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The Bull Slayer: A Plinius Secundus Mystery    by Bruce MacBain order for
Bull Slayer
by Bruce MacBain
Order:  USA  Can
Poisoned Pen, 2013 (2013)
Hardcover, Softcover, CD, e-Book
* *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

The Bull Slayer by Bruce MacBain takes the reader back to a frontier Roman province in Asia Minor in the ancient world, where corruption and crime are rampant along with mysticism and murder.

Pliney has recently been installed as the new Governor by the Emperor Trajan. He is to look into the affairs of these Greeklins, as the conquerors call the native peoples. His young wife Calpurnia is to help him in every way possible.

Pliney is deeply in love with Calpurnia and cannot understand her recent coolness toward him. Monies have been disappearing. Buildings that were to have been paid for with tax collections have been started, but are discovered to be of poor quality materials and are abandoned.

Pliney plans a tour of the province but never seems to be able to leave the palace. Crimes that he must investigate leave him with no time to perform his duties. He stumbles upon a secret society which seems to be a detriment to his turning up the missing tax money.

On a personal note, Calpurnia reveals her secret to him. He is dumbstruck. She takes this secret to her heart. A young man, who has been kept out of the public eye has been diagnosed with the Sacred Disease.

The Bull Slayer is a good story. I enjoyed reading of living conditions at that time while I was glad that I live today. Very glad.

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