Monday, July 18, 2016

What is Ruth Downie reading?

Featured at Writers Read: Ruth Downie, author of Vita Brevis: A Crime Novel of the Roman Empire.

Her entry begins:
The Shepherd’s Life: A Tale of the Lake District – James Rebanks

This is a fabulous book on so many levels: a family history, a fascinating chronicle of a way of life that’s barely changed for centuries, and a howl of frustration at the lack of understanding between the education system and its rural consumers. It’s also a demonstration of the value of books. “We needed books by us and about us,” says Rebanks, and...[read on]
About Vita Brevis, from the publisher:
Ruso and Tilla's excitement at arriving in Rome with their new baby daughter is soon dulled by their discovery that the grand facades of polished marble mask an underworld of corrupt landlords and vermin-infested tenements. There are also far too many doctors--some skilled--but others positively dangerous.

Ruso thinks he has been offered a reputable medical practice only to find that his predecessor Doctor Kleitos has fled, leaving a dead man in a barrel on the doorstep and the warning, “Be careful who you trust.” Distracted by the body and his efforts to help a friend win the hand of a rich young heiress, Ruso makes a grave mistake, causing him to question both his competence and his integrity.

With Ruso's reputation under threat, he and Tilla must protect their small family from Doctor Kleitos's debt collectors and find allies in their new home while they track down the vanished doctor and find out the truth about the heiress's dead father--Ruso's patient--and the unfortunate man in the barrel.
Learn more about the book and author at Ruth Downie's website.

The Page 69 Test: Caveat Emptor.

The Page 69 Test: Tabula Rasa.

Writers Read: Ruth Downie.

--Marshal Zeringue