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Extended Audio Sample Catilina’s Riddle Audiobook, by Steven Saylor Click for printable size audiobook cover
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (1,424 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Steven Saylor Narrator: Scott Harrison Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Related: The Roma Sub Rosa Series Release Date: November 2012 ISBN: 9781470821142
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The year is 63 BC, and Gordianus the Finder unexpectedly achieves the dream of every Roman: owning a farm in the Etruscan countryside. Vowing to leave behind the corruption of Rome, he abandons the city, taking his family with him. This bucolic life, however, is disrupted by the machinations and murderous plots of two politicians.

When Gordianus’ longtime patron Cicero attains his lifelong dream of a coveted consulship, he urgently requests a favor of Gordianus: his help in keeping watch on a radical populist senator, Catilina—Cicero’s political rival and a candidate to replace him in the annual elections. Against his will, Gordianus finds himself drawn deeper and deeper into a maelstrom of deceit and intrigue, uncertain of the dangers and even more uncertain of where his true allegiance lies. When his six-year-old daughter Diana finds a headless corpse in their stable, Gordianus is confronted with the deadliest mystery of his career.

Shrewdly depicting deadly political maneuverings, this addictive mystery also displays the author’s firm grasp of history and human character.

Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Engrossing…Ironic and satisfying.”

    San Francisco Chronicle

  • “Saylor rivals Robert Graves in his knack for making the classical world come alive.”

    Oregonian

  • “Saylor has written another gripping and entertaining historical whodunit…Shrewdly depicting deadly political maneuverings, this addictive mystery also displays the author’s firm grasp of history and human character.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Saylor carefully plots this novel and accurately depicts Roman society; his attentive study of Roman history and culture is evident throughout. The characters are believable and well delineated.”

    Library Journal

  • “Saylor has written a sweeping and marvelously evocative story, with page after page of authentic detail and meticulous descriptions of the people, places, and politics of early Rome.”

    Booklist

  • “Saylor’s fashionably inconclusive reading of the conspiracy throws both antagonists, Cicero and Catilina, into bold relief. The result is a spacious, provocative portrait of a fictional detective confronted with a historical mystery finally beyond his powers.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • “Harrison has an emphatic delivery, appropriate to the emotions of the characters, from the frustrated Gordianus to the raging Cicero. His full-voiced reading includes believable female characters. The novel is recommended to history buffs and fans of the series.” 

    SoundCommentary.com

  • A 1994 Dilys Award Nominee
  • Winner of the 1994 Lambda Literary Award for Gay Men's Mystery
  • SoundCommentary.com’s The Best of the Best, 2013
  • A 1993 Hammett Prize Finalist

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Carmen | 2/3/2014

    " Out of all of the Sub Rosa series, this was my favorite! "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Beth | 1/24/2014

    " perhaps a good insight to roman life as it became a great empire; but there are a few passages that are useless - do we really need more discussions on intercourse/sex as opposed to cultural setting discussion of roman sexual mores as we currently understand them. would not recommend for a young reader at any time. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Julianne | 1/13/2014

    " Awesome explanation of the Catilinian rebellion in an historical mystery novel! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Colin | 1/1/2014

    " I have an only slightly-secret love for the mysteries of Steven Saylor set in ancient Rome. They're always fun, and often a little educational as well. Saylor's take on the Catilinarian conspiracy is worth reading. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Rachel | 1/1/2014

    " Interminably wrong. Lots of themes, plots, and subplots, and Saylor's usual dexterity, but I think I lost a whole month on what I thought would be another charming, thrilling Roman mystery. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 T. Justin | 12/22/2013

    " In which Gordi gets some hot man on man action. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Kirsten | 10/6/2013

    " Catilina was an engaging character to center the story around, but there were too many details of Roman history for my taste, and not enough focus on the mystery at hand. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Amber | 6/9/2013

    " Loving this Sub Rosa series! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Marge | 5/3/2013

    " This wonderful mystery was a joy to read. It had great local mystery along with a history lesson relating to Cicero and the Catalinian conspiracy. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Murray | 4/20/2013

    " The first of Saylor's books that I read. Good page turning stuff, with well researched historical detail, but basically a believable plot about extraordinary people (as were many of the leaders of Ancient Rome). "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Sharon | 4/6/2013

    " It was OK, a decent story, just not the style of writing I enjoy. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Travis | 2/12/2013

    " Great addition in the Roma Sub Rosa series. Give great examples of Cicero's reign as consul and his paranoia over revolution. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Ruth | 1/6/2013

    " c1998 Very verbose, this one. "Intrigue is an intoxicant more powerful than the headiest wine. Secrecy casts a spell over the workaday world and turns common,drab existence into the stuff of plays and epics." "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kmfurr | 11/28/2012

    " Novel #3 in the Roma Sub Rosa series. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Bonnie | 11/20/2012

    " I liked this book a lot, but not as well as his first two books in the Gordianus the Finder series, "Roman Blood" and "The Arms of Nemesis". One of the things that makes this series interesting is that the mysteries are based on real happenings of the time, near the end of the Roman Republic. "

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About the Author
Author Steven Saylor

Steven Saylor studied history at the University of Texas at Austin. His writings have appeared in the San Francisco Bay Guardian, Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, and the Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction.

About the Narrator

Scott Harrison is a graduate of the American Repertory Theater Institute in Massachusetts and founder of Ironweed Productions, a theater company in Santa Fe, New Mexico.