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The King's Gambit (1990)

de John Maddox Roberts

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Sèrie: SPQR (1)

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5601943,511 (3.66)33
Blackmail, corruption, treachery, murder--the glory that was Rome. In this Edgar Award-nominated mystery, John Maddox Roberts takes readers back to a Rome filled with violence and evil. Vicious gangs ruled the streets of Crassus and Pompey, routinely preying on plebeian and patrician alike, so the garroting of a lowly ex-slaved and the disembowelment of a foreign merchant in the dangerous Subura district seemed of little consequence to the Roman hierarchy. But Decius Caecilius Metellus the Younger--highborn commander of the localvigiles--was determined to investigate. Despite official apathy, brazen bribes, and sinister threates, Decius uncovers a world of corruption at the highest levels of his government that threatens to destroy him and the government he serves.… (més)
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Es mostren 1-5 de 19 (següent | mostra-les totes)
A mild amusement but certainly not as good as the Roma Sub Rosa series. Some interesting parts...and the second half is certainly more interesting than the first. ( )
  kwskultety | Jul 4, 2023 |
Los asesinatos de un antiguo gladiador y un mercader extranjero pasan casi inadvertidos en una Roma infestada de violentas bandas e intrigas políticas. Sólo Decio Cecilio, comandante de la policía, parece interesarse por esos dos crímenes, en especial cuando destacadas figuras de la vida pública intentan alejarlo del caso por todos los medios. Contra viento y marea, Decio Cecilio seguirá adelante con la investigación, llegando al meollo mismo de una intrincada conjura en las más altas esferas del imperio.
  Natt90 | Nov 11, 2022 |
Introduction to Decius Caecilius Metellus the Younger, a young man of good family occupying one of the beginning positions of civil government. His duty to investigate an arson and two murders in his ward lead him to a conspiracy among highly placed men. Nevertheless he persists, even daring to ask the aid of his aunt, a venerable member of the College of Vestals. His investigations take him to noble townhouses, the palatial home of an enormously wealthy freedman, a school for gladiators and the port city of Ostia. Trey also take him into danger of his life. We meat the young Julius Caesar, only a playboy deeply in debt at this point and the Publius Claudius whose gangs sway Roman politics. Engrossing and entertaining for those who enjoy historical mysteries. ( )
  ritaer | Jul 4, 2019 |
Roberts is a great writer. I bought this on the strength of his Conan Novels. Can't wait to dig into the rest of the series. Well researched, quick paced and exciting. ( )
  JHemlock | Sep 22, 2017 |
This is a series review.

This is my favorite of all the ancient Roman mysteries that I have read. No other author makes me feel so transported to another time and place, including his habit of giving the dates according to the ancient Roman calendar. His characters use oracular snakes, are surprised at tasting beef when traveling abroad, and find the idea of house cats very odd. Many other mysteries have too much of modern sensibilities in their stories. Roberts sometime takes liberties with history, but he always explains in his notes. I also find some of Decius' turns of phrases hysterically funny, as when he remarks that one can either build up muscles through rigorous training, or just have them worked into the design of one's breastplate. Or that litter slaves think that every direction is uphill.

Decius Caecilius Metellus is a member of a powerful noble plebeian family living in what will prove to be the end of the Roman Republic. He is narrating the stories when he is old, and Roberts makes excellent use of that device, contrasting the young, brash Decius with the the sad, embittered old man. Decius grows and changes as he ages, takes a beloved wife, participates in Roman ceremonies, gathers clients, deals with his slaves, goes to war, travels broadly. I won't give away all the changes he sees, except to say that I am very sorry that Roberts appears to have quit writing the series. The novels end during the year that Julius Caesar reforms the calendar, but some of the short stories extend up into the era of Augustus Caesar (whom Decius loathes.)

My one complaint about the series is that occasionally Roberts skips significant details in the life of Decius. In one book, it appears that his father has died, and in the next seems to imply that he is still alive. This would make quite a difference in Decius' life, what with inheriting not only his father's property, but his clients, as well as no longer being under the authority of his father. At one point, for example, he fears that his family will force him to divorce his wife, and he will not be able to resist, being under his father's manus. Still, I highly recommend it for anyone interested in the Rome of this era, as long as they are not too pedantic about historical license.

I am hoping for good things in Ashley Gardner's upcoming Leonidas the Gladiator mystery series. ( )
  PuddinTame | Sep 6, 2017 |
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Nom de l'autorCàrrecTipus d'autorObra?Estat
John Maddox Robertsautor primaritotes les edicionscalculat
Champon, AlexisTraductorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Dingman, Alan D.Dissenyador de la cobertaautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Eriksen, HeidiDissenyadorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Χαριλάου, ΕλεονώραTraductorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Lee, JohnNarradorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Lutze, KristianTraductorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Pendleton, RoyAutor de la cobertaautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Räuker, ErichNarradorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Sommariva, Anna MariaTraductorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Stein, MarkMapsautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Vance, SimonNarradorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat

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Blackmail, corruption, treachery, murder--the glory that was Rome. In this Edgar Award-nominated mystery, John Maddox Roberts takes readers back to a Rome filled with violence and evil. Vicious gangs ruled the streets of Crassus and Pompey, routinely preying on plebeian and patrician alike, so the garroting of a lowly ex-slaved and the disembowelment of a foreign merchant in the dangerous Subura district seemed of little consequence to the Roman hierarchy. But Decius Caecilius Metellus the Younger--highborn commander of the localvigiles--was determined to investigate. Despite official apathy, brazen bribes, and sinister threates, Decius uncovers a world of corruption at the highest levels of his government that threatens to destroy him and the government he serves.

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