Sunday, October 9, 2011

Danger In The Wind-Jane Finnis

Danger In The Wind

Jane Finnis

Poisoned Pen, Dec 6 2011, $24.95

ISBN: 9781590588901

In 100 AD Britannia, Roman expatriate twins Lucius and Aurelia Marcella are contented with their lives even with residing in a frontier province. Lucius owns The Oak Tree Mansio on the road to what will be York in the future while Aurelia runs the establishment. Their mansio combines an inn with a stable and a bar.

On this busy summer day, Aurelia’s idyllic world shatters. First at her Mansio someone murders a soldier possessing a letter claiming danger at Fort Isurium is forthcoming. Second Lucius shows up with his betrothed Vitellia the spoiled “kitten”. Third her cousin Jovina invites them to attend her birthday party in Fort Isurium but implies a need for help from danger. Lucius refuses to allow his sibling to go into a perilous situation. He heard rumors of war and wants his family safe. However, Aurelia disobeys his order and goes to the northern fort. There she rejoices in seeing her lover Quintus the spy who is following up on information of trouble at Isurium. The rebels abduct Vitellia, Jovina’s daughter Chloe, her lover Gambol, Lucius and Quintus. Aurelia works to free them before war erupts and they are killed by the hostage takers.

The fourth Aurelia Marcella ancient historical mystery (see Buried too Deep circa 98 AD, Bitter Chill circa 95 AD and Get Out Or Die circa 91 AD) contains a strong whodunit inside a rich period piece. The heroine is a courageous independent person whose obstinacy and bravery drives her brother crazy with worry. The amateur sleuth mystery is entertaining while the audience also vividly sees life in a divided Roman frontier province as the second century begins. Jane Finnis provides her fans with a deep look at Britannia circa 100 AD and they will enjoy reading every page of it.

Harriet Klausner

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