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The Roman Mysteries: The Thieves of Ostia: Book 1

Caroline Lawrence

$18.99

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Orion
01 December 2001
Children's & Educational; Crime & mystery fiction (Children's&YA); Historical fiction (Children's&YA)
The first in Caroline Lawrence's internationally bestselling Roman Mysteries series, re-issued with a fantastic new cover look.

Flavia Gemina is a natural at solving mysteries. The daughter of a ship's captain living in Ostia, the port of Rome, in AD79, she and her three friends, Jonathan, a Jewish boy (and secretly a Christian); Nubia, an African slave girl; and Lupus, a mute beggar boy, must work together to discover who is beheading the watchdogs that guard people's homes, and why.

A talented storyteller, Caroline Lawrence has created a delightfully readable and accessible series that children will want to read time and time again.
By:   Caroline Lawrence
Imprint:   Orion
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Volume:   No. 1
Dimensions:   Height: 197mm,  Width: 130mm,  Spine: 16mm
Weight:   198g
ISBN:   9781842550205
ISBN 10:   1842550209
Series:   Roman Mysteries
Pages:   208
Publication Date:   01 December 2001
Recommended Age:   From 9
Audience:   Children/juvenile ,  9-11 years ,  English as a second language
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active
Author Website:   www.romanmysteries.com

Caroline Lawrence is American. She won a scholarship to Cambridge to read Classical Archaeology, then did a degree in Hebrew and Jewish Studies at University College, London. She lives with her husband, a graphic designer, by the river in London and is active as a speaker in schools and at book festivals.

Reviews for The Roman Mysteries: The Thieves of Ostia: Book 1

A fast-paced, crackling good mystery is set in the tenth year of the Emperor Vespasian and aimed at middle-grade readers. Flavia lives in Ostia, the seaport of Rome, where her father is often away at sea. They have new neighbors: a boy named Jonathan, his sister Miriam, and their father. All of the children are motherless. Flavia shows herself both smart and resourceful right off, tracking the magpie that has made off with her father's signet ring, but needing rescue from feral dogs in the process. That's when she makes the acquaintance of Jonathan. She uses her birthday money to purchase a slave, Nubia, when she sees the girl in chains in the marketplace, and the trio soon adopts Lupus, a wild child who has had his tongue cut out. This lively group takes it upon themselves to find out who has been beheading household dogs, and they fasten upon a man unhinged by the death of his daughter from a rabid dog bite. There are lots of interesting historical bits: Jonathan and Flavia wear the bulla, a charm on a chain that indicates they are freeborn children; Flavia's favorite reading materials are in scrolls; Jonathan's asthma is treated by oil of marjoram. Jonathan's Jewish family are converts to Christianity, and their worship, as well as Flavia's of the Roman gods, are noted in passing. The children use logic, deduction, reasoning, and imagination to solve the crime, and the multicultural cast stretches, but does not shatter, credulity. Sequels are promised, and young mystery-lovers will be eager for the next. (Fiction. 8-12) (Kirkus Reviews)


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