A Coin for the Ferryman
Gloucester, 189 AD. Celtic traditions, settlements and languages remain in the countryside, but in the towns Roman ways prevail, and all is peaceful. Until a mysterious body is found half buried in a ditch. Even odder, the body, dressed in female clothing, turns out to be male.
Worse, the time is approaching the Lemuria, the second Roman Festival of the Dead when the ghosts of those who had not received a proper funeral were said to prowl—a very bad portent indeed. Marcus, the local Magistrate, is anxious to get the matter cleared up before the festival begins, so he calls in Libertus, a pavement maker, who has undertaken tasks for him in the past.
Rosemary Rowe’s knowledge of 2nd-century Britain is thorough. Her books are full of little details of life and customs of the day, which she filters into the story with such good effect that the reader is hardly aware of them. They all join to form a well-told tale with characters you can believe in. I have read several novels in Rowe’s series by now, and this latest is as enjoyable as the first.