Laura Droege's Reviews > Medicus

Medicus by Ruth Downie
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's review
Jul 10, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: historical, mysteries, fiction
Read in July, 2011

Gaius Petreius Ruso serves as a military doctor during the Roman occupation of Britannia, dealing with his over-meticulous hospital administrator, his wounded and mangled patients, and an unclaimed dead body washed to shore. And not just a dead body but a murdered body. During a moment of sleep-deprived vulnerability, he manages to pick up a half-dead slave girl who won't talk and can't cook, and winds up investigating the mysterious deaths of several prostitutes.

Ruso is a grumpy, tactless and utterly likeable sleuth. The banter between he and his roommate/rival/fellow doctor is funny, as are his encounters with the hospital administrator, who believes that protocol must be followed even when it makes no sense whatsoever. (Anyone who has dealt with these types of officials will understand Ruso's desire to throttle the man.) I often found myself laughing aloud. Not the usual sort of murder mystery fare. Fans of historical mysteries will enjoy this.

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