Roman Blood is a fun little mystery set in the last days of the Roman Republic. The book is modeled on the actual killing of Sextus Roscius and Cicero’s defense of his son for the crime. Saylor has taken many a liberty with the story and embellished off what is unknown about the incident. By doing so he has created a fun and diverting mystery that does an good job of bringing ancient Rome to life and of introducing Gordianus the Finder, the sleuth who will star in the rest of this series.
The book is better written then the average mystery and the historical figures who make appearances (including Cicero and his slave Tiro, both in starring roles) are well drawn and believable. I could have done without some of the forced humor, but the accurate portrayal of Rome, warts and all, make this a worthwhile read for anyone interested in a decent mystery or ancient Rome.
Recommended for the enthusiast.