Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Pg. 69: Jane Finnis' "Buried Too Deep"

The current feature at the Page 69 Test: Buried Too Deep by Jane Finnis.

About the book, from the publisher:
The spring of 98 AD is a time of optimism in the turbulent frontier province of Britannia. Business is brisk at the mansio (inn) that Aurelia Marcella runs with her twin brother Lucius on the road to York.

Then a wagon arrives bearing a local farmer with a grievous sword wound who is seeking treatment with the local Greek doctor. And Lucius appears at the mansio on a mission. When the farmer dies, the twins head for the coast to return the man to his family and to check out a shipwreck bearing valuable official cargo. A band of outlawed sea-raiders led by a Gaul are suspected of stealing it along with killing the farmer.

It all adds to the feuding that has erupted between the colonists and the natives. The natives claim the newcomers are stealing the best farmland, while the settlers accuse the locals of plotting rebellion against Rome. Both sides are using terrorist tactics: burning, kidnapping, and even murder. The trouble escalates and long-buried grudges are revived as counsellors, citizens, chiefs, and slaves mix in. But a subtle, personal agenda is at work as well—one or more of the combatants may have hired the Gauls to orchestrate the violence. The third novel in the Aurelia Marcella series.
Among the early praise for Buried Too Deep:
"Finnis's well-crafted prose subtly weaves authoritative detail into a believable portrait of everyday life near the turn of the millennium. More historical adventure than conventional mystery, but highly readable and endlessly absorbing."

"Finnis's books burst with historical fact. Page after page of togas and sandals and wine drinking take the reader back to the time of which she writes.... For both the history buff and those who love a good mystery, Buried Too Deep is the book for you."

"The third novel Marcella historical mystery (see BITTER CHILL circa 95 AD and GET OUT OR DIE circa 91 AD) is a terrific entry in an exciting series. Aurelia thinks she committed a kunahaura when she realizes things are looking good as business is booming until she states just that before the farmer dies. She and Lucius quickly realize when they reach the Gabreantovicium Sinvs (the coastal bay to their east) that the locals and the Gaul settlers use terrorist tactics to drive each other out; outsiders are not welcome in their civil war. Jane Finnis provides a great Ancient world whodunit as the twins begin to uncover an even more insidious brilliant plot."
--Harriet Klausner
Read an excerpt from Buried Too Deep, and learn more about the author and her work at Jane Finnis' website and her blog, the Lady Killers.

Buried Too Deep is the sequel to the other Aurelia Marcella mysteries, Get Out or Die and A Bitter Chill.

The Page 69 Test: Buried Too Deep.

--Marshal Zeringue