Novels in French

en français
Last updated VII NOVEMBRIS 2005.

Jean d'Aillion

  • Attentat à Aquae-Sextiae (Aix-en-Provence: Jean-Louis Roos, 2000). In Aquae Sextae (today's Aix-en-Provence) during the reign of Augustus, army veteran Lucius Gallus investigates a number of strange goings-on including a former colleague who turns up on the slave market, why he fetches such a high price, what is behind the reconstruction of a prominent temple, a disappearance and the identity of a mysterious visitor. Cover features a provocative illustration. [not available for review]
Philippe Andrieux
  • Mysteria. Menace sur le gladiateur (Bayard, 1999). The four young Romans come to assistance of their friend, Vinctrix, a gladiator who is being doped by the Guard. [not available for review]
  • Mysteria. Passagers clandestins (Bayard, 1999). When Bakyrès, the fish merchant, disappears his son and his friends initiate a search which carries them to Ostia. To whom belongs the Greek boat anchored in the port? [not available for review]
  • Mysteria. Sabotage sur le Tibre (Bayard, 1999). Delivering fish to the wealthy Flavius, Akis and his father discover that he has been just assassinated! Akeops, the intendant of the villa, is accused. Who killed Flavius? Who sabotaged the boat on the Tiber? Akis and its friends carry out the investigation. [not available for review]
  • Mysteria. Le Secret du Domaine (Bayard, 2000). Brigands seize the cart of the four friends in Rome. Travelling acrobats help the friends to find it. [not available for review]
  • Mysteria. Trahir ou mourir? (Bayard, 1999). During a Roman bread riot, Marcus finds himself hostage of the rebellious Rufus, planning a terrible plot on the emperor. [not available for review]
  • La Course de l'espoir, numéro 909 (Bayard, 2000). If he does not reimburse his debts, Bakyrès, father of Akis, risks having to sell himself as a slave. On the advice of Atropos, a specialist on horses, he decides to play the races. But the team loses and he is ruined. Akis and its friends are convinced that Atropos is a crook who fixed the race. But, to save Bakyrès, they must absolutely prove it ... [not available for review]
  • L'Incendiaire de Rome, numéro 902 (Bayard, 1999). The four friends come to the aid of the vigiles during a fire. Titus is surprised to find a knife near a corpse and is accused of murder. He flees leaving his companions to prove his innocence. [not available for review]
Lindsey Davis Joe Hoestland
  • Le cahier d'amour (La Crêche, 2000). Marcus witnesses a crime in the baths where he works. Threatened by the murderer, he and his friends discover that the same man is in the company of thieves who have recently committed a famous robbery. The four friends investigate. [not available for review]
Anne de Leseleuc
  • Calendes de Septembre, Les (Paris: UGE, 1995). Set in the capital. When a legate sent to overrule a tax revolt in Illyria is murdered, Marcus Aper investigates. Fourth in the series. [not available for review]
  • Marcus Aper chez les Rutènes (Paris: UGE, 1993). When a potter's daughter dies, Marcus Aper must investigate. Interesting look at a thriving ancient industry. Second in the series. [not available for review]
  • Marcus Aper et Laureolus (Paris: UGE, 1994). Set in Arausio (modern Orange), in the Roman theater. ("Laureolus" was the title of a Roman play.) Third in the series. [not available for review]
  • Trésor de Boudicca, Le (Paris: UGE, 1997). Marcus Aper arrives in Britain to investigate the assassination of the wife of the Roman procurator and the disappearance of Boudicca's treasury. Fifth in the series. [not available for review]
  • Vacances de Marcus Aper, Les (Paris: UGE, 1992). Marcus Aper is a famous lawyer from Gaul working in Rome. During the holidays, he returns to Lugdunum (Lyon) to visit his old friend Quintus Solem, only to discover a corpse. Features a good portrait of everyday life in Gaul. Includes a 10-12 page outline of the history of Gaul from pre-Roman times onwards. First in the series. [★★★]
Nino Marino

Danila Comastri Montanari
1. Mors Tua
(Milan: Giallo Mondadori, 1990; Milan: Giallo Mondadori, 1994; Milan: Hobby & Work, 1997, 1998; Milan: Hobby & Work, 2000 with the addition of "Una filosofa per Publio Aurelio Stazio").
Senator Publius Aurelius Statius, a rich and charming Roman Epicurean, finds the corpse of a young freedwoman and decides to investigate her death, assisted by a Greek slave, Castor. During the inquiry, the deceased's former lover dies and Aurelius is accused of the murder so the senator invites to a banquet all the suspects, declaring that he will cut his veins to protest his innocence before the end of the supper... Set in the reign of Claudius during the first century AD. First in the series. [not available for review]
2. In Corpore Sano
originally published in Italian as In Corpore Sano
The daughter of a Jew, a friend of Aurelius, dies of a hemorrhage. Knowing the philosophy of the Jews, Aurelius doubts the given story of deliberate abortion. Visiting gynecologists and midwives, he falls in love with a woman, the clever and Greek physician Mnesaretes. On the way, his inquiries lead to a famous bordello, where he knows a very particular prostitute... Second in the series. [not available for review]
3. Cave Canem originally published in Italian as Cave Canem
In a villa on Lake Avernus, the mystic door to hell, three male members of Plautia family suddenly die according to the rhymes of a mysterious prophecy. However, Aurelius is an Epicurean and doesn't believe in miracles or prophecies. The inquiry is complicated by the presence of many dangerous women: Plautilla, an old senator's lover; Helene, a beautiful widow; her young daughter Nevia; the aristocratic matrona Paolina, etc... Third in the series. [not available for review]
4. Morituri Te Salutant
originally published in Italian as Morituri Te Salutant
When a famous gladiator is killed, Aurelius is required by the Emperor Claudius to investigate. Delving into the violent world of the arena, step by step, he discovers that the murder hides a dangerous conspiracy threatening the life of the emperor ... Fourth in the series. [not available for review] [full plot summary]
5. Parce Sepulto
originally published in Italian as Parce Sepulto
The strange death of a girl on the day of her marriage to a young grammarian brings Aurelius to investigate the teachers and students of Roman schools. Also involved is the victim's twin sister, Camilla, the wonderful wife of the worst senator's rival. Evidence seems to lead to the worshippers at the Bona Dea ... Fifth in the series. [not available for review]
6. Cui Prodest?
originally published in Italian as Cui Prodest?
In the slums of Rome, a serial killer cuts the throats of many young men, leaving as his signature a pawn from the Roman chess-like game, latrunculi. When a slave of his own domus is murdered, Aurelius swears on the altar of the lares that he will capture him. Among the suspects are a champion at latrunculi, a funny editor, a carefree girl of good family, a shrewd boy and a strange maid claiming to be an adherent of Stoic philosophy. Sixth in the series. [not available for review]
7. Spes, Ultima Dea
originally published in Italian as Spes, Ultima Dea
In a German forest in 26 AD, a legion commander dies in a very strange manner, while awaiting an attack by the barbarians. One of the few survivors is the young tribune Publius Aurelius Statius. Twenty years later, a friend of Aurelius is killed in the Subura. The murder seems to be connected with the mystery of the commanders's death and with a series of fires devastating the Esquiline. The English translation of the title is Hope, Last Goddess. Seventh in the series. [not available for review]

Alain Nadaud

  • Auguste fulminant (Paris : Librairie générale française, 1999). A modern investigation into the death of the poet Vergil. Did Augustus have something against The Aeneid? [not available for review]
Jean-Pierre Nèraudau
  • Mystère du Jardin Romain, Le (Paris: Les belles lettres, 1992). In Rome of Tiberius in 24 AD, the mutilated corpse of Marcus Plautius' wife found in their domestic garden gives rise to speculation. Was it an accident? Suicide? Murder? An anonymous manuscript confirms the worst. [★★★]
  • Le Prince posthume, suivi de "Les fils d'Arachné" (Paris: Les Belles Lettres, 2000). Consists of two mysteries actually, the first concerning the story of Agrippa Postumus, a topic already considered by Graves. Also included is a mystery in which the action takes place during a present day symposium on Agrippa Postumus where the relationships between the participants resemble those of the characters in the first. [not available for review]
John Maddox Roberts Stéphanie de La Rochefoucauld
  • Le mystère de Pompéi (Paris: Éd. 1, 2001).
    The famous painter Labius leaves Rome for Pompeill in 64 AD, fifteen years before the famous eruption, with the goal of painting some frescoes for a famous r esident. In the process he gets to know the beautiful Romula Popidia, until murder erupts. [not yet rated]
Steven Saylor Maria Visconti
  • Le Cheval d'octobre (Paris: Champs-Elysées, 2000).
    A political crime in Gaul during the reign of Vespasian inspires the lawyer Helkias to make inquiries. Title refers to the festival of the "October Horse". Second in the series. [not available for review]
  • Le Masque de l'attelane (Paris: Champs-Elysées, 1999).
    Helkias, friend of the future emperor Titus, is a new detective. First in the series. [not available for review]
  • L'Epée de cendres (Paris: Champs-Elysées, 2002).
    Third in the series. [not available for review]
  • Le Meurtre d'Adonis (Paris: Champs-Elysées, 2001).
    A friend asks Helkias to locate an effigy of Adonis which has gone missing. Then he receives a missive from Titus, son of Emperor Vespasian, charging him with a secret mission. Fourth in the series. [not available for review]
  • La porte d'ivoire (Paris: Champs-Elysées, 2003).
    Emperor Titus commissions Helkias to look into a premonitory dream of an assassination. Helkias finds himself in the middle of Egypt province and its papyrus trade. Fifth in the series. [not available for review]
Patrick Weber
  • Des ombres sur Alexandrie (Paris: 2000).
    Fatal intrigues intersect around Cleopatra, the ambitious queen who has just given birth to the son of Caesar. [not available for review]
Henry Winterfeld
Copyright © 1994-2014 by Richard M. Heli. Portions copyright (C) 1994-1998 by Stefan Cramme. Permission granted to reprint so long as this notice is preserved in its entirety and I am informed prior to the re-use. Published since June 1994.