Ayo Onatade is an avid reader of crime and mystery fiction. She has been writing reviews, interviews and articles on the subject for the last 12 years; with an eclectic taste from historical to hardboiled, short stories and noir films
David Wishart’s Marcus Corvinus series is one that has rather sadly not in my opinion got the recognition that it deserves. Slightly more light-hearted than similar novels it is however a boon for historical crime fiction readers especially those who like their novels involving Romans.
In Solid Citizens Marcus Corvinus was hoping to enjoy the Winter Festival Holiday with his family and no murders to investigate. Alas, no sooner has he arrived at his stepdaughter’s home then he is requested to help investigate the mysterious death of a local politician whose body has been found outside the local brothel. Who would wish to kill the man and why is he being hindered so much in his investigation? Will Marcus Corvinus actually find out who killed the politician or is he doomed to failure?
Solid Citizens is a welcome addition to the series featuring Marcus Corvinus who is of high birth but who has no compunction in getting his hands dirty if need be. Like the previous books in the serious, Solid Citizens features a complex plot that would not seem amiss in a contemporary thriller and highlights the extremely dangerous and backstabbing nature of Roman politics. You clearly have to stay one step ahead if you want to survive.
The only minor distraction is the somewhat over modern dialogue. However, this minor quirk does not detract from the rich, fascinating and thoroughly enjoyable story. David Wishart has created a superb character and a captivating series that is full of witticisms and laconic dialogue that one could easily attribute to Philip Marlowe. Long may we see more of Marcus Corvinus, he is one of a kind.