Black Salamander 'If we're going to make a new order for Rome a better order, I might add - sacrifices have to be made. We have set the assassination date for the Ides of July ...
What better opportunity for a beautiful young widow than to join a prestigious trade delegation bound for Gaul? There was the fanfare as the procession left Rome, the breathtaking journey through lush Alpine meadows. And let's not forget the promise of riches for delivering a certain pouch, sealed with the sign of the black salamander.
Except things are never that simple when Claudia Seferius is involved. There's a rockfall, for a start, which leaves the party stranded as well as five men dead - and one death is not accidental.
All Claudia wants to do now is to get out of the valley they are trapped in and hand over the pouch. But there are those who will go to any lengths to stop her.
And suddenly Claudia finds herself plunged into a deadly game of high treason, in a land where warriors still hunt human heads and where wicker-man sacrifices are far from rare... Praise for Marilyn Todd
'Anyone who has yet to read a Marilyn Todd Roman mystery is in for a treat when they pick up her latest adventure.’ Ms London
'As juiciest as the ripest grape, this is a vintage romp to savour.' Northern Echo
'A timeless heroine for today - you'll be hooked.' Company
'Claudia - a super-bitch who keeps us all on the edge where she loves to live... The Roman detail is deft, the pace as fast as a champion gladiator.’ Sunday Express
'An endearing adventuress who regards mortal danger as just another bawdy challenge.’ She
'I was hooked and will look forward to reading other books in the series. An excellent escapist fantasy.’ Historical Novel Review
'A wonderful fictional creation - a bawdy superbitch with a talent for sleuthing.' Ms London
‘Terrific read… thoroughly entertaining’ The Bookseller
'We can't all live on the edge ... but it is terrific to read about someone who does.' Darlington Northern Echo
First British Edition Macmillan (1999)
Paperback - Pan (2000)
Jail Bait 'The death toll was rising... And not all the symptoms tallied with the plague...’
A deadly contagion may have sent many of Rome's wealthier citizens fleeing to the country - but for Claudia Seferius a plague is the least of her worries ...
It had all started when she had 'temporarily borrowed' three thousand sesterces from local millionaire Sabbio Tullus. OK, so Tullus didn't actually agree to lend her the money, and she'd had to break into his depository to get at it, but did he really need to set the army on to her? Desperate to escape arrest, she therefore seeks refuge in the beautiful spa resort of Atlantis.
Once there she meets the charming Cal, and a little flirting in tranquil lakeside surroundings seems an ideal way to pass the time. Except within hours Cal is dead...
And he's not the only one.
Pretty soon Claudia begins to wonder whether Atlantis isn't far more dangerous than the disease-ridden streets she left behind...
Paperback - Pan (1999)
First British Edition Macmillan (1998)
Wolf Whistle ‘It could be the lamps flickering. It could be the dark, damp, starless sky. But Claudia had the strangest feeling that wretched lovesick ghost was back to haunt her. The one whose name was Trouble…
Had it not been for the pack of dogs nipping at her heels, Claudia Seferius would never have ventured into the mean backstreets of Rome. And thus would never have found the abandoned little boy called Jovi…
With the Empire in crisis, it certainly isn't a safe time for either a rich young widow or a weeping child to be out after dark, for five slave girls have been brutally murdered by a killer who strikes only on market day.
The victims are linked by the dragon tattoo they each wear on their arms, and which marks them out as the 'Children of Arbil'- But Arbil is no loving father - as Claudia is about to find out. ‘Todd’s gorgeous rich bitch, Claudia, plotting and spying to survive adverse fortune in ancient Rome in the delectably enjoyable Wolf Whistle.’ Frances Fyfield, Daily Mail
First British Edition Macmillan (1997)
Man Eater Finally the Prefect put away his handkerchief and turned to face Claudia. The tip of his thin nose was quite pink.
'Tell me, Claudia. Why did you kill him ... ?
On the eve of the Roman Festivities, the last thing you'd expect Claudia Seferius to be doing is heading in the other direction. However, even beautiful young widows have to put business before pleasure when their vineyards are threatened with arson.
Unfortunately, being run off the road to Etruria by a band of hooligans was not part of Claudia's gameplan. Nor was losing her beloved cat Drusilla. Nor was being forced to seek shelter in the strange home of Sergius Pictor - surrounded by the menagerie of wild animals he is training for the Games.
But Claudia is about to become the victim of an even crueller game. For that night a stranger appears at her bedroom door - a knife sticking out of his belly.
And before the first ray of morning sunshine, Claudia is being framed for murder ...
Paperback - Macmillan (1997)
Virgin Territory It just wasn't fair. When you marry a man for his money, you expect him to leave you a shining pile of gold pieces. Not a crummy old wine business. So Claudia jumps at the chance to escape Rome and pay off her gambling debts to chaperone Sabina Collantinus back to her family in Sicily after 30 years as a Vestal Virgin. However, Claudia begins to suspect she is escorting an impostor....and a very mysterious one at that. 'I, Claudia was one of the best and most amusing historical detective narratives of the last year, and Virgin Territory is a fine follow-up.' Crime Time
About The Author Marilyn Todd was born in Harrow, Middlesex, but now lives in West Sussex with her husband, one hare-brained dog and two cats.
Bibliography N.B. dates and publishers in dark red indicate British First Editions. Dates and publishers in black indicate recent reprints.