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Extended Audio Sample Caveat Emptor: A Novel of the Roman Empire Audiobook, by Ruth Downie Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (534 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Ruth Downie Narrator: Simon Vance Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Related: The Medicus Investigations Release Date: January 2011 ISBN: 9781452670874
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Ruso and Tilla, now newlyweds, have moved back to Britannia, where Ruso's old friend and colleague Valens has promised to help him find work. But it isn't the kind of work he'd had in mind-Ruso is tasked with hunting down a missing tax man named Julius Asper. Of course, there's also something else missing: money. And the council of the town of Verulamium is bickering over what's become of it. Compelled to delve deeper by a threat from his old sparring partner, Metellus, Ruso discovers that the good townsfolk may not be as loyal to Rome as they like to appear. While Tilla tries to comfort Asper's wife, an anonymous well-wisher is busy warning the couple to get away from the case before they get hurt. Despite our hero's best efforts to get himself fired as investigator, he and his bride find themselves trapped at the heart of an increasingly treacherous conspiracy involving theft, forgery, buried treasure, and the legacy of Boudica, the Rebel Queen. Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • Downie excels in bringing the ancient world to life as well as making the attitudes and customs of its inhabitants accessible to a modern audience. Publishers Weekly Starred Review

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Bob Mitchell | 2/19/2014

    " I wanted to like this book more than I actually did. I am increasingly fascinated by Roman history and life, and Ruth Downie does a credible job of bringing the day-to-day features of Roman Britain come alive. But the plot, an incomprehensible tale of murder, counterfeit coins and provincial politics, proved too complicated to follow. Even so, Ruso and Tilla, the couple at the center of the book, are likeable and strong figures. If I come across another in this series, I might well give it a chance -- and hope that the author does a better job of managing her story line. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Nancy | 2/17/2014

    " Antoher writer using the Roman empire as a setting. This is the latest book in a 4-book series and I have not read the other 3 yet. It is set in 2nd-century CE southern Britain, which was interesting. I found the plot to be complicated but I enjoyed the main character, although I don't find him as humorously cynical as Falco. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Stellans | 2/17/2014

    " I enjoyed this book quite a bit. IMO Downie's writing has tightened up and her characters are better drawn than her first books. Plus Ruso and Tillage are not only back in Britain, he's back in the Army. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sandi | 1/26/2014

    " Ruso and Tilla return to Britannia and Ruso takes a job investigating the murder of a tax man. A bit darker in tone and much more focused on political machinations than the previous entries in the series. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Michelle | 1/23/2014

    " (3.5 stars) This is the 4th book in the Ruso series. Ruso and Tilla have returned to Brittania to Londinium, with the promise of a job from his friend and fellow Medicus, Valens. However, when they arrive, he finds that the job is not what he expected; he is asked to be an investigator to find a missing tax man and the missing tax revenue he was carrying. Tilla befriends the missing tax man's wife and helps deliver her child. When the missing man is found dead, Ruso has another mystery to solve. He delves into the complex bureaucracy of the town, and each time he finds a lead, it seems to be leading him towards a simple conclusion, but Ruso begins to smell a rat. He smartly follows the money, and comes to some surprising finds. Tilla does her own forthright digging, and provides valuable clues to what could be a very volatile situation. She also provides some aid to Valens, who seems clueless about keeping his wife happy. The mystery was excellent, as was the descriptions of the Roman and British systems of management, but I did miss some of the subtle humor present in the prior books. The characters, Ruso and Tilla also develop more as their relationship evolves. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Denise | 1/18/2014

    " As usual, both Russo and I are wondering how he gets involved in these things. Hired to track down a missing tax collector and his money, Russo tries to get himself fired. Of course that doesn't happen, and someone tries to kill him but he stumbles on the answer to the mystery. Delightful. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 NVTony | 1/9/2014

    " Always find this author well informed on subject & characters always have interesting lives. One of my favorite writers of this genre. Reader will have an enjoyable time. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Anna | 12/18/2013

    " An interesting, although somewhat slow moving installation in the series. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Annie Michelle | 10/11/2013

    " A most excellent read and series! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ryan Rauber | 7/25/2013

    " Murder mystery novel that has the unusual distinction of being set in Brittania during the Roman Empire. I enjoyed the historical descriptions of life during that time, and the mystery was good enough to keep me interested. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Joyce | 7/22/2013

    " Ruso, hoping to resume being a doctor upon his return to Britannia with Tilla, is sidetracked by the theft of tax funds and the murder of their courier. Tilla, meanwhile, is trying to get pregnant and performs midwife duties for the tax man's mistress. Good story! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jack | 6/23/2013

    " Not as strong as her previous books, still pretty good though. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Susan | 6/22/2013

    " Roman Britannia in Hadrian's time and a mystery to be solved. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Stephanie Jewett | 2/15/2013

    " These books are so much fun; I look forward to reading them like a treat each night. Looking forward to the next one. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Pancha | 1/3/2012

    " It didn't feel as satisfying as the previous books in the series. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Joe | 12/17/2011

    " Loved a previous volume...this one is fun so far... "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Joy | 7/29/2011

    " I downloaded and listened to this in two days! I am deeply, deeply addicted. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Karen Ratkowski | 7/5/2011

    " Ah, sadly I have now finished the last book in this series that has been written so far ..... I am hoping that there are further adventures of Ruso and Tilla in the near future. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Stephanie | 3/30/2011

    " These books are so much fun; I look forward to reading them like a treat each night. Looking forward to the next one. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Anna | 2/19/2011

    " An interesting, although somewhat slow moving installation in the series. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Veronica | 2/16/2011

    " An enjoyable book with a good plot for the time period. The main character, Dr. Gaius Ruso is not as interesting as his wife Tilla. There is a lack of any suspense or excitement. The writing is well crafted but there is something missing to make it great. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Joy | 1/31/2011

    " I downloaded and listened to this in two days! I am deeply, deeply addicted. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Susan | 1/19/2011

    " Roman Britannia in Hadrian's time and a mystery to be solved. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Cori | 1/17/2011

    " Enjoyed the characters as much as always, but this particular tale of taxes and money-changing just didn't hold my interest. "

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About the Author
Author Ruth Downie

Ruth Downie won the Fay Weldon section of BBC3’s End of Story competition in 2004. She is the author of the highly acclaimed Roman Empire series, which began with her first novel, Medicus. She is married with two sons and lives in Milton Keynes, England.

About the Narrator

Simon Vance (a.k.a. Robert Whitfield) is an award-winning actor and an AudioFile Golden Voice with over forty Earphones Awards. He has won thirteen prestigious Audie Awards and was Booklist’s very first Voice of Choice in 2008. He has narrated more than eight hundred audiobooks over almost thirty years, beginning when he was a radio newsreader for the BBC in London.