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All Roads Lead to Murder: A Case from the Notebooks of Pliny the Younger Kindle Edition
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"Children of Blood and Bone"
Tomi Adeyemi conjures a stunning world of dark magic and danger in her West African-inspired fantasy debut. Learn more
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Author Albert Bell develops a plausible, if somewhat convoluted, plot, but is less adept in his portrayal of believable characters. He aims to make the dialogue between his characters snappy repartee, but somehow they don't often come off that way. I suspect that this partly because he has chosen to put his protagonists, Pliny and Tacitus, in their early twenties. They seem to lack both consistent wit and gravitas. The secondary characters are also given less than credible dialogue and personalities as well.
I couldn't help but compare this book to Lindsay Davis' excellent Marcus Didius Falco series which takes place in roughly the same time period, but somehow makes murder and humor work well together. In this book, Pliny does not touch the hem of Falco's tunic.
A later book in the Pliny series is better, in my judgement, than "All Roads...". I would start with that book and skip this one.