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 A fine summer in 100 AD and good government under Trajan Caesar promise well for the Roman settlers in the frontier province of Britannia. Aurelia Marcella runs a mansio on a busy road to York. June is always busy, but one day two unusual events occur: a soldier is murdered in his bed at the inn, and a letter arrives from Isurium, a small fort north of the city. It is from a cousin, Jovina, inviting Aurelia to a midsummer birthday party. But the missive also reads as a plea for help, referring to “danger in the wind.” The murdered soldier also bore a message, locked in Aurelia’s strongbox, indicating violence would erupt at the very same fort on the day of the party. At Isurium, Aurelia finds Jovina and her drunken husband and unruly children caught in a tangled web of greed, love, intrigue, and death.

About the Author

Jane Finnis

I write mysteries with a historical setting. My Aurelia Marcella series is about an innkeeper in Roman Britain, who lives on the road to York, and runs (she assures everyone) "the best inn north of Londinium." She also gets involved in solving mysteries, often putting herself in danger, and there are plenty of crimes and injustices that need her attention in the Roman province of Britain, where the recent Imperial conquest is still bitterly resented by many of the native tribesmen. Then of course there are the kind of crimes that crop up in every era: family feuds, quarrels between neighbours, violence rooted in greed or jealousy...I live in Yorkshire, not very far from where my books are set, with my husband Richard and our two cocker spaniels. It's beautiful countryside close to the sea. There are all sorts of Roman remains around, and archaeologists are continually digging up more of the everyday things that the Romans left behind, from writing-tablets to cooking pots, and from soldiers' swords to women's jewellery. This is a fascinating time to be reading and writing about life (and death) here two thousand years ago.

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