The Curse Maker Is The Sequel To He Award Winning Nox Dormienda, The First Book Of The Roman Noir Series Created By Kelli Stanley City Of Dragons Wedding Impeccably Researched History To Prose And Themes Reminiscent Of Classic Hard Boiled Writers, The Curse Maker Is A Thrilling And Suspenseful Journey Into A Dark Corner Of Roman Britain You Ve Never Seen Before When Roman Physician Arcturus And His Stunning Wife, Gwyna, Arrive At Bath For A Holiday, A Dead Body Is Floating In The Sacred Spring It Turns Out That The Murdered Man Is A Curse Maker Whose Invocations Actually Come True, And As Murder Follows Murder, It Looks Like There S Now A Curse On Arcturus This Is An Exciting And Exotic Story Of A Spa Town Where People Go To Healonly To Wind Up Dead And It Takes The Doctor Investigator On A Dark Road Into Roman Cemeteries, Silver Mines, And Underground Water Tunnels To Comprehend The Twisted Mind Of A Killer Bent On Revenge Awful, just awful This is almost a good book, but it needs some severe editing It is way too long The characters and dialog show great promise, but the plot just gets lost It is a long slow slog to the great reveal, and frankly by then I just didn t care who did what and why Too long Too slow And not at all worth the effort of reading. Don t know I ve read The city of Dragons by Kelli I read about 1 2 of this one,, just didn t care for itThat s just my opinionIt did get a good review from other Goodread members Sorry she is a goog writer..looking forward to other books from Kelli When I picked up this book I was unaware that it was a sequel Nevertheless, this story was still enjoyable without reading the first installment The novel is set as a period piece from when Roman Britannia were in their heyday A physician and his wife are reunited after he comes back from a military deployment They desire to be refreshed and restored, so they journey to a spa town known for its healing waters When they arrive a murder has taken place which sucks them into an undesirable situation of solving who killed a temple curse maker and left the body floating in the scared waters in the first place.A worthy whodunit full of thrilling moments, climbing body count, scandalous elite scoundrels and a shocking outcome that is worthy in any Sherlock Holmes or Inspector Poirot novel. First Sentence The man was floating, serene, tunic swirling in the undulating waves like clouds against a blue sky.Arcturus, a Roman physician, and his beautiful wife, Gwyna, have come to Acquae Sulis Bath for a holiday and to repair the breach in their marriage Before they even arrive at their residence, they come across a dead body of a curse maker floating in the sacred bath Instead of a holiday, Arcturus is drawn into the world of curse makers, deception, attempted seductions, attempts on his and his wife s lives, and many murders Kudos to Ms Stanley for the author s notes, a cast of characters albeit frustratingly incomplete and a glossary They were tremendously helpful Ms Stanley has written a book set in Ancient Times that makes us realize how little some things have changed Even with the different customs and religion the plot, and certainly the motives, was quite contemporary and I had to keep reminding myself of the period in which the story was set Even the reference to Stonehenge already being ancient during this time, didn t help cement the feeling of the period While with some books set in an earlier period are able to capture the feel of that time through the syntax of speech, that isn t possible with classical Latin, but it did leave me with a feeling of the story being somewhat anachronistic On the other hand, there was so much to like about this book Arcturus is a wonderful character His style is brusque with a wry humor he s both intelligent and tough, he is kind and loves his wife Gwyna may be beautiful but is certainly not vapid or weak The marriage may be going through a rough patch, but it will be resolved The relationship is a critical element of the story and is used to enhance to story The household domestic scenes provide both insight to the characters and a respite from the action but did, at times, threaten to divert the mystery.I particularly liked Ms Stanley s ability to create a sense of place Her descriptions of both places and actions are rich and vivid I threw the thought against a wall It made a small red splat of fear and slowly oozed down to the floor Now, how much powerful is that than saying It s like throwing spaghetti against the wall I shall certainly always remember her phrase instead I have never particularly cared for books set in Ancient Times due, I believe, to the difficulty of creating a realistic sense of time What Ms Stanley did achieve was writing a story I very much enjoyed, mainly due to the characters I was pleasantly surprised just how much I did like the book and would definitely read another book in the series THE CURSE MAKER Hist Mys Arcturus Aquae Sulis Bath , England Roman Occupation Ancient Times G Stanley, Kelli 2nd in seriesMinotaur Books, 2011, US Hardcover ISBN 9780312654191 She used the title to allow endless curses herself, some gratuitously Metaphors abound abound, many worth a chuckle There are better books about Roman Britain to read. The second in Stanley s Roman noir series finds Arcturus in Aquae Sulis modern Bath, England Arcturus, physician to the governor and crime solver, knows his wife, Gwyna, is suffering, but not exactly sure why Ardur, as Gwyna calls him, makes a trip from Londinium to the baths and the temple of the goddess Sulis a.k.a Minerva for her sake.When a body is encountered at the baths, Philo, an unmarried, local doctor who is attracted to Gwyna, asks Arcturus to help determine the cause of death The dead man, whom no one seems to know much about, was Bibax, a local curse maker There seem to be a lot of these curse makers, whom the citizens pay to inscribe curses on thin sheets of tin that get dropped into the water People also drop expensive jewelry into the spring, seeking the goddess favor A disproportionate number of Bibax s curses have resulted in convenient deaths Ardur has two problems Gwyna s depression is it partly his fault And what is responsible for the atmosphere of fear and rot at Aquae Sulis When he and his wife become targets, the urgency is ratcheted up A possibly corrupt governing body, the managers and drain cleaners of the baths, that doctor that Ardur dislikes so much, a lazy but ambitious lawyer of the upper class, plus a necromancer all fall under suspicion, until some of them turn up murdered As this quote states Wherever you turned in Aquae Sulis, whatever mean, crooked street you walked down, you always came back to the temple If you liked the award winning first of this series, Nox Dorrnienda , you ll love this one.Reviewed by Kaye George, author of A Patchwork of Stories for Suspense Magazine The Curse Maker, set in Bath during the Roman period, blends a twisting, exciting mystery with a vivid Roman setting Stanley combines her background as a classicist with a passion for noir mystery Her sleuth, Arcturus, the doctor for the Roman governor of Britannia, narrates in a hard edged Dashiell Hammett style Arcturus arrives in Bath with his beloved but troubled wife Gwyna in order to vacation and restore his wife s well being He stumbles instead upon a dead man in the sacred spring outside the baths that being only the first of many things he discovers that are rotten in Bath The romantic relationship between Gwyna and Arcturus intertwines with the unraveling of the mystery and provides depth to their characters The Roman politics and corruption revealed in the mystery are compellingly developed and, like many things Roman, echo modern life while retaining their uniquely Latin flavor Stanley skillfully creates a wide cast of characters some we like, others are delightfully despicable I certainly kept turning the pages For historical mysteries and fiction reviews go to www.judithstarkston.com I felt this to be too derivative For Roman noir David Wishart with his Marcus Corvinus series has a touch of humor, lacks the profanity in this one and is on the whole better Ruth Downie s doctor, Ruso, has Arcturus beat by a mile In Aquae Sulis today s Bath, England bodies pile up and it is reported the nearby lead mine is haunted Arcturus, doctor to Governor Agricola sets out to solve the murders beginning with that of Bibrax, a curse writer, whose curses have the notoriety of coming true Also he unravels the secret of the mine Many folks in the town were involved in one way or another, but there was a kingpin The writing was pedestrian, and the solution too complicated I didn t warm to any of the characters I d advising skipping this series and read the other two I mentioned in my first paragraph. Roman doctor Arcturus and his wife, Gwyna, travel to Bath England to visit the spas there When they arrive they find a body floating in the sacred spring It is the body of Rufus Bibax, a noted local curse maker The town officials ask Arcturus to assist in finding out who committed this evil but he finds murder, political intrigue, blackmail and treachery than he expects This was a very good book A quick read with elusive solutions The characters are very well written and the mix of history and fiction is well blended.
CITY OF GHOSTS June, 1940.Art Spies Murder.For Miranda Corbie, private investigator and erstwhile escort, there are debts to be paid and memories long suppressed and willfully forgotten to be resurrected.Enter the U.S State Department and the man who helped her get her license A man she owes And playing along may get her a ticket to Blitz bombed England, if she survives Through sordid back alleys and art gallery halls, from drag dress nightclubs to a Nazi costume ball, Miranda s journey into fear takes her on the famed City of San Francisco streamliner and a ticket to Reno, Nevada, the Biggest Little City in the World where she finds herself framed for a murder she never anticipated.Miranda must learn the difference between reality and illusion, from despair to deceit and factual to fake, as she tries to get her life back and navigates a CITY OF GHOSTS.Miranda s back And noir will never be the same.
- 300 pages
- The Curse-Maker
- Kelli Stanley
- 02 July 2018 Kelli Stanley