A Gladiator Dies Only Once by Steven Saylor
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Steven Saylor
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Steven Saylor

Gordianus the Finder Roma Sub Rosa Series

A Gladiator Dies Only Once

The Further Investigations of Gordianus the Finder

JACKET NOTES:  Steven Saylor's Roma Sub Rosa series of novels, set in the late Roman Republic and featuring Gordianus the Finder, has garnered unusual acclaim from readers and reviewers alike, establishing him as one of the pre-eminent historical crime writers. In A Gladiator Dies Only Once, the second collection of his award-winning stories featuring Gordianus, Saylor more than meets his own high standards. Set during period between the events of his novels Roman Blood and Catalina's Riddle, these previously untold adventures range from twisted search for truth behind a threatening blind item in the Acta Diurna ("The Consul's Wife") and a kidnapping and murder during the revolt of Sertorius ("The White Fawn") to the story behind Cicero's discovery of Archimedes's tomb ("Archimedes Tomb") and a perplexing domestic situation in Gordianus's own home ("If a Cyclops Could Vanish in a Glimpse of an Eye.")

These tales from the early career of Gordianus - when his adopted son Eco was still a mute boy and his wife Bethesda was but his slave - will delight Saylor's many fans while illuminating the details of the ancient world like no other writer can.
(© St. Martin's Press)


SYNOPSIS:  Fresh from his duel of wits with Cleopatra in The Judgement cf Caesar, Gordianus the Finder, detective of ancient Rome, returns in this new collection of short stories. Nine tales of mystery, murder and intrigue take Gordianus from the seamy streets of Rome to elegant villas on the Bay of Naples, and from a Sicilian graveyard with a deadly secret to a bloody battlefield in Spain. Whether against the spectacular backdrop of a chariot race, or settling a domestic dispute with his beautiful Egyptian concubine Bethesda, Gordianus is always on the case. As in Sayior's previous collection, The House of the Vestals, all the stories in A Gladiator Dies Only Once take place early in Gordianus's career. Often at his side, rapidly growing up, is the mute boy Eco, his adopted son. Frequently conferring with Gordianus is his good-hearted patrician friend, Lucius Claudius Cicero, the great lion of the Roman law courts, makes several appearances. Sertorius, the rebel general who set up a rival Roman state in Spain, casts a shadow across the book from beginning to end, and makes a haunting appearance in the story "The White Fawn." In the title story, a beautiful Nubian actress begs to Gordianus to solve an impossible problem: how can she have just seen her beloved brother in the marketplace, when she previously saw him die a gruesome death as a gladiator?
(© Constable and Robinson)