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Germanicus (Felony & Mayhem Mysteries) [Paperback]

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Item description for Germanicus (Felony & Mayhem Mysteries) by David Wishart...

No good deed goes unpunished. Marcus Corvinus, the party-boy of ancient Rome, hasn t committed many good deeds, but his most recent (see Ovid) was a doozy. And sure enough, here comes punishment, right on schedule. Why else would he have been summoned to see the Empress Livia, never his biggest fan? True, Livia would love to see Corvinus writhing in some interesting form of agony, but for now, she's got a job for him. Her darling grandson, Germanicus -- soldier, statesman, heir-presumptive to the throne -- has been most foully murdered, and Livia will not rest until Corvinus finds the killer. Corvinus, of course is glad to oblige, since he d like to continue breathing. But there's a problem: Word on the Appian Way is that Livia herself ordered her grandson's death.

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Item Specifications...

Pages   201
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 7.3" Width: 5.8" Height: 0.8"
Weight:   0.75 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Sep 15, 2007
Publisher   Felony & Mayhem
ISBN  1933397780  
ISBN13  9781933397788  

Availability  0 units.

More About David Wishart

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! David Wishart studied Classics at Edinburgh University and spent several years teaching in schools and at University.

David Wishart currently resides in Carnoustie. David Wishart was born in 1952.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > General > Contemporary
2Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > Genre Fiction > Historical
3Books > Subjects > Mystery & Thrillers > General
4Books > Subjects > Mystery & Thrillers > Mystery > General
5Books > Subjects > Mystery & Thrillers > Mystery > Series

Reviews - What do customers think about Germanicus (Felony & Mayhem Mysteries)?

David Wishart is good   Apr 29, 2008
As a fan of Robert Graves, I'm pro-Germanicus, so I did have a hardish time with Wishart dissing him in this book - however, all of this is open to interpretation, and it's fun to have some different interpretations. And, after all, Germanicus and Agrippina did produce Caligula - not that I'm inclined to blame parents for crazy offspring - and that's not ajoke!

I'm a mystery buff, not necessarily historical mysteries, although those folks who really know the period make them worth the read - particularly the authors who specialize in ancient Rome. I also appreciate a little humor and an effort to break the unrelenting misery that (in real life) was the lot of most people. I like Lindsey Davis, John Maddox Roberts, Steven Saylor (when he isn't being too serious,) and have become fond of David Wishart. All know the period and the information is accurate - which matters to me. His books haven't been available in the U.S. until recently, so I've purchased most of the ones I've read from England.

Unlike a previous reviewer, I like having the people talk in modern syntax in books set in historical times. Frankly, we have no clue how people spoke to each other outside of literature - and until the 20th century, literary language and spoken language were not the same thing. On a daily basis, people spoke to each other pretty much the way we do - given language differences and phrasing, and so forth. Writing the spoken word as if it were translated straight from ancient Latin would be tedious at best!

The hardest part about Wishart books is keeping track of the characters - the names are so different from ours and there are so many characters that I find myself referring to the list of characters frequently. I like his use of characters and descriptions of people in terms that show that folks were folks and politicians were politicians and greedy grubbers were greedy grubbers, no matter how many centuries separate us. This is Wishart's strength and I appreciate it.

The one thing I've noticed is that I normally don't need to reread Wishart's books. For a good mystery, this is unusual for me - I own all of Lindsey Davis and John Maddox Roberts for example. However, I would definitely recommend reading his books - they are enjoyable.

I've bought a number of them from England, and paid the (gasp) high exchange and postage - so did think it was worthwhile.
The Second Book Featuring Marcus Corvinus  Feb 7, 2007
David Wishart was born in Arbroath, Scotland. He studied Classics - Latin and Greek - at Edinburgh University and after graduation taught for four years in a secondary school. He then retrained as a teacher of English as a Foreign Language and worked abroad for eleven years, in Kuwait, Greece and Saudi Arabia. He returned to Scotland in 1990 and now lives with his family in Carnoustie, mixing writing with teaching EFL and study skills at Dundee University.

This is the first in the series of novel by the author featuring Marcus Corvinus, an amateur sleuth and connoisseur of fine wines. The books take a similar theme to the Falco novels of Lindsey Davis, but Falco and Corvinus are from different periods of Roman history. The time period and class of Wishart's sleuth are different. Falco lives in Flavian Rome and has just worked his way into the Equestrian class, while Corvinus is a patrician in the age of Tiberius. However both Corvinus and Falco have a wife behind them, each of who it could be said, is the making of them.

Marcus Corvinus is at peace with the world. What could be better than fine food, fine wine and the company of his beautiful wife. Then everything changes in an instant. He is summoned by the Empress Livia and Corvinus fears the worst. Unlike many of the wines that he is so fond of sampling the Empress has not improved with age. Livia has a favour to ask of him, regarding the death of her grandson, Germanicus. She desperately wants Corvinus to investigate the death. This favour will take Marcus Corvinus into a web of deceit and betrayal.
Hey Pal, your chariot's double-parked!  Dec 8, 2004
Phillip Marlowe in a kilt leaves some unpleasant images for the heterosexual male reader. "Hey pal, if I wanted more than one Martinus I'd have asked for them!" Chandler just doesn't translate well to the era and the senatorial class of Imperial Rome. Nevertheless, the plot is good and the pace brisk. I enjoyed the read and the change from the other Roman mystery writers, but I just couldn't find the character believable or even very likable. He's a pretentious clod and always loses his fights with the villains!
Wishart can't write  Jun 7, 2004
The blurb of this novel promised colloquial, breezy writing. "Aha!" I thought. "Just like Lindsey Davis and Janet Evanovich!" Unfortunately Davis, Evanovich, and just about everyone else, can write rings around David Wishart. On about page 100 I finally gave up in disgust and gave the book to a used book sale at church. Someone else, buying it for fifty cents, may like it better than I. My advice is: go back to writing school, Mr. Wishart.
�I, Claudius� meets Raymond Chandler  Aug 27, 2003
Marcus Corvinus, David Wishart's ancient Roman sleuth, is very like Marcus Didius Falco, Lindsay Davis's ancient Roman sleuth, Both are smart, streetwise, not overly impressed by authority, and prone to find themselves carrying out secret commissions for Very Imperial People who don't want to go through regular channels. Each has an intelligent (and beautiful) wife who helps in this. Corvinus is at work a few decades earlier than Falco, firmly in the middle of "I, Claudius" times. He is a minor nobleman of independent means, which gives him a material advantage over up-from-the-slums Falco and more of an entree into the upper reaches of society. But the main difference is in the writing. If Lindsay Davis is like Ellis Peters, Wishart is closer to Raymond Chandler. The story telling is a bit more direct and taut, and the cynicism closer to the surface and more freely expressed. Sometimes it's a bit too much, and one wishes he would rein in the anachronism a bit, amusing though it is. But it all makes for a good read.
In this book Corvinus receives instructions from the deliciously evil and devious Empress Livia to carry out an of-the-record inquiry into the events surrounding the death of Germanicus (prince, general, darling of the army and heir presumptive to the throne) which has generated a major political scandal. Readers of Robert Graves will find here a very different scenario from that offered in "I, Claudius" for the same mystery. That is part of the interest of the book, but it stands on its own merits anyway. Enjoy.

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