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The Vestal Vanishes (Libertus) Hardcover – July 1, 2011


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Editorial Reviews

Review

The disappearance of a Vestal Virgin is cause for alarm. The Vestal Virgin Audelia has retired with a large dowry and the announcement of her wedding is to be a feature of a lavish celebration of the Emperor's birthday in Glevum. When her carriage arrives empty, freeman sleuth Libertus, who has ventured to town for the celebration, is called upon by his patron Marcus to find out what happened to her. Her wealthy bridegroom Publius has come all the way from Rome to claim her and her uncle by marriage, Lavinius, is beside himself with rage. Libertus soon discovers that he must also look into the disappearance of Audelia's cousin Lavinia, who was on her way to become a novice Vestal Virgin. The two met at a private home that takes in guests and somewhere on their journey they both vanished. It is suspected they may have been taken by Druids as revenge or for ransom until the vestals body is found minus head and hands crammed into a trunk in her carriage. As Libertus roams the country looking for answers, he becomes involved in a dangerous cover-up that will require all his skills to escape with a whole skin. Rowe's Roman Britain mysteries (Requiem for a Slave, 2010, etc.) feature complex puzzles intertwined with historical detail; her latest offers some clever twists sure to please --Kirkus Reviews, August 1, 2011

About the Author

Rosemary Rowe is the author of the Libertus Mystery series. She has also written more than a dozen bestselling textbooks as Rosemary Aitken.
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Product Details

  • Series: Libertus
  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Severn House Publishers (July 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0727880292
  • ISBN-13: 978-0727880291
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 5.7 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #584,520 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By travelswithadiplomat on May 1, 2012
Format: Hardcover
"...whatever Lavinius might or might not know, one cannot keep this kind of secret from the gods."
It is these words, spoken by Secunda in a poor farmstead that prove the key to Rosemary Rowe's theme in this latest Libertus mystery.
The story revolves around the impending marriage of Publius Martinus at the end of an auspicious sacrifice in Glevum to the once-Vestal Virgin, Audelia. Yet, before the feasting and Games can commence, Libertus is hurriedly summoned to his patron's side to investigate the disappearance of the bride-to-be on the road from Corinium. Libertus is given no time to go home and explain his commission but is sent off with a suspect raedarius - in the same carriage that was to bring the missing Vestal and her niece, Lavinia, to Glevum - to retrace the steps of the fateful journey and discover the whereabouts of the Vestal. Along the way he discovers complicity and duplicity at hostels, farms, amongst slaves and those charged with the welfare of others until, finally, he uncovers the mystery of a very sad little girl and a woman who desires nothing more than a chance to live her life as she chooses away from both the critical eye of a paterfamilias who would deal nefariously with her future and the intransigent ethics of Roman propriety.
I have to say that Rowe delivers a tidy mystery. The reader is taken sweetly along on the journey that is Libertus mind as he both painstakingly looks for the inevitable clues that come up in his discussions with people and understands the fallibility of relationships that point to motive. Matters are never random, the culprit(s) are always found within three degrees of the victim and superstitious fear is a powerful tool that creates the situations that Rowe sketches us.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I have been following this series for some time and I would not recommend anyone reading this book before others in the series. That aside, this book takes the reader into Roman Britain with an authentic quality to the writing. The characters may be from the past but we recognise them and empathise. The mystery is a little easier to solve than in previous beeoks but that is not really so significant in the face of the quality of the writing.
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By Bead Designer Lady on February 8, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I always like the liberties character and how he solves plots so discreetly. Unlike other historical fiction writers, Rowe's language is natural and she uses modern English. All her plots are also quite unique and this book reminds me of that fact and why I continue to read Rosemary Rowe
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