Marcus Didius Falco is hired by a family of Roman freedmen to investigate the proposed bride of one of their members, Hortensius Novus. The girl in question has had three husbands, each of whom died shortly after marrying her.
Before Falco can find conclusive evidence against the girl, Novus dies of poisoning and Falco is off the case. However, the would-be-bride now hires him to find out who killed Novus. Falco finds the plot thickening when he discovers not one but three poisoned items in Novus's last supper.
In the meanwhile, his high-class girlfriend Helena has finally decided to flout society and move in with Falco - except the day she chooses to do so, Falco is throwing a party to which she has not been invited! To make matters worse, Emperor Vespasian's son and co-ruler, Titus is at the party (having given Falco the chief attraction - a huge turbot) and finds Helena more than a little attractive.
Does Falco manage to solve the case without getting ensnared by the professional bride? Does Helena stay or leave? Does Titus put a spoke in the wheel of their already unconventional relationship? Read the book to find out!
This report prepared by Tiya