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The Curse-Maker (2011)

by Kelli Stanley(Favorite Author)
3.62 of 5 Votes: 1
0312654197 (ISBN13: 9780312654191)
Minotaur Books
Roman Noir
review 1: Roman doctor Arcturus and his wife, Gwyna, travel to Bath England to visit the spas there. When they arrive they find a body floating in the sacred spring. It is the body of Rufus Bibax, a noted local curse maker. The town officials ask Arcturus to assist in finding out who committed this evil but he finds more murder, political intrigue, blackmail and treachery than he expects. This was a very good book. A quick read with elusive solutions. The characters are very well written and the mix of history and fiction is well blended.
review 2: The second in Stanley’s Roman noir series finds Arcturus in Aquae Sulis (modern Bath, England). Arcturus, physician to the governor and crime solver, knows his wife, Gwyna, is suffering, but not exactly sure why. Ardur
... more, as Gwyna calls him, makes a trip from Londinium to the baths and the temple of the goddess Sulis—a.k.a. Minerva—for her sake.When a body is encountered at the baths, Philo, an unmarried, local doctor who is attracted to Gwyna, asks Arcturus to help determine the cause of death. The dead man, whom no one seems to know much about, was Bibax, a local curse maker. There seem to be a lot of these curse makers, whom the citizens pay to inscribe curses on thin sheets of tin that get dropped into the water. People also drop expensive jewelry into the spring, seeking the goddess' favor. A disproportionate number of Bibax's curses have resulted in convenient deaths. Ardur has two problems: Gwyna's depression—is it partly his fault? And what is responsible for the atmosphere of fear and rot at Aquae Sulis? When he and his wife become targets, the urgency is ratcheted up. A possibly corrupt governing body, the managers and drain cleaners of the baths, that doctor that Ardur dislikes so much, a lazy but ambitious lawyer of the upper class, plus a necromancer all fall under suspicion, until some of them turn up murdered. As this quote states: "Wherever you turned in Aquae Sulis, whatever mean, crooked street you walked down, you always came back to the temple."If you liked the award-winning first of this series, “Nox Dorrnienda”, you'll love this one.Reviewed by Kaye George, author of “A Patchwork of Stories” for Suspense Magazine less
Reviews (see all)
Stanley does a very good job of historical fiction. This was a very complex and engaging story.
Long and full of conniving people. This book is so simple yet complex.
This book is thin on plot. Don't bother.
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