Bruce's Reviews > The House of the Vestals

The House of the Vestals by Steven Saylor
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's review
Sep 25, 2008

did not like it
Recommended for: nobody
Read in September, 2008

A short review of The House of the Vestals, a short book of short detective stories set in late Republican Rome featuring Saylor's protagonist Gordianus the Finder. Like his unrelated anthology Roma, which I just reviewed at greater length, it ain't subtle. Steven Saylor's the kind of author who likes to name his grudge-bearing stepsons "Furius" and his beekeepers "Ursus." The story from which this collection takes its name isn't even a mystery, just ambiance and anticlimax. Our hero is summoned to the scene of a murder, interrogates one witness who has no useful information to convey, and uncovers a paid assassin who conveniently blurts out the entire plot. There's another story in this collection that Saylor treats campfire-style, retelling it as told by another. To the author's credit, he sources the original Herodotus so readers can easily find and enjoy the original, but it's a bad sign when the endnotes are more intriguing than the book.

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message 1: by Mattie (new)

Mattie Ouch.

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