Danger in the Wind – Reviews
At the start of Finnis’s well-plotted fourth whodunit set in Roman Britain, feisty Aurelia Marcella, keeper of the Oak Tree Mansio inn near what is now York, receives a disturbing letter from a cousin, Jovina Lepida. Jovina, besides inviting Aurelia to her birthday party at the remote fort where her army husband is stationed, warns of danger and Greeks bearing gifts. Soon afterward, a maid finds one of Aurelia’s guests, a military officer, stabbed to death… The dead man’s effects include a cryptic message apparently referring to a threat to a senior tax official who’s been dispatched from Rome to do audits. Marcella believes there’s a connection between the note and Jovina’s letter. Historical fans who don’t mind modern colloquialisms will have a good time.
– Publisher’s Weekly 17/10/2011
In 100 AD Britannia, Roman expatriate twins Lucius and Aurelia Marcella are contented with their lives even with residing in a frontier province…
On this busy summer day, Aurelia’s idyllic world shatters. First at her Mansio someone murders a soldier possessing a letter claiming danger at Fort Isurium is forthcoming. Second Lucius shows up with his betrothed Vitellia the spoiled “kitten”. Third her cousin Jovina invites them to attend her birthday party in Fort Isurium but implies a need for help from danger. Lucius refuses to allow his sibling to go into a perilous situation. However, Aurelia disobeys his order and goes to the northern fort….
The fourth Aurelia Marcella ancient historical mystery contains a strong whodunit inside a rich period piece. The heroine is a courageous independent person whose obstinacy and bravery drives her brother crazy with worry. The amateur sleuth mystery is entertaining while the audience also vividly sees life in a divided Roman frontier province as the second century begins. Jane Finnis provides her fans with a deep look at Britannia circa 100 AD and they will enjoy reading every page of it.
– Harriet Klausner, Mystery Gazette, September 2011
When it rains for an amateur sleuth in ancient Britannia, pours.
Aurelia Marcella, who runs the busy roadside inn the Oak Tree Mansio with her brother Lucius, is excited to receive a party invitation from her cousin Jovina, whom she hasn’t seen in more than three years. The beginning of the missive is bright, but at the bottom there is a cryptic appeal: "Say nothing. Just come."…But just as Aurelia is about to leave, one of the maids finds the body of Terentius, a Roman soldier who’s been stabbed to death…
Aurelia’s fourth adventure (Buried Too Deep 2008, etc.) has richly drawn characters and captures an authentic period feel.
– Kirkus reviews 1/12/2011
This fourth Aurelia Marcella mystery set in Roman Britain opens with a birthday invitation sent to the innkeeper sleuth from her cousin with an alarming postscript, "Please help, Aurelia. There’s danger in the wind, and I fear the Greeks even when they bring gifts.” A murdered soldier at the inn adds trouble. Her twin, Lucius, forbids her going to Isurium to assist, but the strong-willed Aurelia ignores him and soon goes into the heart of danger…
Finnis has found an excellent, historically accurate context for her determined female heroine. Close to her brother and in love with Quintus, both imperial investigators, Aurelia has the male connections to make her inquiries believable. Finnis provides the details to bring Roman Britain alive without slowing her engaging plot. She’s skilled at developing villains who combine endearing and despicable qualities to make solving the mystery a rich delight. She adds resonance by showing the growth of spoiled young ladies into likeable strong women.
– Judith Starkston, Historical Novels Review, August 2012
Danger In The Wind is the fourth book featuring Aurelia Marcella and, as a series it gets better all the time. The honest, witty and direct voice of Aurelia recounting the story; the warm (and at times mischievous) characterisation; the historical detail, which transports the reader to that time and places without ever becoming intrusive and the fast-paced who-dunnit style of the Aurelia books make them all page-turners. I read Danger In The Wind in less than two days.
– Carol Westron, Mystery People, May 2012