I’m almost finished reading Catilina’s Riddle by Steven Saylor, a mystery set in ancient Rome. I tend not to like historical mysteries because I usually find them too contrived, but this one is very good once you get into it. I want to find out what happens next to the protagonist, Gordianus the Finder, and his family, so I’ll have to read the other books in the series.
According to the author’s biography in the back of the book, the series is called Roma Sub Rosa. But there’s little other information in the book about this series. I’d like to read the books in order, but which comes first? Where in the series does Catilina’s Riddle fall?
Unfortunately, the author’s website is currently down. And I can’t find the answer on Amazon, either. The publisher should have numbered these books!
Finally I found a cached copy of the author’s site on Yahoo, with a list of the books in chronological order. I thought I might as well post it here in case someone else is looking for it:
1. Roman Blood. Gordianus the Finder is summoned to the house of Cicero. The charge is patricide; the motive, a son’s greed.
2. The House of the Vestals. A book of short stories that take place in the time gap between Roman Blood and Arms of Nemesis.
3. Arms of Nemesis. An estate overseer is murdered by two slaves who have probably run off to join the Spartacan slave revolt. Gordianus must find them within five days, or 39 other slaves will die in their place.
4. Catilina’s Riddle. Gordianus gets swept up in the epochal Catiline conspiracy. This is the book I’ve been reading. I’ve been enjoying it because of the interesting, complex relationship between Gordianus and his sons.
5. The Venus Throw. Two strange visitors to Rome — an Egyptian ambassador and a eunuch priest — seek Gordianus’s help.
6. A Murder on the Appian Way. It’s 52 B.C.: an evil time for Rome. Gordianus must quell public violence by solving a murder mystery.
7. Rubicon. As Caesar marches on Rome and panic erupts in the city, Gordianus discovers, in his own home, the body of Pompey’s favorite cousin.
8. Last Seen in Massilia. Gordianus’s beloved son has disappeared, branded as a traitor to Caesar and apparently dead.
9. A Mist of Prophecies. During the Roman Civil War, as the forces of Pompey and Julius Caesar fight a series of battles, Gordianus investigates the murder of a beautiful young seeress.
10. The Judgement of Caesar. As Pompey plots a reckless stand on the banks of the Nile, Gordianus finds himself at the heart of a series of treacherous and history-altering events.
Coincidentally, someone searching for “Steven Saylor on HBO series Rome” found my blog earlier today. If that person comes back: Check Yahoo’s cache of the author’s site. At the moment, it’s there.
***An additional note: I should have checked Wikipedia! Now I see that it has a list of all the books in this series, including one I missed: A Gladiator Dies Only Once, which according to Amazon is a book of short stories set early in Gordianus’s career. (I won’t add it to the list above because I don’t know exactly where it fits chronologically.)