The Roman Heir is an historical fiction set in 512AD. At less than one hundred pages, this is a quick read.
Argoicus, a former praefect of Rome, is asked to deliver a book to the son of an old Roman family. He arrives hours after the vicious murder of Pius, the head of the family. Known for his investigative skills, Argolicus agrees to help find the murderer.
A murder mystery, this book reveals the politics, secrets and hopes of those under Roman rule. The book has a large cast of characters which, whilst adding to the confusion and intrigue, do make it hard for the reader to keep them all in their head. I also felt that the short length of the book left me bereft of any chance to really get to know and empathise with the main players.
If you want to sit down for a quick escape with a murder mystery, then this might be for you. For me, it was just an okay read.
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Mystery in History
After Rome, before the Middle Ages, Italy belonged to the Ostrogoths.
A naive teenager. A broken-hearted sister. A corrupt patrician. Argolicus unravels the threads.
Argolicus and Nikolaos deliver a gift but arrive hours after a brutal murder. They look for an answer until they find that a man’s secrets do not go with him to the grave.
When Argolicus arrives in the dying resort of Ostia, he finds chaos and sorrow in the villa. The young book lover’s father has been viciously murdered just hours before and the young man asks for help.
With just days to find the killer before his ship leaves port, Argolicus must probe the politics of the dying town. But with every investigation he makes, the circle of possibilities grows. Success seems out of reach and he must disappoint the family until a ruffian accosts him and pieces fall into place.
About the author
Zara Altair combines mystery with a bit of adventure in the Argolicus mysteries. The Used Virgin is the first in a series of mysteries based in southern Italy at the time of the Ostrogoth rule of Italy under Theoderic the Great. Italians (Romans) and Goths live under one king while the Roman Empire is ruled from Constantinople. At times the cultures clash, but Argolicus uses his wit, sometimes with help from his tutor Nikolaos, to provide justice in a province far from the King’s court.
Zara Altair lives in Beaverton, Oregon. She is a fiction author writing in the historical fiction genre. Her approach to writing is to present the puzzle and let Argolicus and Nikolaos find the solution encountering a bit of adventure and some humor in their search. Her stories are rich in historical detail based on years of research. Zara is working on a historical novel Felix Ravenna: A Mosaic set in the same time period with Argolicus as the main character.