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Rubies of the Viper [Kindle Edition]

Martha Marks
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (152 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $14.95
Kindle Price: $3.99
You Save: $10.96 (73%)
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Book Description

When her brother is murdered in first-century Rome, Theodosia Varro inherits the family estate, going from poverty and isolation to great wealth and a prestigious position in society. Only by identifying her brother's killer can she feel safe, yet her efforts take her in quite the opposite direction. After her own actions and the scheming of others lead to catastrophe, Theodosia struggles to survive and recover what matters most in her life.


“I ordered this book after seeing all the five star reviews. Now I see they are well deserved. Impossible to put this book down. I HIGHLY recommend this book.” Patricia Goodspeed, Amazon Vine Voice


“If I were to select a book of the year to read, RUBIES OF THE VIPER would be in the running for top choice. Yes, it is that good.” —Rhonda Esakov for Story Circle Book Reviews


“RUBIES OF THE VIPER is a fast-paced, suspenseful and romantic historical novel, and a totally satisfying read. Buy this book, you will not be disappointed!” —M. Louisa Locke, author of Maids of Misfortune


"RUBIES OF THE VIPER is a genuine gem of a mystery set in Rome during the reigns of the Emperors Claudius and Nero. It's full of exciting suspense and beautifully developed characters. Marks's rich portrayal of Roman life is delightful and gruesome in turns--just as a good Roman mystery ought to be. We get the grace, the violence and the perversion that was imperial society revealed through a spell-binding tale." —Judith Starkston, classical scholar and blogger


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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Martha Marks earned her Ph.D. in Spanish literature and linguistics at Northwestern University and subsequently served on the faculties of Northwestern University and Kalamazoo College. She enjoyed studying and teaching the novels, plays, and poetry of great Spanish and Latin American authors, and she believes that Rubies of the Viper is a better novel because of her in-depth exposure to their work. Please visit Martha's website: marthamarks.com

Product Details

  • File Size: 520 KB
  • Print Length: 338 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0979519349
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B001VNCB34
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #263,155 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
53 of 56 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Gem of a Roman Thriller June 27, 2012
Format:Paperback
Rubies of the Viper is a genuine gem of a mystery set in Rome during the reigns of the Emperors Claudius and Nero. It's full of exciting suspense and beautifully developed characters. Marks's rich portrayal of Roman life is delightful and gruesome in turns--just as a good Roman mystery ought to be. We get the grace, the violence and the perversion that was imperial society revealed through a spell-binding tale.

The heroine is a fictional woman named Theodosia Varro, who at the opening of the novel has inherited a vast fortune, including the beautiful villa where she spent her happy childhood--only she hasn't seen the villa in years because she's been stuck in poverty in the Subura, a Roman slum, banished there by a villainous brother. She isn't sad her brother was stabbed through the heart outside a brothel, but she doesn't want to suffer the same fate, and she suspects there's more to her brother's murder than the official line that it was a robbery, especially since he wasn't robbed.

Her brother's close friend Otho warns her to beware the slaves at the villa--they are probably out to murder her. But Theodosia has had an unusual life, and she discovers her slaves are more likely to be her friends than her killers. The sons of the best Roman families want to marry her, although Otho and Vespasian's son, Titus, are her favorite suitors. She's the richest catch around even if she had a Greek mother and displays some decidedly inappropriate behavior for a patrician lady. She's lonely with only slaves for company, but taking a husband means handing over her fortune and her freedom to a man. Does she want to? Otho keeps reminding her she isn't safe without a husband to protect her. And he certainly turns out to be right.
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34 of 35 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An Ancient Roman Bodice Ripper April 6, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I was about 10 percent into this novel before I realized it was a "Heaving breasts - Bodice Ripper - Bare chested hero tale" set in first century A.D. Roman empire.
Try as I might, I couldn't put it down. Parts are predictable and of course the heroine is in "love" with more than one loveable hero. Tragedy and injustice abound.
An enjoyable, fast, light read well grounded in ancient Roman culture, where class conflicts abound.
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36 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rubies of the Viper August 23, 2010
By Scoop
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Martha Marks hit a homerun with this novel. It incorporates everything that one could wish for in a novel. You simply can't put it down. Mystery, history, power, lust, love and every human emotion imaginable. The vivid descriptions of the people and locations were some of the best I've ever read. The movie directors should be knocking at Martha's door.
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37 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Slave or free? January 22, 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The author avoids a major pitfall of historical novels, especially the ones about Ancient Rome or Greece: She doesn't make it sound like a history lesson. Her contemporary use of prose makes the story sound like it could have happened last year--which, in fact, it could. Though the background of the story is a murder mystery, the real narrative is about what goes on in the minds of the principal players, both slave and free. In the end we must wonder, who is truly free?

PS: I wanted to comment on the previous reviewer who saw this primarily as a romance novel. I am baffled by that opinion. There is romance in the novel, which is not sentimental or overly sexual. There is also a murder mystery and a story of social mores: in other words, the story works on more than one level. Some readers may not like the book, just as I don't care much for Henry James or William Faulkner. That doesn't mean they are bad writers--it's just a matter of taste.

PPS: As to the other reviewer who found the villain to be "over the top," I suggest reading some history. Otho really was like that.
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A MUST READ June 15, 2009
By Renata
Format:Kindle Edition
It took only a few pages for me to realize that it would be very difficult for me (and other readers) to put it down. The descriptions of time, place, (ancient Rome) and of the many intriguing characters that one meets throughout the novel are so vivid that I often felt that I was watching a movie. " Rubies of the Viper" has enough mystery, suspense, and romance to fill several novels. In fact, after finishing it, I am convinced that it would make a terrific movie.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars So Good It Made Me Irresponsible April 29, 2012
By Rumy
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Wow! I decided to nibble just a couple of pages of RUBIES OF THE VIPER to decide what I wanted to read next after tacking some more responsible reading I needed to do. It seduced me with the first page and all hopes of responsibility went out the window. It is really, really good, and very visual -- much like watching Masterpiece Theatre. Set in first century Rome, it weaves fascinating historical details through the mystery without slowing its pace.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding Ancient Roman Murder Mystery June 22, 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Martha Marks "Rubies of the Viper" is an outstanding murder mystery/romance set in the Roman Empire. Plot, characters, dialogue, and realistic depictions of the Roman legal system and slavery are all outstanding.

I understand Martha has plans for eventually writing two sequels - I shall certainly read them when they become available.Rubies of the Viper
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Start only when you have time... March 15, 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
A good friend recommended this book so checked Amazon and also the author's website. Started reading the 42 online pages found there and couldn't stop reading. Ordered it immediately and then waited impatiently for it's arrival. Few books can keep me awake in the evening, but when Rubies of the Viper arrived, I read till the wee hours of the mornin' and sadly finished it the next day. Sad only because that fine tale was finished - would've enjoyed reading much more. Am looking forward to Martha's next book.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful, fast and easy read, full of history made interesting and...
Rubies of the Viper was hard for me to put down..the plot was well played, interesting history made fun. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Mss57
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable Read
RUBIES OF THE VIPER 4 star
Very enjoyable historical romance. The story kept me interested and it was a very good read. Read more
Published 2 months ago by LuvToRead
4.0 out of 5 stars Good but too long
This book was really good, but it was very very long. The book is very well written. You'll fall in love with the characters.
Published 3 months ago by Heather Hazard
4.0 out of 5 stars Great read
We'll paced with good plot and interesting characters. Both I and my wife read it from cover to cover once we started reading.
Published 4 months ago by Bo
4.0 out of 5 stars Fun Ancient Roman Mystery
I really enjoyed this mystery set in ancient Roman times. I admit, at times, there were a few too many minor characters which served to move the plot along, but overall, the main... Read more
Published 4 months ago by E. Mason
5.0 out of 5 stars Dont miss
Wonderful novel! Once i got into the story i could not put it down. Though the ending is predictable it is a wonderful book! Highly recommend!
Published 4 months ago by Gingersnapcookie
5.0 out of 5 stars Rubies of the Viper
A truly fascinating book! From page one I was hooked, the cast of characters were amazing and seem to grow right off the pages. Read more
Published 7 months ago by DD Gott
4.0 out of 5 stars Good, but not Awesome
It started out GREAT, then it wandered a bit. It also varied in its dialog. Sometimes it slipped into more contemporary dialect than Roman. Overall, though, it was a good read.
Published 7 months ago by REE
4.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining
I liked reading about the lives of slaves and property owners in early Rome., I also found it interesting to learn how quickly one's life can totally change depending on who is in... Read more
Published 7 months ago by Jeanette
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Suspense Novel Based On Ancient Rome
I understand that this is the writer's first novel venture into historical and fictional ancient Rome. A great book for being this writers first novel.. Read more
Published 8 months ago by GALLI
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More About the Author

Martha Marks earned her Ph.D. in Spanish literature and linguistics at Northwestern University (Illinois, United States) and served on the faculties of Northwestern University and Kalamazoo College. She enjoyed studying and teaching the novels, plays, and poetry of great Spanish and Latin-American writers, and she believes that RUBIES OF THE VIPER is a better novel because of her in-depth exposure to their work.

Please visit her blog -- http://thepurpleparchment.com/ -- for a free map of places mentioned in RUBIES OF THE VIPER and additional information about the people, places, and culture in it.

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Topic From this Discussion
Why are their no books for an iPad? Very disappointed.
You can download a free Kindle app for the iPad here:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/feature.html/ref=kcp_ipa_ln_ar?docId=1000490441

Once you get that, you can read any Kindle book on your iPad. There are apps available for most other devices too.
Jan 14, 2013 by Martha Marks |  See all 2 posts
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