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The Medicus Series
The second of Ms Downie’s expanding series of adventures and tribulations for Medicus Gaius Petreius Ruso, serving in Britannia with the Twentieth Legion of the Roman Army. Most of his troubles being caused by Tilla, his slave come girlfriend who is from the far North of Britain and is as wild and independent as they come, but also loyal and faithful, although, often, her idea of those two qualities vary somewhat from Ruso’s. Oh, and he is also hampered from living the quiet life of serving as an unassuming Medicus by the inconvenient intrusion of a murder.
Heading North (in pursuit of peace and quiet) he has joined an army of Batavians, where he soon discovers that, despite Tilla's assurance to the contrary and being from these parts, the people North of the Wall are not especially keen on the Romans. He and Tilla take a bed in a tavern for the night (along with a few fleas), during which a thunderstorm rages. Tilla is anxious about a friend who has just given birth and then someone is found dead and another gets injured when bullocks pulling a heavily-laden cart bolt and... well, no spoilers!
Ruso and Tilla are absolute delights. Ruth Downie has created a wonderfully witty, engrossing series that will have her readers turning the pages to discover not only who the murderer is, but also laughing at the delicious humour. But don’t be deceived by the wit, Ms Downie knows her stuff as far as the detail and the facts behind the fiction go.
Currently there are seven in the series, with number eight, Memento Mori released this month, (March 2018 US and in April UK) Read them in order to gain the full fun of the major and minor characters – but each one works perfectly as a stand-alone, so it does not matter where you start, although the beginning is always best!
© Helen Hollick
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