just totted up the column on the latest tablet for the third time and
got my third different answer when there was a knock on the study door…
If there is one thing Marcus Corvinus hates more than doing the
household accounts, it’s politics. So when he is interrupted in the
former to get involved in the latter, he is not best pleased.
His brief is to conduct an unofficial investigation into an attack on
the Parthian Prince Phraates, a task which taxes his (none too)
diplomatic skills to the utmost. Then the attack is followed by a
successful murder of one of the Parthian delegation and a full
diplomatic incident threatens. The Byzantine twists and turns of the
case give Corvinus a headache worse than his customary hangover, and it
takes a violent threat to Perilla before he begins to get a grip on
what is involved. Along the way he learns a lot about the spice trade –
and has some problems with a basket of lampreys.