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The Murder of Cleopatra: History's Greatest Cold Case Paperback – February 19, 2013
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There was no suicide by asp, advises Brown; the most famous woman of antiquity was strangled on the orders of the victor of Rome’s civil wars, Octavian. Resting this belief on her reputation as a professional criminal profiler, Brown examined the sources about Cleopatra’s demise (Plutarch, Suetonius, Cassius Dio); detected defects in their descriptions of the death scene; and then traveled to Egypt in 2003 to investigate. There was more motivation to her trip than personal curiosity. Brown reveals that a TV production company enlisted her to appear in its program on Cleopatra, a natural choice because Brown’s own TV profile was high; according to her website (patbrownprofiling.com), up to 2010, she frequently appeared on tabloid TV shows to talk about crimes and criminals. For the cold case of Cleopatra, Brown envelops her suspicions of murder within a narrative of Cleopatra’s contested rule of Egypt, which she diplomatically maintained through Julius Caesar and Mark Antony until Octavian came knocking. Whether convinced by Brown’s theories or not, tastes for ancient mysteries will be well entertained by her account. --Gilbert Taylor
"A compelling... investigation into the demise of Cleopatra, this book attempts to disprove the fabled story of her suicide by snakebite while hypothesizing a very different cause of death." --Publishers Weekly
"The end of Antony and Cleopatra after the lost battle of Actium has been the subject of endless books and articles written by historians and essayists. This idea of the murder of Cleopatra (and Antony)—developing an ancient cold case—is totally new and fascinating. Really thrilling to read!" --Dr. Hilke Thur, Institute for Studies of Ancient Culture, Austrian Academy of Sciences