A Dreadful Destiny
by Rosemary Rowe

An unwelcome proposal of marriage has far-reaching repercussions in this skilfully plotted historical mystery.

April, CE 194.
The tensions in the civil-war-torn Empire have come to Glevum now. Libertus’s patron, Marcus Septimus, has received a letter from Druscilla Livia, a widowed cousin of his wife, seeking his protection. She has received an offer of marriage from a powerful Roman Senator, Hortius Valens, a man of cruel and unusual tastes, and she is in no position to refuse. She has run away . . . with Hortius in hot pursuit.

This puts Marcus in a dangerous dilemma. If he accepts Druscilla as his ward and prevents the wedding, he offends not only her prospective groom, but also the Provincial Governor to whom Hortius is related. But if he returns Druscilla to the Senator, he offends another of her kinswomen – the Empress herself. Once again, Marcus turns to Libertus for help.

But Libertus has worries of his own. His wife Gwellia has an injured foot, which is now infected and could cost her life. But when one of his own slaves is brutally killed he realizes how perilous the situation has become. Resolving to help Druscilla, he concocts an ingenious plan. But in defying the Senator, Libertus is making a powerful enemy. And even the best-laid plans can go disastrously awry . . .


“Perhaps the finest installment yet in Rowe’s excellent historical-mystery series, A Dreadful Destiny boasts colorful characters, rich historical detail, taut suspense, and a deeply moving conclusion”

Booklist Starred Review

“Exceptional ... Rowe’s mastery of the period enable her to provide a vivid backdrop, and the riveting plot delivers more than one emotional gut punch. Readers who miss Steven Saylor’s Gordianus whodunits will be pleased”

Publishers Weekly Starred Review

“This installment in Rowe’s long-running series produces a major surprise that promises an interesting future for her hero”

Kirkus Reviews

“Surpasses her own high standard … a welcome complement to Ruth Downie’s Medicus mysteries”

Publishers Weekly Starred Review of A Prisoner of Privilege

“Meticulously researched historical details, well-drawn characters, and a clever plot, will keep even the most seasoned reader guessing”

Booklist on A Prisoner of Privilege

“Superb ... Rowe perfectly balances character and plot”

Publishers Weekly Starred Review of The Price of Freedom

“Fine period detail, nicely rounded characters, light humor, and a clever plot make for an excellent read”

Booklist on The Price of Freedom

“A clever plot – with wry humor, suspense, and intriguing descriptions of life in ancient Britain – plus a remarkable hero make this a superb read for historical-mystery buffs”

Booklist on The Ides of June

Rosemary Rowe

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A Dreadful Destiny by Rosemary Rowe is available in the following formats

Paperback978178029817731st March 2022140 X 220mm240£13.99
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