Item description for Ovid (Felony & Mayhem Mysteries) (Marcus Corvinus Mysteries) by David Wishart...
Nobleman by birth, loutish party boy by temperment, Marcus Corvinus is a citizen of ancient Rome, but he would be as much at home in a champagne-stained tux as he is in a toga. He'd like to shed that toga for the beautiful Lady Perilla, but in return for her favor she demands that Corvinus help retrieve her stepfather's ashes for burial in Rome. The task proves more difficult than expected: Perilla's stepfather was the famous poet Ovid, exiled years earlier and still loathsome to the Emperor Tiberius. But Corvinus' arrogance - and letch for Perilla - keep him on course, even when the Emperor's thugs try a little up-close-and-personal persuasion. Author David Wishart, a classical scholar, knows a great deal about both ancient Rome and gilded youth. You may not approve of Corvinus, but you'll have a tough time resisting his charm.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 7.3" Width: 5.5" Height: 0.8" Weight: 0.85 lbs.
Release Date Aug 15, 2006
Publisher Felony & Mayhem
ISBN 193339739X ISBN13 9781933397399
Availability 0 units.
More About David Wishart
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.
Reviews - What do customers think about Ovid (Felony & Mayhem Mysteries) (Marcus Corvinus Mysteries)?
Blurbage! Sep 10, 2008
Comic, bawdy and extremely engrossing, OVID is an intriguing tale of mystery and suspense.
'So tell me.' I was getting pretty angry myself now. I'd had a long hard day and I wasn't taking this crap from anyone. 'You just tell me, Dad. Tell me why the emperor hates a dead poet so much he won't allow his ashes back to Rome. Tell me why when I ask questions about a scandal so old that you can't even smell it any more everyone keeps his mouth shut closer than a Vestal's kneecaps. Tell me why I nearly end up in the Tiber with my throat cut...'
Such are the frustrated words of Marcus Corvinus, a young man who likes to have a good time and enjoys wine, women and laughter far more than a hard day's work. He also happens to be the grandson of the Roman poet Ovid's former patron.
So when Ovid's stepdaughter, the luscious Rufia Perilla, begs him to recover the poet's ashes and bring them back to Rome, how can Marcus refuse? Not that the task turns out to be easy: official permission is abruptly denied. And as Marcus starts asking questions in the higher echelons of Roman society he finds himself drawn deeper and deeper into a web of secrecy, treachery and deceit.
Augustus the Idiot Jul 12, 2008
There are only a few sources for the Julio-Claudians. The principal ones are Suetonius and Tacitus. Robert Graves translated the most popular modern version of The Twelve Caesars by Suetonius. He wrote his famous novel 'I Claudius' based on that translation. He however goes further and 'explains' the missing motives and connects the narrative. Basicaly he tells us Livia killed all of her husband Augustus' heirs to make room for her son Tiberius.
Certainly the evil of Livia is an effective plot device. I Claudius became the basis for a terrific TV series. Everyone loves the story of the wicked Romans as Graves recounts it.
But is it credible?
Wishart buys into the Graves notions about Augustus and Livia. However I find the idea that Caesar Augustus never noticed that his wife was killing his progeny very hard to accept.
First of all Augustus was no dummy. He was arguably the most consequential political figure in world history. He did not gain or keep power on the battlefield but at court. He ruled a long time and overcame many enemies. Presumably he had his own information sources. Yet Graves and Wishart would have us believe that his wife deceived him for decades and he never noticed.
Secondly the average life span in Imperial Rome was 22. Everybody was dying all the time. There were no autopsies. When someone mysteriously died it could always be attributed to a political enemy. Sometimes an enemy did apply poison I'm sure - but who knew which of the deceased died of poison and which of bad hygene or bad luck?
For example it is well known that Claudius died of eating an Amanita Phaloides (or Verna) mushroom which was in a bowl of Amanita Caesare mushrooms. Today no one eats the tasty Caesare variety because its so easy to confuse them with the deadly Phalodides. Accidents still happen when the deadly Amanitas are confused with the common Agaricus Campestras that Boy Scout troops like to gather.
Was that Amanita put in his bowl by Agrippina? Or was it just a mistake? We can never really know but poisoning makes for a better story.
I find the Graves version of history to be unconvincing. I was a liitle disappointed to read that Wishart followed that line.
"Jupiter!" Feb 23, 2008
Okay, in my first David Wishart book, The Lydian Baker (Marcus Corvinus Mystery), I was very nearly completely put off by the idea of an ancient Roman detective who talks like Philip Marlowe. I was entertained despite myself, and decided to give another book by him a try.
I *still* do not approve of the mixing of periods (Roman noir), but this first book in the series is actually much more successful and even than The Lydian Baker. The set up eases me into the improbably diction much more smoothly and the plot was, for me, much more compelling.
For those of you who are not familiar with the series, Marcus Corvinus is the disreputable son of a patrician Roman family who makes his living as an early private eye. Wishart was a classics scholar before he started writing, and has a good eye for the kinds of historic puzzles that make his bookish fans happy.
First Book in the Series 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, who it could be said, is the making of them.
The books are popular and for anyone who likes Lindsey Davis or Steven Saylor are a must. This one as the title suggest is about Ovid and the mystery behind what he actually did to get himself exiled from Rome.
Film Noir Detective in Ancient Rome Jan 9, 2007
Corvinius is a wine guzzling noble, wise cracking and judgemental. Yet he falls for a lovely lady who makes one simple request, she wants a relatives body brought back to Rome for burial. Sounds easy until he tries to get permission and wades into deep political waters of murder, thuggery and mayhem. Luckily he swims well and is detects even better. A wonderful series, all of the books are not available here in the US and I hope that is remedied soon.