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The Saint's Day Deaths Paperback – August 1, 2000


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In the waning days of the Roman empire, a series of inexplicable murders plague the frontier outpost of Mongonium. Bracing for the possible invasion of hostile Vandal tribes, the population of this isolated city is also being torn apart by internal religious squabbles. When two Christian sects clash, a pagan sympathizer stands ready to resurrect the glory days of the Roman Pantheon of gods. After several citizens named for Christian martyrs meet grisly and untimely deaths, Treverius Asterius, a wily cartographer commissioned to survey the entire region, suspects foul play. As Treverius draws closer to the truth, a power-crazed government official determined to carve out a new rebel province threatens the security of the entire town. An evocative and authentically detailed historical mystery. Margaret Flanagan
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 360 pages
  • Publisher: Creative Arts Book Company; First Edition edition (August 1, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0887392520
  • ISBN-13: 978-0887392528
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,175,067 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Shawn Childers on October 27, 2000
Author Albert Noyer has brought history to life through a novel that has something for everyone - murderous conspiracy, political intrigue, warring sects and religious motivations - in "The Saint's Day Deaths." This evocative, historically accurate fictional mystery provides twists and turns never anticipated by the reader. The story is set in the year 406 CE, and the Rhine River has frozen over, making the city of Mogontium a target of three factions vying for empire. It is the beginning of the fall of the Roman Empire, and barbarian tribes are planning an invasion over the frozen river, while Christians and pagans clash inside the city to acquire religious and political power. In the midst, each month a citizen is murdered on their namsake's Saint's day in the same way the saint was martyred. [With Presbyter Modestus,] husband and wife team Treverius and Blandina, mapmakers, investigate the murders for an ailing governor and must find the culprit, as well as a way to prevent more deaths while they sort through a mingling of politics and religion combined with deception, treachery and greed. Noyer is an obvious passionate savant of Roman history and superbly combines it with many literary elements such as foreshadowing, allusion and dialogue. His first novel is a glorious accomplishment combining historical fact and setting, intriguing fictional characters and mesmerizing events. A glossary of names and places and the addition of three maps create an authenticity rarely found in literature. Review by Shawn Childers, East Mountain Telegraph.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Bruno Manz on October 17, 2000
This is a historical novel in the best sense of the word. A good history book makes the past come true, and a good novel breathes life into something that never happened. This book accomplishes both. An amazing feet! The story plays at around 400 AD in the Roman outpost Mogontium at the river Rhine. With the historical finesse that makes this book so enjoyable, the author selected for Mogontium a location that roughly coincides with the modern city of Mainz, thus making the settlement half fictitious, half real. At the time, the Rhine marked the boundary between two cultures: Supposedly civilized Rome west of the river, and barbaric Germanic tribes to the east. It was a time of frequent clashes between the dying paganism of the past and the budding religion of the future. This struggle, which provides the background for the story, becomes plastically alive through the deeds and the dialogues of its finely chiseld characters. The historical setting, in turn, heightens the story's suspense that would be considerable even in a more ordinary environment. The story is a classic whodunit. The stage is set when a worker, acting on behalf of Presbyter Modestus, attempts to erect a Christian cross on a former temple of Jupiter and is struck by lightning. Treverius and Cyril, who witness the incident, are terrified, but for different reasons. Treverius, the map maker, who has adopted the Christian faith, considers the poor man's death an accident, while Cyril, a rich merchant, who still clings to orthodox pantheism, views it a Jupiter's revenge. Many more deaths will follow, Cyril darkly prophesies, while Triverius attends to the daed man and his widow. Cyril's prophesy comes true, or so it seems, when Mogontium is rocked by a series of grisly murders.Read more ›
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Albert Noyer on February 5, 2000
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Mr. Noyer's knowledge of the A.D. Fifth century will amaze-but this is a mystery for all time. Vandals and politics, religious fanatics and pagans, all collide and combust as the Roman Empire skids to its death...
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