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Last Seen in Massilia (Roma Sub Rosa #8)

4.07  ·  Rating details ·  2,181 Ratings  ·  83 Reviews
In this mystery set in Marseilles in 49 B.C., master detective Gordianus the Finder is on a personal quest to learn the truth about his missing son, Meto. Plunged into the midst of the bloody Roman civil war, the well-connected Gordianus and his son-in-law Davus survive adventure after adventure as they penetrate the Gaulic city Massilia, which is walled against Roman inva ...more
Paperback, 300 pages
Published 2001 by Robinson (first published October 1st 2000)
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Georgina Ortiz
Jan 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Last Seen in Massilia, like the other books in the Roma Sub-Rosa series, is like a bag of Kirkland's fruits and nuts--you can't just stop devouring it (the sweetness of the fruits--eaten alternately with the salty nuts--is extremely addicting).

Learned a lot about ancient Massilia (modern-day Marseilles in France) and its people:
1) "Without wealth, a man in Massilia is nothing" (p.83)
2) "Massilians were said to love money above all else and to exemplify the concomitant virtues--diligence, shrewdn
Inês Beato
Mais uma grande aventura de Gordiano, o Descobridor! Desta feita, Roma foi totalmente deixada de lado e a acção decorre do princípio ao fim na cidade de Massília (atual Marselha). Como tal, nesta obra não se encontram algumas das personagens já habituais, como Betesda, Diana, Cícero ou Eco.
Esta aventura tem início no ponto onde a anterior terminou e Gordiano vê-se obrigado a partir para Massília com Davus, em busca do seu filho Meto, após ter recebido uma carta que o dava como morto.
O descobri
Kathy Davie
May 17, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history, mystery
Seventh in the Roma Sub Rosa historical mystery series and revolving around Gordianus the Finder and his family in the Rome of 49 BC.

Chronologically, it's MY seventh and Saylor's eighth because the technical sixth, The House of the Vestals , is a collection of short stories that I've slotted in chronologically on my website.

My Take
Last Seen in Massilia is not as tense or dramatic as it could have been. It's definitely an easy read that won't make your heart race. I'm not really sure why Saylor
May 28, 2014 rated it liked it
3.5/5 stars!

Another great book in this series!

If you know me a little, you probably know that I'm a big fan of (almost) everything about the Antiquity, including the Roma Sub Rosa series. I'm especially fond of the first 5 books where the murder is the center of the whole story (and Cicero plays a big part, he's my problematic fave tbh ). Luckily, I also really did like this book in the series.

Before the book begins Gordianus has received a note that says that his son Meto has been killed. Gord
John Devlin
Jan 13, 2011 rated it liked it
After a great book 7, Saylor stays on a roll. My only complaint w/these novels is that the characters are too kind hearted and a little too 21st century in their ideas on individual liberties. Similarly, Gordianus has managed to avoid some of the stickier moral issues that would result from a man living in a place like Rome in such a morally barren time. After effectively dealing w/my concerns in book 7, "Last Seen" delivers a surprisingly good mystery with a personal coda that disturbs for all ...more
Jul 09, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ancient-rome
So close to five stars! This series is rapidly reaching a climax and that climax is Cesar. The realization the end is coming makes me a little sad.

I stormed through this novel. It wasn't as action packed as some of the previous novels but the story was so much more gripping than any of the previous novels. I was a little shocked at the end (view spoiler)
Apr 28, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I think this was more of a 3.5 star book. I enjoyed it and flew through the story, but it seemed to take its time to get going with a strong plot, and I wasn't overly interested in (what I considered to be) a rather simplistic mystery at the sacrifice rock. However, I think it was an extremely interesting historical setting, I loved reading about Massilia, and I'm sure this story is integral to the later books. Not a disappointment at all, but not as interesting as some of the earlier books in t ...more
Apr 13, 2011 rated it really liked it
This is the first one of the series that I have read. It is a great historical mystery in a time and place not often written about. Set in Massilia (now Marseilles) during the Roman Empire, it is a fascinating look into an ancient culture. Wonderful combination of mystery and history.
Sep 13, 2017 rated it liked it
Following hard upon Rubicon both in plot and in publication, this novel suffers by comparison. Saylor's writing is as excellent as always, but I found the twist at the end entirely unbelievable. (view spoiler)
Ankit Jairaj
Jul 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: books-that-i-own

Pretty good for a crime thriller. Kept me hooked and I liked the last few pages. Good for easy reading.
Jul 05, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: rome
This was a very well written and entertaining read. I am quite a fan of historical fiction, and Steven Saylor does a convincing job of recreating the world of the ancient Mediterranean as we know it, while adding in his little fictional side-show, playing along simultaneously with the real historical events, yet without conflict between the two. His characters are not prominent enough figures to pose any real problems in this regard, at least in this book.

That is one element of this era that wo
Kim Headlee
May 07, 2013 rated it really liked it
Hemmed inside the walls of ancient, Greek-controlled Marseilles, Pompey's sympathizers besieging your loyalties even as Julius Caesar's legions blockade all access by land or sea, what would you expect to find? Starvation and hysteria, certainly, as well as suspicion and political intrigue in abundance. But if you happen to be Gordianus the Finder, renowned sleuth of the Roman Empire, murder finds you.

In 49 B.C., civil war embroiled Rome's vast empire. Caesar crossed the Rubicon to assert his re
Sep 11, 2009 rated it liked it
I have read some of these before and missed this one previously. His "disowning" his adopted some came as quite a surprise to me! I guess I will have to read further now......

[close:] In this mystery set in Marseilles in 49 B.C., master detective Gordianus the Finder is on a personal quest to learn the truth about his missing son, Meto. Plunged into the midst of the bloody Roman civil war, the well-connected Gordianus and his son-in-law Davus survive adventure after adventure as they penetrate t
Edmund Marlowe
Feb 21, 2016 rated it really liked it
A typically ancient story of passion and ambition

Saylor’s eighth novel about his fictitious private detective Gordianus, actually the twelfth when the prequels are placed in their correct order, is set in 49 BC entirely around ancient Marseilles, which had been founded as a Greek colony nearly six centuries earlier and was then under siege by the Romans. As usual with Saylor, it has evidently been meticulously researched. I have always thought the ancient Mediterranean the most exciting place to
Alison C
Mar 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing
In Last Seen in Massilia , the eighth book in the Sub Roma series by Steven Saylor, our hero Gordianus the Finder has traveled with his strong son-in-law Davus to Massilia (present-day Marseille) because he's received a note telling him that his son Meto died there and, being the Finder that he is, he has to learn the truth. As he arrives in Massilia, the place is under seige by Caesar's Roman forces because the city-state had refused him entry some time earlier and instead thrown in their lo ...more
May 01, 2012 rated it really liked it
Last Seen in Massilia is a book that would not normally be on my radar, but I was pleasantly surprised. Most of the historical fiction novels I read are centered around strong female characters. Last Seen in Massilia takes place in what would be Marseille, France today but it is called Massilia in ancient Rome. It centers around a Roman Citizen, Gordianus the Finder who is also a detective. Gordianus receives word from an anonymous source in Massilia that his son may be dead, so he travels there ...more
Nov 11, 2012 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 11, 2013 added it
The civil war in the territories continues in #8 of the Steven Saylor series about ancient Rome. It's 49 B.C. and Gordianus the Finder has received an anonymous message from the city of Massilia (Marseille) declaring that his son Meto is dead. Is Meto a double agent for Caesar? Massillia has declared iloyalty to Pompei Caesar's rival. Gordianus does not trust the news and resolves to find out the truth about his son's life. He sets out with his son-in-law Davus as bodyguard and companion. Togeth ...more
Doug Wood
Last Seen in Massilia is another worthy addition to Saylor's Roma Sub Rosa series featuring ancient Roman detective Gordianus the Finder.

Like all of the books in the series, Last Seen in Massilia features a mystery with excellent historical detail. Gordianus is a 'white hat' in search of the truth. The truth turns out to be shockingly painful in this instance. He has received an anonymous message that his son Meto has died in Massilia and goes there with his son-in-law Davus to learn the truth.
Dec 22, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
É verdade, mais uma aventura de Gordiano, o Descobridor.
Desta vez, o palco da acção é na cidade de Massília, que actualmente é a cidade de Marselha. Gordiano recebeu, em Roma, uma mensagem anónima a informá-lo que o seu filho Meto está morto, e decide partir para Massília, com o seu genro Davo, para tentar descobrir o que aconteceu.
Gordiano chega a Massília, na altura que a cidade está cercada pelo exército de César, e acaba por descobrir uma forma engenhosa para conseguir entrar nas muralhas.
May 12, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
When it comes to murder mysteries, sometimes the author gives you plenty of clues and hints so that when it comes to the final revelation of the killer and his motives, you have this OHH! moment. In other mysteries, the author deliberately hides everything and even reading a second or third time does not help.

In this book, the author tipped his half way through and thus when I read it a second time and also because I have a very good memory from the first time, it felt lame. Of course, there wer
Feb 11, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: crime, history, uno
Lots of twists and turns. I really like the historical context
Shawn Thrasher
Apr 30, 2012 rated it liked it
You have to say one thing for Steven Saylor, his historical accuracy seems pretty spot on. You always feel like you are in ancient Rome, battling with Caesar. Occasionally it feels like the mystery itself is overshadowed by the bigger historical picture (which isn't necessarily a bad thing with writing and research as good as Saylor's), in this particular case the siege of Massilia (modern Marseillais) by Caesar's forces. But I have to say, just when I sort of thought "What a third rate mystery, ...more
Elizabeth Theiss
Apr 08, 2012 rated it it was amazing
First a confession: I am a Rome geek. I will read almost anything, fact or fiction, about life or people in Rome or its colonies. Last Seen in Massilia is part of an outstanding series written by a classics scholar, so the books get the details right from what's for dinner to the actions in battles seen from afar. Saylor's fictional characters have conversations with historical characters from the famous (like Caesar) to the not so famous (the roman architect Vetruvius).

In this book, Gordianus
Feb 23, 2013 rated it really liked it
Steven Saylor developed a passion for all things "Roman" as an adolescent. He's spent years reading and researching everything he could find on this time period and writes stories based on historical events and characters. He doesn't sugar-coat the past nor does he write under the influence of any religious dogma. If you're easily offended by depictions of gladiatorial games, bloodshed, and sexual attractions and situations, do NOT read this series. If however, you're an adult who accepts that a ...more
Jul 16, 2016 rated it liked it
Not my favourite in the Sub Rosa, but even still a very good read. I felt that Gordianus went too much with the flow rather than being involved and at the heart of the intrigue. He was too much a passenger of events compared to previous books. I also missed Cicero who is not always in the books but when he is he adds a completely different dimension. There's an interesting insight into Massilia (modern Marseilles) and its politics. The city is under siege having forbidden Caesar entry. Gordianus ...more
Pamela Mclaren
Gordianus the Finder leaves Rome and travels with his son-in-law to the besieged city of Massilia in search of his son Meto, whose been acting as a spy for Caesar. Gordianus has received a note that tells him that Meto is dead.

When he arrives, he and his son-in-law must join in with a group of soldiers who enter a tunnel to enter the city. Tightly packed and in nearly total darkness the trek through the tunnel is only the beginning of Gordianus' adventures and soon he I'm embroiled in to the my
Matthew Perry
Feb 16, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: books-i-own
I do not want to give this away but this book was a huge installment in this series because of the changes that take place in his family. With the family changes that this book has it is a must read of course for the fans of the series but my favorite thing about this book was that it had my favorite mystery for Gordianus to solve so far. He is charged with trying to find his son Meto in Masillia a besieged town in present day France. While he is there is meets a doomed scapegoat and whitnesses ...more
Amy Rupert
Jun 14, 2016 rated it really liked it
set in Massilia (modern day Marseille, it gives some historical background into what was important to the people of that town. The story has Gordianus and his son-in-law Davus going to Massilia after Gordianus received a letter saying that his son Meto had died and he can't believe it. He goes in search of answers or at least a body. The town in under siege by Caesar's forces and Meto was an undercover spy for Caesar. The story follows the adventures as they secretly enter the town and get befri ...more
I am completely and hopelessly addicted to Steven Saylor's Roma Sub Rosa novels. Last Seen in Massilia was pretty poignant to be reading on Father's Day for reasons I won't write about here to avoid spoilers that might give away too much of the plot to folks who have not read but want to read Last Seen in Massilia.

My mind is creating theatrical tapestries from the Roma Sub Rosa novels where Rob Tapert produces either for TV or movie versions of these stories, perhaps with Lucy Lawless playing B
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Steven Saylor is the author of the long running Roma Sub Rosa series featuring Gordianus the Finder, as well as the New York Times bestselling novel, Roma and its follow-up, Empire. He has appeared as an on-air expert on Roman history and life on The History Channel.

Saylor was born in Texas and graduated with high honors from The University of Texas at Austin, where he studied history and class
More about Steven Saylor

Other books in the series

Roma Sub Rosa (1 - 10 of 13 books)
  • Roman Blood (Roma Sub Rosa, #1)
  • Arms of Nemesis (Roma Sub Rosa, #2)
  • Catilina's Riddle (Roma Sub Rosa, #3)
  • The Venus Throw (Roma Sub Rosa, #4)
  • A Murder on the Appian Way (Roma Sub Rosa, #5)
  • The House of the Vestals (Roma Sub Rosa, #6)
  • Rubicon (Roma Sub Rosa, #7)
  • A Mist of Prophecies (Roma Sub Rosa, #9)
  • The Judgment of Caesar (Roma Sub Rosa, #10)
  • A Gladiator Dies Only Once (Roma Sub Rosa, #11)

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“The strands (the gods) weave out of our mortal lives are like a pattern visible only from the heavens; we here on earth can only guess at their designs” 8 likes
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