Rivals of the Republic by Annelise Freisenbruch


Murder,  mystery and life in 70 BC Rome     

My rating:  5 out of 5     


 A senator is murdered and a vestal virgin is found dead, and that’s just the start of this action filled mystery thriller. 

Rivals of the RepublicHortensia is the 17 year daughter of a prominent lawyer, and is requested by the Chief Priestess of the Vestal Virgins to help solve a mystery they have discovered.  But what can Hortensia, a woman in a man’s society, do?  Plenty it seems, with a little help from her new slave, who seems to have secrets of his own.    

Alongside the great storyline there is plenty of fascinating information about the life of women in Rome in 70 BC, what happens in the law courts, how the lives of the rich and the poor differ, plus tales of corruption and bribery.    

There is a list of characters at the front of the book, but I only referred to it once.  The names of the characters are easy to follow, and the book is so interesting that I turned to Google quite a few times to find out more about things and events mentioned.

A 5*s from me, as I love a historical novel that keeps me involved both with the plot and many interesting historical facts. 

I understand this is the first book in a series of historical crime novels – great news, I look forward to the next. 


If this novel interests you, you might also like A Day in the Life of Ancient Rome by Alberto Angela

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