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Caveat Emptor (Medicus Investigation #4)

3.93  ·  Rating Details ·  1,560 Ratings  ·  161 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
ebook, 352 pages
Published December 21st 2010 by Bloomsbury Publishing PLC (first published 2010)
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Jul 29, 2011 Terence rated it liked it  ·  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
S.J.A. Turney
Sep 29, 2016 S.J.A. Turney rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I suspect Ruso was my favourite investigator of crimes by the time I’d finished the first book in Ruth Downie’s Medicus series. The second book expanded this world to include darker themes and the wild north. And by the time Ruso went home to Gaul in the third book he was not only my favourite investigator, but one of my favourite characters in any book series. Left with something of an uncertain future at the end of that book, I wasn’t sure what to expect from the fourth book, other than being ...more
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
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
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
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.
Feb 19, 2016 Colleen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm thankful that Ruso and Tilla have returned to Britiannia and was glad to see a few familiar characters return. The mystery was a bit more tense and the bad guys were more cutthroat than in previous books. This is possibly to do with the underlying motivation (greed) being more cold-hearted and the fact that there are infants and baby-making conversations going around. The mix feels dangerous and ominous.
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.
Nov 19, 2012 Nancy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mysteries, historical
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.
Karen Klein
Jan 27, 2012 Karen Klein rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: series
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.
Aug 25, 2015 Beth rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good story & narration.
Alison Gray
Dec 31, 2016 Alison Gray rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This Machiavellian plot begins with Tilla longing for a baby. During the course of the novel, she is heavily involved in caring for one, not her own. Ruso meanwhile is investigating the disappearance of the baby's father and a lot of money. Downie’s characterisations are superb and the series just grows in strength.
Lisa Hunt
Nov 17, 2016 Lisa Hunt rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoy this series...not so much that I have to read all of the books right this minute, but enough that I want to keep picking them up in between other things to check on them. And, I love Tilla!
Jan 16, 2013 sabisteb rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Secret messages and stolen money and mystery men and murders

Nachdem Ruso in „persona non grata“ seiner Familie in Gallien einen Besuch abgestattet hat, ist er nun zurück in Londinium. Sein befristeter Vertrag mit der Armee ist mittlerweile ausgelaufen und eigentlich sollte sein Kumpel Valens ihm zwischenzeitlich einen neuen Job als Arzt besorgen. Valens, der in Londinium mittlerweile eine eigene Praxis führt, hat aber anderes Sorgen, weil seine Frau in verlassen hat und er alleine mit zwei Lehrl
Sep 07, 2016 Katherine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
Gaius Petreius Ruso and Tilla, newly married, return to Britannia after a visit to his family in Gaul. They have their wedding gifts all packed but, having left the Roman legions to travel to Gaul, Ruso finds himself in Londinium without a job. His fellow Medicus, Valens, has been unable to find a Medicus position for Ruso but has found him a job as an investigator for the local procurator. Ruso is not terribly happy since he is NOT an investigator and feels wholly inadequate to do the job.

It wo
Gary E
Jul 24, 2016 Gary E rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
John Salter
Oct 11, 2013 John Salter rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
ARC received through the First Reads giveaway program.

It's been more than a year since I read Persona Non Grata, the third book in Ruth Downie's Medicus series. I said I would read the first two in the series, and I have to admit, I have not yet done so. I do intend to, though.

In this offering, Ruso and his now-wife Tilla head back to Britain, where Ruso hopes to find medical work while he and Tilla settle down. Instead, he ends up having to solve another mystery. This one involves murder, miss
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
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
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
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
Jul 17, 2015 Marlowe rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Kathy Trueman
Jun 10, 2013 Kathy Trueman rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 (
Jun 01, 2013 Cheryl rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Ken Kugler
Nov 28, 2011 Ken Kugler rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Mar 02, 2011 Margaret Metz rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
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
Aug 22, 2013 Ruth rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime-historical
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
Aug 21, 2012 Michelle rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
(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
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Ruth is the author of seven mysteries* featuring Roman Army medic Gaius Petreius Ruso. The latest is VITA BREVIS. 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
More about Ruth Downie...

Other Books in the Series

Medicus Investigation (7 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)
  • Vita Brevis (Medicus Investigation #7)

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“There were many things a man might think he should be told when a woman agreed to marry him. She had choose not to mention several of them” 1 likes
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