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Vita Brevis: A Crime Novel of the Roman…
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Vita Brevis: A Crime Novel of the Roman Empire (The Medicus Series, 7) (utgåvan 2017)

av Ruth Downie (Författare)

Serier: Medicus Ruso (7)

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
1073203,645 (3.82)5
"Russo and Tilla's excitement upon arriving in Rome with their baby daughter is soon dulled by their discovery that the grand facades of polished marble mask an underworld of corrupt landlords and vermin-infested tenements. There are also far too may doctors--some skilled, but others positively dangerous. Ruso thinks he has been offered a reputable medical practice only to find that his predecessor, Doctor Kleitos, has fled, leaving a dead man in a barrel on the doorstep and the warning "Be careful who you trust." Distracted by the body and his efforts to help a friend win the hand of a rich young heiress, Ruso makes a grave mistake, causing him to question his own competence and integrity. With Ruso's reputation under threat, he and Tilla must protect their small family from Doctor Kleito's debt collectors and find allies in their new home while they track down the vanished doctor and find out the truth about the father of the heiress--Russo's patient--and the unfortunate man in the barrel."--… (mer)
Medlem:Colleen85
Titel:Vita Brevis: A Crime Novel of the Roman Empire (The Medicus Series, 7)
Författare:Ruth Downie (Författare)
Info:Bloomsbury USA (2017), Edition: Reprint, 384 pages
Samlingar:Ditt bibliotek
Betyg:
Taggar:Ingen/inga

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Vita Brevis av Ruth Downie

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» Se även 5 omnämnanden

Visar 3 av 3
Just the right balance of explanations and not in this book for me. Some of the earlier ones have left me a little baffled. Satisfying end too!
I recommend this series as well as Lindsey Davis's Falco series as clever well written mysteries set in ancient Rome. Not sure if it's an actual career track for historian/writers but these two are the stars. ( )
  Je9 | Aug 10, 2021 |
This is the seventh installment of an entertaining historical crime fiction series set in the Ancient Roman Empire.

It is A.D. 123 and Roman Army medic Gaius Petreius Ruso and his small family - his wife Tilla and their adopted baby Mara, are now in Rome, where Ruso is working for Accius, a former legionary tribune. They thought Rome must have earned its reputation as the most desirable place in the universe, but instead they found it to be full of cockroaches and corruption, with the people suspicious, hostile, and not very welcoming.

At first, Tilla decided that in Rome she needed to be a “Good Roman Wife.” The strain quickly gets to be too much; as she mused: “It was very confusing having to say one thing and mean another all the time.”

Ruso has been asked to take over the medical practice of a Doctor Kleitos who seemed to have fled in the night, leaving practically nothing except a barrel on the doorstep with a dead body. It looks as if he were involved in the dodgy business of illegally procuring dead bodies to learn more anatomy. Ruso is not only blamed for the body, but is attacked by money collectors who want their fee for delivering it.

Upset by all this and assailed by a rich patient who wanted an immediate delivery of more of the theriac (poison antidote) supplied to him by Dr. Kleitos, Ruso makes a careless concoction of uncertain contents. The results cause him to question his integrity and career.

The two of them, three with their baby Mara and soon five after purchasing two slaves, are much more unhappy in Rome than they anticipated. Tilla tells Ruso:

“You have all those magistrates for making laws. Great bronze plaques with letters tamped into them as if they speak the truth and nothing can be changed. But this place is just like anywhere else. Everything depends on rumors and lies.”

They need to get out of Rome, as soon as Ruso solves the mystery of the dead man in the barrel, clears himself from charges over the suspect theriac, and finds out the truth about the medical practice and the runaway doctor.

In addition to their other travails, Ruso and Tilla have adjustments to make with a new baby in their lives, which takes up so much of Tilla’s time and affection, and interferes with their physical relationship. Tilla is still dabbling with the religion of Christos, a practice which upsets Ruso, and Ruso needs to find out what he wants to do and where he belongs.

Evaluation: I continue to find this series entertaining. Tilla is a wonderful character, even with her faults, or perhaps even because of them, and Ruso is always adapting in interesting ways. Although I don’t learn as much Roman history as I would like (and as one does with the similar Falco series by Linsey Davis, readers do get exposed to a great deal about how medicine was practiced in Ancient Rome. ( )
  nbmars | Sep 19, 2020 |
Another delightful mystery in the Medicus Gaius Ruso series. This time the outing finds Ruso and Tilla in Rome at the behest of ex-Tribune Accius. Two mysteries to be solved this time around: a dead body in a barrel; also the death [murder?] of Accius's patron, a wealthy real estate magnate cum slumlord. Ruso has come to Rome under false pretenses; Accius has led him to believe the practice he is temporarily taking over is perfectly ordinary, whereas it has its dodgy side. The previous doctor, a Dr. Kleitos, has fled, taking most of his possessions. Why? Debts he's being dunned for? Is the doctor taking dead bodies for illegal purposes, e.g., anatomy? Or? Ruso also finds himself as matchmaker between the lovesick Accius and the dead man's daughter.

I enjoyed the trajectory of the mysteries and how everything fit together logically at the end. Ruso and Tilla make a good team. I especially like their dialogue with each other--a typical married couple--and their coping with a new baby. The scene buying a nanny for the baby at a slave auction was priceless.

Recommended. ( )
  janerawoof | Jul 25, 2016 |
Visar 3 av 3
"Downie’s trademark humor is in evidence, but her superior plotting skills aren’t, in an entry that downplays the historical background."
tillagd av bookfitz | ändraPublishers Weekly (May 23, 2016)
 
"The seventh adventure for Downie’s physician hero (Tabula Rasa, 2014, etc.) masterfully draws out its suspense, painting a vivid portrait of ancient Rome that feels persuasive and authentic."
tillagd av bookfitz | ändraKirkus Reviews (May 15, 2016)
 

» Lägg till fler författare

Författarens namnRollTyp av författareVerk?Status
Ruth Downieprimär författarealla utgåvorberäknat
Abbês, BárbaraOmslagsformgivaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Kim, NaOmslagsformgivaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat

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. . . medicoque tantum hominem occidisse inpunitas summa est.

. . . only a doctor can kill a man with complete impunity.

Pliny the Elder, Natural History
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Remembering Teresa Vance,
a good friend to Ruso, to me, and to many.
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Rome, April, 123 A.D.

The shortcut was a mistake.
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"Russo and Tilla's excitement upon arriving in Rome with their baby daughter is soon dulled by their discovery that the grand facades of polished marble mask an underworld of corrupt landlords and vermin-infested tenements. There are also far too may doctors--some skilled, but others positively dangerous. Ruso thinks he has been offered a reputable medical practice only to find that his predecessor, Doctor Kleitos, has fled, leaving a dead man in a barrel on the doorstep and the warning "Be careful who you trust." Distracted by the body and his efforts to help a friend win the hand of a rich young heiress, Ruso makes a grave mistake, causing him to question his own competence and integrity. With Ruso's reputation under threat, he and Tilla must protect their small family from Doctor Kleito's debt collectors and find allies in their new home while they track down the vanished doctor and find out the truth about the father of the heiress--Russo's patient--and the unfortunate man in the barrel."--

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