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Mars the Avenger

(Judge Marcus Flavius Severus Mystery in Ancient Rome #1)

3.82  ·  Rating details ·  255 ratings  ·  20 reviews
"Mars the Avenger" is an historical mystery set in the year 158 CE, during the reign of Antoninus Pius, a period often called the height of the Roman Empire. It is also a daily life in ancient Rome and a sojourn into the world of Roman life, criminal law, police and courts.
Marcus Flavius Severus, a judge in the court of the Prefect of the City of Rome, investigates the d
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Kindle Edition, 231 pages
Published November 7th 2013 by Torcular Press (first published January 24th 2012)
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3.82  · 
Rating details
 ·  255 ratings  ·  20 reviews


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Vann Turner
Mars the Avenger is a pleasant read, even one with some heft to it in its ponderings on justice versus morality, but I assign it only three stars. The author never weaves a world that the reader feels, sees, hears and tastes. I personally like to be immersed in a world, not told about it. On the first page an alarm sounded in me when the author speaks of the scent of a freshly scrubbed marble floor. Marble has no scent, so any scent would come from what it was scrubbed with. The author didn’t me ...more
Erik Bloom
Dec 29, 2014 rated it liked it
While I enjoyed the book's plot, the book suffers from some what wooden dialogue. To my mind, the dialogue seemed a bit too formal and it is hard to imagine real people actually talking that way.

Although the book is primary a mystery, it provides a good background (and a lot of nice speculation) on Roman law and philosophy during the reign of the "Good Emperors." The protagonist, Judge M. Flavius Severus, is a judge and an intellectual. He thinks quite a bit about the relationship between ethic
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Stephan B. Collins
Nov 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Well plotted and executed book. Satisfying read

Plot is tight. The author, an attorney, presents the reader with a number of ethical and philosophical questions along with the mystery. Characters are likable.
Nancy McLaughlin
Jun 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
Rough justice

While I understand the reasoning that sorted the guilt, I can't justify the horrifying deaths of the slaves. Thankfully, I don't have to make those decisions.
Joe
Feb 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
A legal procedural and ethical drama in Rome. A short novel, an easy read yet it still provides a good sense of place and time.
Elisabeth
Feb 16, 2017 rated it liked it
OK Roman mystery

One of the themes running through this book deals with the value of philosophy. The Romans liked philosophic discussions for their own sake. There's not much mystery to this mystery. I made it to the end so it isn't awful, but it isn't much good.
Vicki Cline
Mar 22, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: roman-mysteries
This is the first in a series of Roman mysteries, taking place during the reign of Antoninus Pius in 158 CE. The "detective" is Marcus Flavius Severus, a judge. The wife of a Roman senator has disappeared at the same time that a body is discovered on the steps of the Temple of Mars the Avenger. It turns out these two knew each other while the senator and his family were in Ephesus. The book starts with a letter from Severus to himself, and I thought the whole book would be in the first person, b ...more
Jack
Jul 30, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
First in a series - ancient Rome -158AD - pretty good.
Many of the mysteries I read are told in the first person. This was not. You were given a look at everything that was happening. Took me a while to get used to.
A little rough at times - but I liked it.
Especially the historical side of the story (here Jenkins goes again about the historical setting).
Good attention to detail which adds to the feeling of the story.
The ending was, how shall I say, realistic. Well done.
Ordered the second in the se
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Thomas W Shepherd
Feb 18, 2016 rated it really liked it
Good history, good mystery

Alan Scribner displays a depth of knowledge about classical Roman culture in this mystery novel set in the Second Century C.E., and his sleuthing is done by a Roman Judge. Tightly plotted with great secondary characters, the book is an altogether satisfying read. However there are numerous typos and minor grammatical faux pad. and he doesn't seem to know when to end a sentence with a question mark. Still, it's worth dodging the barbed editing to get to the meat of a goo
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Argum
My bookstore recommended Falco and now I have stumbled into a whole subgenre I never knew existed Ancient Roman historical crime fiction. Compared to other series there is less Ancient Rome background setting in this book - really the only thing that sets it as Roman is slaves and the consequences of crime. I did enjoy the mystery and I like the characters so far. The whole thing seems a bit underdeveloped - he likes his wife and she has some opinions but no real character thus far for example.
Shane
Jan 26, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was short and not particularly complicated, but I have nothing bad to say about it, so I figured that warrants a "4" rating. I liked the tone (murder mystery but not overly serious), and the characters were solid. I'm a sucker for Roman historical fiction, and so what I really appreciate are just the little details of Roman life, in this case namely there judicial system, which (except for perhaps allowing torture), was not that dissimilar from ours.
Inamoena
Nov 25, 2014 rated it really liked it
The story started a bit slow, the author was more busy showing his knowledge about ancient Rome and its somewhat peculiar customs than telling the tale. But after the first chapter or two, the story started to be more interesting and more dynamic.
Some of the characters, namely the aides of Severus, could use a bit more of a backstory, and more fleshing out, but they show a lot of promise. In the end, the book was worth reading, and I'm curious about the further development of this series.
Keeley
Sep 13, 2015 rated it liked it
Meh

A quick read. Clumsily written. Was thoroughly bored the first few chapters but then got,drawn in to the mystery - so maybe not so clumsily written if I got drawn in, eh?
The ending was distasteful and made me sad. It was unexpected, though, but at the same time predictable.
Poor slaves always get the short end of the stick. :(
George
May 12, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A historical mystery set in the year 158 AD featuring Marcus Flavius Severus, a judge in the court of the Prefect of the City of Rome. While investigating the disappearance of a senator's wife, a body of a murdered man thrown on the steps of the Temple of Mars the Avenger. As the investigation unfolds, the two cases become connected to a love affair seventeen years before in the Roman orient.
Steve Caudle
This novel is kind of "light weight," but it's still a lot of fun for mystery fans and even more for history buffs, well-written even if a little short. I expect it to turn into an excellent series with each individual novel being progressively better as the talented author gains more experience. This is worth reading for the mystery AND the history!
Cynthiaj
Jan 01, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
A very nice introduction to the time period. Severus isn't Marcus Didius, but few are. If I could give half stars, this would be 3 1/2.
Greg
Nov 05, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Enjoyable. Another good Ancient Roman detective story, with colorful period details.
Dusty
Feb 27, 2014 rated it really liked it
A nice portrayal of empirical Rome. A good example of Roman law. And when it comes down to it, a good, realistic mystery. I would read more of Scribner ' s work.
Laurentiu Lazar
Apr 08, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014
Review to come...
Vince
May 18, 2015 rated it really liked it
Murder in Ancient Rome



Enjoyed this book. Lots of information on life in Ancient Rome. A quick read. Interesting characters and plot. Very readable
Laura
rated it liked it
Oct 24, 2017
Katharine Harding
rated it liked it
Oct 26, 2015
Janet Bridgewater
rated it it was amazing
Oct 14, 2018
R J Spencer
rated it liked it
Feb 22, 2018
Julian van Geersdaele
rated it it was amazing
May 10, 2018
Henry L Hollatz
rated it it was ok
Mar 14, 2015
Jeffrey
rated it it was amazing
May 02, 2014
Teresa K. Menkhaus
rated it it was amazing
Jun 29, 2014
Jim Cline
rated it really liked it
Oct 31, 2017
Edmée
rated it it was ok
Sep 03, 2018
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