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Solid Citizens (A Marcus Corvinus mystery) Hardcover – November 1, 2013

4.1 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

The year is 39 CE. A politician in a town outside Rome is murdered, his body found at a brothel. The victim has a reputation as a respectable citizen; can it be that he had a secret life? Investigator Marcus Corvinus, star of more than a dozen novels since 1995’s Ovid, must answer that question before the town is torn apart. This is a solid entry in the Corvinus series, with the usual strengths (excellent characterization and period setting) and weaknesses (the prose often awkwardly sounds like a modern-day translation, with phrases like “oh yeah, sure” sounding decidedly off-key). There are numerous similarities between this series and Lindsey Davis’ long-running Marcus Didius Falco series, which debuted in 1989 and also features a Roman private investigator whose stories are told in a noirish first-person narration. Fans of both series will have long ago made their peace with the anachronistic narrative style and will greet this new Corvinus novel with open arms. --David Pitt

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“Corvinus' wry first-person narrative holds his 15th whodunit together" (Kirkus Reviews)

“Fans will greet this new Corvinus novel with open arms.” (Booklist)
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Product Details

  • Series: A Marcus Corvinus mystery (Book 15)
  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Crème de la Crime; First World Publication edition (November 1, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1780290543
  • ISBN-13: 978-1780290546
  • Product Dimensions: 5.6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,309,475 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
After the last two previous and rather disappointing Corvinus mysteries, it's good to see that Wishart has crafted a fast moving, tightly constructed mystery that is more like his earlier efforts. It's Saturnalia time and Corvinus and Perilla are visiting their adopted daughter and her husband when Corvinus is requested by a Senator from the nearby town of Bovillae to investigate the murder of an upstanding citizen who was about to become a censor. As he looks into the murder, Corvinus finds himself deluged with a number of people who have motives for doing away with the victim, including a disowned brother, a nephew, an antiques dealer, an enraged farmer, the madame of a brothel, and even two town officials. Two of the suspects are also murdered and the list of suspects narrows, but not before Corvinus has discovered that the two town officials and the first murder victim were not exactly the "solid citizens" they pretended to be. Marcus solves the mystery in time to celebrate Saturnalia with family and slaves, including his always entertaining and long suffering major domo. I have always liked the series and am glad to see that this effort is back up to standard.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Wishart seems to have found a new publisher (Crème), so the self-publishing prob-lems of his previous couple of books have gone away. In this one Corvinus and his household have removed from Rome to the village of Castrimoeniam, a few hours’ jour-ney south of Rome, where his adopted daughter Marilla and her physician husband Cornelius Clarus live, for the Winter Festival (aka Saturnalia). Corvinus is expecting a fairly boring interlude, but shortly after his arrival a senator from the nearby small city of Bovillae turns up on his doorstep announcing that Quintus Caesius, one of the “solid citizens” of the town, had been murdered, and begging Corvinus to investigate. This suits him well, so he spends the rest of the book investigating. Caesius’s body had been found outside the back entrance to the city’s only brothel, and the owner of the enterprise informs him that Caesius had become a regular customer over the previous few months since his wife had died, naturally entering and leaving the place via the rear entrance. Finding a motive for the murder turns out not to be all that tough, but figuring out which of those with motives had acted on them is trickier. A very decent mystery set in the reign of Caligula, though the emperor plays no role in the story.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
It is Winter Festival time and the family is all together up at Aunt Marcia's, the old lady died a few books ago so that is not as much fun as it was. The town censor one town over is murdered and found on the doorstep of the local brothel. Marcus is asked to step in. Bodies drop progressively through the story as usual and nasty secrets are uncovered. More fun for the family members than the mystery but nice little mystery altogether.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Lighthearted and fun, even though it's a murder mystery. Corvinus enjoys his life, which makes reading about it enjoyable. Nothing too serious; even major social issues are matter-of-fact elements of the mystery.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Saturn'sfestivialthe forerunner of our Christmas occurring..in AD39.. Marcus has. Agreed to solve a murder for the town of Belleville of .The highest ranking. politician An is a accounting of now he solves the murder

.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Marcus Corvinus always makes me think of a typical Londoner. Of course I know one can't write popular books in Latin and the use of English idiomatic expressions in the mouth of a Roman is always amusing. The ambience is also good and very plausible and roman city life well portrayed.
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Format: Kindle Edition
“Solid Citizens” is the fifteenth novel in the Marcus Corvinus Mystery series. Marcus Corvinus is hired by the local senators in Bovillae, a small town about a day’s journey from Rome via the Appian Way, to investigate the murder of a newly elected Censor. If you are not familiar with the duties and responsibilities of a censor, they are responsible for registering of the citizens and of their property, keeping of the public morals, and administering the finances of the town. Therefore, it is not be good to find the new Censor murdered at the back door of a local brothel.

The main plot becomes very complex with several leads that lead to Marcus Corvinus into the very shady dealings of Bovillan senators, aediles, questors, a brothel owner and an assorted group of other characters. The twists and turns are many. My interest was maintained throughout the entire novel. I often read late into the early morning.

One of the major reasons that I like this series is the B-story. This novel adds to knowledge of Marcus Corvinus and his family. For this novel, Marcus Corvinus and his wife, Perilla, are staying at the home of their adopted daughter, Marilla, and her doctor husband, Cornelius Clarus who helps Marcus Corvinus with the cause of death for several murders. There is an entertaining turf war with Marcus’ and Perilla’s majordomo, Bathyllus, and Cornelius’ and Marilla’s majordomo, Lupercus. Add to this mix, Marcus’ Mother and Stepfather arrive with their chief, Phormio, to cook the winter festival dinner. A little history here; whenever Marcus and Perilla consume Phormio’s cooking, they spend the next day or more in gastrointestinal distress. This enjoyable B-story is very adroitly woven into the main story and enhances the pleasure of reading this novel.
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