Life is sweet for Flavia Albia and her soon-to-be husband Faustus. But his new job as a building contractor runs into a problem: At the Garden of the Hesperides a barmaid went missing years before; now the workmen start unearthing her bones.
Albia takes on the task of finding out what happened. Five more skeletons are discovered. Despite the fact that nobody seems to know or care who died, violent attempts are made to stop her enquiries.
Soon Albia is exploring the world of Roman streetlife, where bars are brothels, workers lead brutal lives, foreigners are muscling in on the gambling syndicates, and extortion is commonplace. What´s more there´s little time to solve the mystery before the wedding day when Albia is expected to show Rome that her affair with Manlius is a much more than a casual fling. The gods, however, have other ideas...
Historical novelist Lindsey Davis is best known for her novels set in Ancient Rome, including the much-loved Marcus Didius Falco series, although she has also written about the English Civil War, including in 2014 A Cruel Fate, a book for the Quick Reads literacy initiative. Her examination of the paranoid reign of the roman emperor Domitian began with Master and God, a standalone novel, leading to her new series about Flavia Albia, set in that dark period.
Her books are translated and have been dramatized on BBC Radio 4. Her many awards include the Premio Colosseo (from the city of Rome) and the Crime Writers´ Cartier Diamond Dagger for lifetime achievement. Most recently she was the inaugural winner of the Barcino (Barcelona) International Historical Novel Prize.