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Ancient Rome Mysteries Books In Order

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Publication Order of Ancient Rome Books

Murder Imperial (2003)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Song of the Gladiator (2004)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Queen of the Night (2006)Description / Buy at Amazon
Murder's Immortal Mask (2008)Description / Buy at Amazon

An academic and a scholar, the writer Paul C Doherty has become one of the most in-depth authors within his field to date. With an extremely high degree of accuracy, his in-depth knowledge of history has afforded him one of the most accurate literary careers currently around. Many have also found him to be one of the leading authorities to go to, largely due to his first class degree in history from the University of Oxford. One series where this is particularly prominent is that of his ongoing Ancient Rome Mysteries series of historical novels. Using his knowledge of history he has created a series that takes his underlying and transposes it to the backdrop of ancient Rome. This allows his readers an insight to an otherwise alien world, making them get a feel of what it was like to be there back then.

Whilst this series itself has been adapted for the screen, big or small, Doherty himself has starred in various television programs in the past. Offering his expertise, he has become a very vocal spokesperson for his particular level of in-depth knowledge. This has transferred extremely well into the ‘Ancient Rome Mysteries’ series, giving it an even greater degree of historical accuracy.


Originally published in 2002 on the 2nd of December, this was first released through the Headline publishing label. Setting up the ongoing Ancient Rome Mysteries franchise, it worked at establishing the overall premise and tone of the series. As a stand-alone mystery it works great, but it also provides the ideal window into the past for anybody hoping to get an idea of what it was like back then.

With a well defined and extremely detailed knowledge of his subject matter, Paul C Doherty obviously has a clear passion and understanding for it. This is shown through his highly detailed and elaborate descriptions of this particular era, being set in the first century during the Roman period. This historical accuracy shows Doherty’s expertise extremely well, as it draws the reader in, allowing them to immerse themselves within the period. As mentioned in the overall series title, this book is, like the others following it, set in the period of ancient Rome during the first century of the new millennium 15 AD. Following the reign of Agrippina the Younger, it charts this period of Roman history well, as it really gets a true feel for the time and the period back then. With a keen eye for accuracy, it manages to really evoke a sense of what it was like back then, as the research done on the era clearly shines through. Looking at the reign of the Roman Empress Agrippina the Younger as she came to be known, it tells the story of Julia Augusta Agrippina’s reign, as seen through the eyes, or eye, of the one-eyed gladiator Parmenon. With him now being a freed man and a former gladiator, he’s to become her assistant during her reign, and it is through his narrative that the story is told. Throughout the story their personalities clash against one another, creating a great narrative friction and driving force for the events that take place within the novel.

As the wife to Claudius, as well as being a mother to Nero, Agrippina really was a powerful and ever resourceful woman during the time of her reign. An extremely talented woman who was as skilled as she was beautiful, she was banished by her brother after seeing her father horrifically murdered. Telling the story of how she manages to survive during her time, it follows her as she brings about order within the Imperial Roman Court, along with trying to mend her relationship with her son. Will she be able to manage it all? Can Parmenon help? How will things transpire in Domina?

Murder Imperial

Initially released on the first of April in 2003, this title was originally released through the Headline publishing label, as it historically followed on from the previous novel. Whilst it may not have had any of the same characters involved, with it being set at a later period to the previous novel, it still manages to recapture a full sense of the period. Evoking the time and the era once more, Doherty really manages to bring the roman period to life, using his now trademark sense of historical accuracy that allows it to come alive in the reader’s mind.

Set in the period of 313 AD, this follows the later era of the Roman Empire during the time of Emperor Constantine, as he seeks to regain control of the kingdom. This allows Doherty to cast his ever discerning eye on the later period, bringing it to life for the reader, whilst also bringing them into this rich and vibrant time in history. With the characters themselves it looks at Emperor Constantine, along with his mother Helena, as they look towards maintaining control and order over the lands. There’s secrets and mysteries lying everywhere throughout the novel, as nobody is entirely sure of anyone else’s motives, and everyone has something hide. This is also something that Doherty does extremely well, as he conjures up a sense of paranoia alongside his period detail, and they both combine to make one engaging story.

With Rome firmly under the rule of Emperor Constantine, the Roman Empire in 313 AD is just coming out of one of its more difficult periods in history. As the Christian Church is starting to rise in power now as well, Constantine hopes to use their power to his own ends, allowing him to gain a firmer grasp on his kingdom. That’s when three courtesans from the Guild of Aphrodite are found dead with crosses left etched on their cheeks and foreheads, a murder which calls the loyalties of Constantine himself into question as he frequented there. Will they be able to find the real culprits? Can Constantine hope to exonerate his name? What will happen when they find murder imperial?

The Ancient Rome Mysteries Series

With a clear and coherent theme running throughout, Doherty manages to build the momentum well over the course of the series. Keeping the reader guessing constantly throughout, he’s able to craft a tight knit narrative around realistic and engaging characters. Whilst the series may have slowed down recently with it’s output, there’s definitely room to expand upon it leaving plenty of potential to grow.

Book Series In Order » Characters » Ancient Rome Mysteries

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