No Cause for Concern–Roman period historical fiction – a Review

No Cause for Concern is set in ancient Roman times, the year 38 AD. It is a  mystery by David Wishart.

The story is a nicely, tightly-written mystery that moves smoothly to its resolution–one which caught me by surprise, but which was quite satisfying and well-developed.

Some of the characters: Corvinus, a member of the Watch, although in this tale he basically investigates on behalf of Eutacticus rather shady “racketeer” type; Perilla, Corvinus’ rather elegant wife, related to a poet; Sempronia, daughter of the aforementioned racketeer; Satrius, the muscle for Eutactcius; Astrapton, account for Eutacticus.

Corvinus finds himself having to search for the stepson of Eutacticus, who has apparently run away. As he investigates, he uncovers embezzlement and other deceptions, as well as murder. While Corvinus investigates, he also deals with his wife having hired an “artist” to paint something which sounds like a very odd work of art–a nice little transition which could have made an interesting subplot.

Corvinus however would have been at home in a Mickey Spillane or Dashiel Hammet story. He spoke in colloquial 21st century, at times, and would not have been out of place as Sam Spade.

There was also not much of a real feeling of this being a Roman story. With some minor adjustments the same story could have been told in any other time or place.

No Cause for Concern was still a pleasant read.

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