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Illegally Dead by David Wishart


Illegally Dead by David Wishart

When Corvinus receives a letter, with a tantalising PS, from his adopted daughter, Marilla, mentioning there might have been a murder, he hot-foots it to Castrimoenium at once. Not that everyone agrees that Lucius Hostilius was murdered. Poison was apparently the means of death, but Lucius was terminally ill: it was only a matter of time. Although he hasn't any official investigative status, Corvinus can't resist doing a little amateur sleuthing. And he has barely begun when two other corpses turn up and he is formally on the case. Lucius had been suffering something of a personality change because of his illness, so there is no shortage of suspects among friends and family whom he had antagonised. But Corvinus goes up many a blind alley before arriving at the heart of the mystery. As we follow Marcus Corvinus, clue by clue, on his twelfth case, we allow ourselves to be pleasurably diverted by rumours of Meton's love life - and by an authentic recipe for fish pickle sauce . . .


Like Chandler's Marlowe, Corvinus wisecracks his way through a weary world of murder and intrigue until he hunts down the truth. A taut thriller in which ancient Rome springs to life * The Times on SEJANUS * Drawn with great dash, and the one-liners are as good as ever. Genius. * Good Book Guide on A VOTE FOR MURDER * Ancient Rome's shrewdest and most sardonic detective . . . the best balance of mystery and history yet. * Kirkus Reviews on PARTHIAN SHOT * This is a good, racy account of life in Roman times, with many excellent details of the intimacies of life . . . Corvinius is a fast talking, wisecracking detective, who inspires confidence in the reader that nothing much will get past his shrewd eye . . . This is an entertaining read, with many vivid and humorous characters who can be recognised as types universally known both in ancient Rome and today. The combination of a modern detective story with an informed and well-researched description of ancient Rome is a winner. * Crimesquad * Wishart's investigator pinches his conversation style and hardboiled wisecracking from classic Hollywood noir, which adds a charming incongruity to this entertaining whodunit. A sinuous plot and robustly drawn characters, including an uppity slave and a formidable widow, all add piquancy to this stew of small-town misdemeanours. * Financial Times *

About the Author

David Wishart studied Classics at Edinburgh University. He then taught Latin and Greek in school for four years and after this retrained as a teacher of EFL. He lived and worked abroad for eleven years, working in Kuwait, Greece and Saudi Arabia, and now lives with his wife and family in Scotland.

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Book Info

Publication date

11th December 2008


David Wishart

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Hodder Paperback an imprint of Hodder & Stoughton General Division


272 pages


Historical fiction



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