Marcus Valerius Messalla Corvinus, a young Roman patrician, investigates the death of Germanicus, the adopted son of the Emperor Tiberius.
The surprise suicide of a young man with ? apparently ? everything to live for, prompts his family to ask Marcus Corvinus to investigate. All they really want is an explanation. But Marcus?s sleuthing uncovers many contradictory elements in the tale, and he is forced to conclude that this wasn?t suicide at all, but murder. As usual, he needs Perilla?s agile brain to untangle the complexities of the case and the pair come to realise that the suicide scenario has a political, as well as a personal, dimension. As if that?s not enough, Corvinus finds his investigations hampered by his new role as reluctant dog-sitter to the seriously misnamed Placida, a Gallic boarhound with a gargantuan appetite and minimal personal hygiene.
'It's a funny thing about holidays in the country, but after only a few days away you feel as if you've been out of circulation for a month' Marcus Corvinus' break in the Alban Hills is interrupted by the sudden and messy death of a candidate for the local censorship post. Can Corvinus find his murderer before the Latin Festival raises its stakes? How do the Latin Nationalists fit into the picture? And what exactly is Meton the chef up to in the kitchen with Dassa the sheep? Corvinus doesn't know the answers either.
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