, because I was eager to see if something unexpected might happen, but everything fell out along fairly predictable lines. Though I think I may have missed the expla ...more
Jean Poulos
This book is set in second century A.D. In this book of the series Ruso and Tila have returned to Britannia from their visit to Ruso’s family in Gael. Gaius Petreius Ruso, medic is now retired from the Roman Army and starting off his married life with Tila. He obtains an assignment as an investigator by the procurator’s finances office. Ruso is hired to trace the nearby city of Verulamium’s tax collector, who has disappeared with the city’s tax money. The book is more complex than prior books in ...more
Natasha Nemyre
I received this book via a Goodreads giveaway back in 2012. It is the fourth in a series and in order to give a well informed review I wanted to read the preceding three books. I read... a lot. That being said, I have to admit that it took me a while to get to book #4. I didn't read them back to back, instead, I would sneak them in between other books. The books are well written and I have actually enjoyed the series overall, it's just not really an edge-of-your-seat, I-must-know-what-happens-ne ...more
There is always a body...

Then another, but we knew that was coming. At least we could strongly guess it. Then another, and another. Kind of adds up.

Throughout the tale we sense more character development in our hero, Ruso. A one time Doctor and surely bent on becoming a full time sleuth though he does not want to be one. The series continues to get better and each time I read one of these I feel that I learn a little more of this period of Roman culture. Not just history but how the Romans live
A friend gave this book to me, thinking I'd like it. I did enjoy it and started to give this four stars, then decided three was more accurate.

Not that the writing isn't good; it is. And the characters are interesting. So is the setting.

It was the plot that left me a little confused. When a tax collector is reported missing with the tax money due in tribute to Rome, Ruso (a doctor) is unwillingly caught up as investigator. Seems everyone says the tax collector and his brother took the money and f
Linda Baker
I was once again totally engrossed by #4 in Ruth Downie's Gaius Petreius Ruso series set in Roman Britain. Ruso and his wife, Tilla, have returned from visiting his rapacious relatives in Gaul (Persona non Grata #3) determined to settle and start their married life in Britannia. Before starting to search for a medical job, Ruso is sucked into investigating the disappearance of a tax collector. Before the investigation is completed he finds himself enmeshed in not only murder, but a web of politi ...more
(3.5 stars) This is the 4th book in the Ruso series. Ruso and Tilla have returned to Brittania to Londinium, with the promise of a job from his friend and fellow Medicus, Valens. However, when they arrive, he finds that the job is not what he expected; he is asked to be an investigator to find a missing tax man and the missing tax revenue he was carrying. Tilla befriends the missing tax man's wife and helps deliver her child. When the missing man is found dead, Ruso has another mystery to solve. ...more
C2011: As The Times said on the back cover – “Addictive” – I am really enjoying reading these books. Despite whatever grumbles Ruso and Tilla may say or think about each other, the author manages to convey a close and loving relationship. For example, after being fairly critical about Tilla’s cooking skills – “Your medicine worked,’ said Tilla, wiping the back of her hand across her forehead in a vain attempt to push a damp curl out of her eyes. ‘Camma went to sleep.’/He reached across the table ...more
Lis Carey
Ruso and Tilla have arrived back in Britain, newlyweds and in need of a place to live and a job for Ruso. Ruso's old friend Valens, from his army medic days, has found him one--as an investigator for the procurator, to locate the missing tax money, not to mention the missing tax collector, Julius Asper, from the town of Verulamium.

Asper's lover Cama (spelling optional since I listened to the audiobook), traveled the twenty miles from Verulamium to Londinium to report Asper's disappearance and wh
Jo  (Mixed Book Bag)
Caveat Emptor is the fourth and latest book in Ruth Downie’s Roman Empire series. I just recently discovered this series and it has become one of my favorites. It was nice that there were already four books out and sad because Caveat Emptor is a recent release and I will have a long wait for the next book. Caveat Emptor is the first one I have listened to as an audio book. Simon Vance is great as the reader. He knows just when to pause and what tone to use to get the dialog just right.

In Caveat
Having enjoyed Ruth Downie's previous mystery novels about Gaius Petreius Ruso, a medical doctor serving the Roman Empire in Britain, I turned to this one after suffering through "Justine." I wanted something light, and this filled the bill!
Though not "great literature," the four Gaius Ruso books are entertaining, and they evoke images of a time, almost 2000 years ago, when life was very different from the way it is now. I'm intrigued by life in Britain prior to the Roman withdrawal (in the 5th
Ken Kugler
The worlds least likely hero, Gaius Petreius Ruso, is back in Britannia with his wife Tilla. His friend, Vallens, has offered to help him find a job but it seems he did not look until the last moment and offers Ruso a job as an investigator. There is tax money missing in Verulamium as well as a dead man and possibly more. Even though he is a Medicus by trade, Ruso needs a job and accepts the offer.
As is usual for Ruso, things are not what they seem and married life is full of complication. Tilla
Margaret Metz
I was so excited to get this book (this was a first reads win and I'm so thankful for my copy).

I felt like I was being reunited with old friends as I started reading about Ruso and Tilla again. This author has such a gift with characters! I feel as if I'm sharing the adventure right along with them. This book lives up to the challenges set by the previous installments.

Ruso and Tilla are back in Britannia after getting married. His old friend Valens promised him a job, but he arrives to find th
John Salter
The intrepid Ruso former legionary doctor returns in Ruth Downies fourth instalment in Caveat Emptor (US version). He also returns to Britannia in tow with his new wife, Tilla after staying with his family in Gaul. I have to admit its irritating to find that the names of the books in the US and Britain differ and you have to grub around each time a book is released. If you want a hardback version you have to order from the US as well and its annoying.

The above said in Caveat Emptor, the book ope
Kathy Trueman
The fourth book in the Medicus series takes Ruso and Tilla back to Britannia. They are married now (to the relief/pleasure of this reader), but that hasn't changed their up-and-down complicated relationship. Nor would we want it to.

Ruso's best friend Valens has promised Ruso a job in Londinium, and Ruso once again stumbles into trouble due to his usual inability to (quite) see reality. He expects a job as a medic; Valens finds him a job as an investigator. Ruso professes to hate investigations (
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Ruth is the author of six mysteries* featuring Roman Army medic Gaius Petreius Ruso. The latest is TABULA RASA. She lives in Devon, England, and is married with two grown-up sons. A combination of nosiness and a childish fascination with mud means she is never happier than when wielding an archaeological trowel.

She is sometimes called R.S. Downie, but she isn't the person with the same name who w
More about Ruth Downie...

Other Books in the Series

Medicus Investigation (6 books)
  • Medicus (Gaius Petreius Ruso, #1)
  • Terra Incognita (Gaius Petreius Ruso, #2)
  • Persona Non Grata (Gaius Petreius Ruso, #3)
  • Semper Fidelis (Gaius Petreius Ruso, #5)
  • Tabula Rasa (Gaius Petreius Ruso, #6)
Medicus (Gaius Petreius Ruso, #1) Terra Incognita (Gaius Petreius Ruso, #2) Persona Non Grata (Gaius Petreius Ruso, #3) Semper Fidelis (Gaius Petreius Ruso, #5) Tabula Rasa (Gaius Petreius Ruso, #6)

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