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In at the Death

‘Titus Minicius Natalis was a fat, balding, pint-size runt with a stubbly chin and “ex-slave” written all over him in block capitals. He wasn’t thick, mark you. Not without a streak of ruthlessness a yard wide, either. I don’t know if Natalis actually had a white-haired old grandmother squirreled away somewhere, but if he did I’d bet the old biddy had to check herself regularly for price tags.’

There’s no love lost between Marcus Corvinus and Natalis, and Corvinus is surprised to be asked to investigate a suicide. He’s even more surprised at the fee – a hefty fifty thousand sesterces. The young man in question had no apparent reason to end his own life, and as Corvinus does the rounds of friends and family he becomes increasingly convinced that the death is a suspicious one.

As usual, he needs Perilla’s agile brain to untangle the complexities of the case and the pair come to realise that the suicide scenario has a political, as well as a personal, dimension…

As if that’s not enough, Corvinus finds his investigations hampered by his new role as reluctant dog-sitter to the seriously misnamed Placida, a Gallic boarhound with a gargantuan appetite and minimal personal hygiene…


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