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More Mysteries of Ancient Rome: Ruth Downie's Medicus Ruso

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Looking back over some of my earlier posts, I realized that there is a new series I can add to my reviews of murder mystery series set in the ancient Roman world. These are British novelist Ruth Downie's stories of Gaius Petreius Ruso, a Roman army physician serving in Britain around the time Hadrian became Emperor. I first learned of this series when I snagged a copy of the third book in the series, Persona Non Grata, through LibraryThing's Early Reviewers program, in which publishers provide free copies for a few lucky readers, who promise to publish an online review of the book after they've read it. (Quite a good gig, by the way. I've gotten several good books this way.) I've since read the first two in the series (as Kindle ebooks), and have grown to like bumbling Ruso who, despite being a terrible investigator, nonetheless always gets his man. (You can read my LibraryThing review of Persona Non Grata here.) The fourth  in the series has just appeared in prin…

Yes, I'm still reading!

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After a gap of several months of posting nothing to this blog, I might be thought to have given up reading, but such is far from the case. Two majors factors contributed to my recent "blog sabbatical":

First, in the fall I was teaching three classes at a college campus 60 miles distant, on a grueling and exhausting schedule that left me with no energy to do anything other than run like the Red Queen, trying to keep up with myself (I lost that race). I had plenty of ideas for blog posts, many sparked by discussions in my literature classes -- my Blogger dashboard shows at least 15 drafts that never got finished and posted, some of which I may complete later. That is the problem with college teaching in the current sweat-shop environment: one is so consumed with preparation, teaching, grading, meeting with students, and various administrivia that there is no time for intellectual leisure or refreshment. And breaks in the academic year that are meant to provide such refreshmen…

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