Set in the Roman Empire, this novel starts with the holiday of Marcus Corvinus, part-time snoop, who starts to enjoy the sun, wine and food in the company of his wife, adopted daughter and his assorted and eccentric household. He'd just about managed to avoid major upsets with his mother when his daffy stepfather is discovered standing over a corpse with a dagger in his hand. There goes his peaceful holiday!
Marcus can't believe the vague, timid old man capable of anger let alone murder so who did it? Even without the intense goading of his mother, Marcus Corvinus would investigate the puzzle anyway. To do so he insinuates himself with the locals, a curious mixture of wine and olive farmers, snobs and rogues. He discovers infidelities, long-forgotten history, wine scams, a donkey, a grizzled old veteran soldier, organised crime and rural idylls.
Wisharts Marcus Corvinus is a Roman Marlowe, with a dry sense of humour and great patience.
This report prepared by Alan J. Bishop