The bawdy and beautiful widow sleuth takes ancient Rome by storm in these three historical mysteries: “A wonderful fictional creation . . . An enormous triumph” (Ms. London).
Joining a trade delegation bound for Gaul, Claudia Seferius expects to be richly rewarded for delivering a certain pouch, sealed with the sign of the black salamander. But travel is treacherous in ancient times, and a rockfall leaves the party stranded, as well as five men dead . . . and one death is not accidental. Suddenly Claudia finds herself implicated in a game of treason—in a dangerous land where wicker-man sacrifices are far from rare . . .
Since her husband died, Claudia Seferius has been frozen out of trade. So when her teenage stepdaughter, Flavia, is abducted, Claudia has no money to throw at the problem. Now, with the Games of Apollo due to start in two days, Claudia must track down the kidnapper herself. Meanwhile, a mysterious Egyptian cult is getting popular with Roman citizens, and its female members are experiencing strange disturbances . . .
When Claudia is caught doping racehorses, an island in the Adriatic seems like the perfect refuge. Shaded by figs and pomegranates, her friend Leo’s villa is surrounded by plunging cliffs and sandy coves. But then a pirate ship anchors in the bay. Almost immediately, a fire breaks out, an apprentice is murdered, and a sinister message is delivered. For Claudia, three hundred miles isn’t far enough to escape Roman law—or a bloodlust that goes way beyond evil.