International bestselling author Lindsey Davis has done in the mystery genre what Caesar did in Gaul: came, saw, and conquered! Her innovative series put hard-boiled detective Marcus Didius Falco, “the Sam Spade of ancient Rome” (Publishers Weekly), on the mean streets of the Eternal City. Now Davis returns to AD 74 with a riveting investigation into a missing child.
Men are fools for love. And that includes Marcus Didius Falco. To please his beloved, the tough shamus has become Procurer of the Sacred Poultry (i.e., babysitter of the temple geese). It’s steady work and good pay, but Falco is soon restless. So when a beautiful child, chosen to enter the secret order of Vestal Virgins, disappears, he grabs the case. He quickly discovers that greed and religious fervor are only a thread away from madness. And a little girl’s life may be cut short, not by Clotho, Lachesis, and Atropos, but by a sinister human hand—unless Falco finds her in time.
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