Ruso and the Root of all Evils is the third book in this Roman mystery series by R.S.Downie.
Summary (from Goodreads)
At long last, Gaius Petreius Ruso and his companion, Tilla, are headed home—to Gaul. Having received a note consisting only of the words “COME HOME!” Ruso has (reluctantly, of course) pulled up stakes and brought Tilla to meet his family.
But the reception there is not what Ruso has hoped for: no one will admit to sending for him, and his brother Lucius is hoping he’ll leave. With Tilla getting icy greetings from his relatives, Lucius’s brother-in-law mysteriously drowned at sea, and the whole Ruso family teetering on the edge of bankruptcy, it’s hard to imagine an unhappier reunion. That is, until Severus, the family’s chief creditor, winds up dead, and the real trouble begins…
Engrossing, intricate, and—as always—wonderfully comic, Ruth Downie’s latest is a brilliant new instalment in this irresistible series. This is everything we’ve come to expect from our charming, luckless hero.
“Anyway,” continued Cass, “I can’t pray to Christos. You’ll have to do it. You’re not married.”
“Does that matter?”
“Christos’ followers are supposed to obey their husbands.”
This book was enjoyable to read and well-written, full of engaging characters and entertaining storylines. My favourite character has to be Tilla. She is simply fantastic: brave, unrepentant, compassionate, and independent. And poor Ruso – he has so much to put up with, and things just keep getting worse for him.
I guessed the culprit but not the ending. Indeed, towards the latter part of the book, I was driven to keep reading by a need to find out just how the story would conclude.
I liked the author’s style of writing; fairly short chapters that mostly end with a new twist or turn in the plot. This gave the story a good pace and instilled in me an insatiable desire to read just one more chapter, then another, then another…more or less until I finished the book.
I would recommend this book to those who enjoy their historical fiction set in the ancient Roman world, and, if you love Lindsey Davis’ Falco series, I think you will love this one too.