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Ovid

Author(s): Wishart, David Pages: 368
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton Date of Publication: 1995
Reading Level: Genre:
Setting: Rome Period: t/o Tiberius (Code: 7b1)
Rome Setting: y Christian/Jewish/Pagan: p
Mystery: y First Person: y
Detective/Narrator: Marcus Valerius Messalla Corvinus
Subject: 'Marcus Corvinus has a problem. One of his clients has asked for his help in getting the ashes of her exiled stepfather Ovid returned to Rome. Not only is official permission refused but Marcus uncovers a conspiracy of silence about Ovid's original exile. What is so frightening and why do people want to kill him as he delves into the mystery?' (Doug Moncur <100272.2071@compuserve.com>, via R. Heli) ÒMarcus Corvinus is a young man who likes to have a good time and enjoys wine, women, and laughter far more than a hard day's work. He also happens to be the grandson of Ovid's former patron. So when Ovid's stepdaughter, the luscious Perilla, begs him to recover Ovid's ashes and bring them back to Rome, how can Marcus refuse? Not that the task turns out to be easy: official permission is abruptly denied. And as Marcus starts asking questions in the higher echelons of Roman society, he finds himself drawn deeper and deeper into a web of secrecy, treachery and deceit.' (from the pb ed, acc to Moncour) 'Aristocrat Marcus Valerius Messalla Corvinus uncovers a conspiracy of silence which prevents his recovery of the ashes of the exiled Ovid. In the tradition of Suetonius and Graves. The writings of ill-fated General Quinctilius Varus appear, regrettably less so, those of Ovid.' (Rick Heli)
Unique Qualities: 1st vol of Corvinus-Trilogy. According to Moncour, the pb ed says: "David Wishart studied classics at Edinburgh University. He then taught Latin and Greek for four years and after this retrained as a teacher of EFL [English as a foreign language]. He lived and worked abroad for eleven years, working in Kuwait, Greece, and Saudi Arabia, and now lives with his family in Scotland." See his web site.
Rating: Heli: 2.5 of 4 Stars; 'I read it in a single sitting. I'd give it [***] comparing it with how I felt about other books I've read on the list. Fans of Lindsay Davis should love it.' (Moncour) ---'In the TLS, 25 August 1995, :... this novel is more successful than I, VIRGIL.' (Philip E. Schwartz , Classics-List 1.9.1995)

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