❮Reading❯ ➼ Medicus: A Novel of the Roman Empire (Gaius Petreius Ruso #1) ➵ Author Ruth Downie – Horse-zine.co.uk

Medicus: A Novel of the Roman Empire (Gaius Petreius Ruso #1) pdf Medicus: A Novel of the Roman Empire (Gaius Petreius Ruso #1) , ebook Medicus: A Novel of the Roman Empire (Gaius Petreius Ruso #1) , epub Medicus: A Novel of the Roman Empire (Gaius Petreius Ruso #1) , doc Medicus: A Novel of the Roman Empire (Gaius Petreius Ruso #1) , e-pub Medicus: A Novel of the Roman Empire (Gaius Petreius Ruso #1) , Medicus: A Novel of the Roman Empire (Gaius Petreius Ruso #1) 5fa452f3e63 Medicus A Novel Of The Roman Empire DownieNotRetrouvez Medicus A Novel Of The Roman Empire Et Des Millions De Livres En Stock SurAchetez Neuf Ou D Occasion Medicus A Novel Of The Roman Empire Ruth Downie, SimonMedicus A Novel Of The Roman Empire Ruth Downie, Simon Vance, Tantor AudioLivresMedicus A Novel Of The Roman Empire By DownieNotRetrouvez Medicus A Novel Of The Roman Empire By Downie, RuthPaperback Et Des Millions De Livres En Stock SurAchetez Neuf Ou D Occasion Medicus A Novel Of The Roman Empire Historical Medicus Is A Story I Ve Been Meaning To Read For A Long Time I M Just Glad I Finally Got Around To This Well Written Depiction Of A Roman Doctor Of The Twentieth Legion Who Seems To Have A Gift For Walking Straight Into Trouble On The Streets Of Deva Modern Day Chester Gaius Petreius Ruso Should Know Better Than To Get Involved In Anything Going On In The Streets Of This Outpost Of The Roman Army Now He S Medicus A Novel Of The Roman Empire Novels Of Medicus A Novel Of The Roman Empire Novels Of The Roman Empire By Ruth DownieRuth Downie BooksMedicus A Novel Of The Roman Empire Gaius This Is The First Novel In The Series And Introduces The Medicus And His Meeting With The Slave Who Eventually Becomes His Wife It Is Set In The Roman Town Of Deva Modern Day Chester In Britain Trajan Has Just Died And Hadrian Is To Be The New Emperor It Focuses On The Sad Lot Allocated To Slaves And Their Use To The Roman Fort Which Results In The Murders That The Medicus Unravels Medicus A Novel Of The Roman Empire Audio Medicus A Novel Of The Roman Empire Audio Download Ruth Downie, Simon Vance, Tantor AudioAudible The Physician WikipediaBuy Medicus A Novel Roman Empire Book OnlineBuy Medicus A Novel Roman Empire Book Online At Best Prices In India OnRead Medicus A Novel Roman Empire Book Reviews Author Details AndatFree Delivery On Qualified Orders Medicus Novel Dfinition De Medicus Novel Et SynonymesMedicus A Novel Of The Roman Empire Is The First Novel By Ruth Downie, A Historical Mystery About A Medical Doctor, G Ius Petreius Rus , In The Roman Army During The Reign Of The Emperor Hadrian

10 thoughts on “Medicus: A Novel of the Roman Empire (Gaius Petreius Ruso #1)

  1. says:

    Medicus is what I call a 'popcorn' book: a book to pick up and settle in with for an evening's cozy reading. Entertainment value: 5 stars, but several months from now I'll have a hard time remembering much beyond the main characters: Gaius Petrius Ruso, a physician stationed in Brittania with the Roman army, and Tilla, the slave girl he reluctantly purchases from an abusive master. Ruso, long suffering, wry, and a humanist doomed to be forever caught up in other people's suffering despite his attempts at pragmatism, is the main entertainment here. Downie does a decent job at bringing her world to life, but the plot and various plot threads are fairly predictable.

    Inevitably, I've also got to compare Medicus to Lindsay Davis's very fun and entertaining Falco series, also a detective series set in ancient Rome. I do feel that Downie has a better feel for writing from the male perspective, but Davis's Rome is more finely wrought, her plots better developed. Both series have a nice element of humor, although readers who prefer to smile rather than laugh out loud with their mysteries might be more comfortable with Downie's more character-driven style.

  2. says:

    The novel is an ideal holiday read. Set in Britain under Roman rule, it tells a story of a Roman doctor-cum-detective character, Gaius Ruso. Quite enjoyable if you are in the mood for some light reading.

  3. says:

    Reading Medicus I’m put in mind of Colin Cotterill's Siri Paiboun series. In both two men more devoted to their jobs than anything else find themselves reluctantly involved in murder investigations. In both we have a comedic more than tragic writing style that still manages to inject notes of seriousness along the way – in Medicus, it’s a reflection on slavery and sex trafficking.

    Medicus is not a “heavy” read, however. It’s a very nicely written, moderately complex murder mystery set in the Romano-British town of Deva (modern day Chester) at the beginning of Hadrian’s reign (AD 117). Our put-upon protagonist is Gaius Petreius Ruso, a doctor in the XX Legion, whose marriage has failed (because he was too devoted to his craft and not devoted enough to advancing his career), whose family is drowning in debt and in danger of losing their Gaulish farm, and whose first “mistake” is rescuing a British slave girl from her slimy owner.

    The mystery isn’t all that complex or hard to figure out. I enjoyed reading the book because I enjoyed following Ruso as he stumbles along, inadvertently uncovering the clues (view spoiler)

  4. says:

    Five stars, five, and again five! Hurray for Medicus: it's the page-turner I've been looking for for a long time. I read it in an entire day because I couldn't put it down.

    Set in Roman Empire-era Brittania, this is the story of reluctant hero , Gaius Petrius Ruso, a doctor in the local army hospital, who turns detective very much against his will. Humorous, lighthearted, colorful... This is Downie's first novel, and I hope she's planning a whole series of Ruso mysteries!

  5. says:

    Army doctor Ruso is serving in Roman-occupied Britain under very trying circumstances. He faces near poverty, a micro-managing Chief Administrative Officer, the loss of his household servants, mysterious deaths of prostitutes from the local bar, a killer, and the unexpected purchase of a beautiful British slave girl, with whom he is trying not to fall in love.

    How not to buy a slave with a broken arm
    "If you don't get help for her soon, this slave is going to die. I'll take her off your hands."
    "She's a good strong girl, sir. She'll perk up in a day or two. I'll knock a bit off the price for that arm."
    "What price? You told me she was lazy and useless."
    "Useless at cleaning, sir, but an excellent cook. And what's more . . ."—
    Innocens raised his free arm to steady the girl as he leaned forward in a haze of fish sauce and bellowed over more hammering "just the thing for a healthy young man like yourself, sir! Ripe as a peach and never been touched!"
    "I'm not interested in touching her!" shouted Ruso, just as the noise stopped.
    Innocens was smiling again. Ruso suppressed an urge to grab him by the neck and shake him.
    "What would you like to offer, sir?"
    Ruso hesitated. "I'll give you fifty denarii," he muttered.
    Innocens's jowls collapsed in disappointment. He shrugged the shoulder not being used to prop up his merchandise. "I wish I could, sir. I can hardly afford to feed her. But the debt I took her for was four thousand."
    It was a ridiculous lie. Even if it wasn't, Ruso didn't have four thousand denarii. He didn't even have four hundred. It had been an expensive summer.
    "Fifty's more than she's worth, and you know it," he insisted. "Look at her."
    "Fifty-five!" offered a voice from the scaffolding.
    "What?" put in his companion. "You heard the man, she's a virgin. Fifty-six!"
    Innocens scowled at them. "One thousand and she's yours, sir."
    "Fifty or nothing."
    The trader shook his head, unable to believe that any fool would offer all his money at the first bid. Ruso, remembering with a jolt that payday was still three weeks away, was barely able to believe it himself.
    "Two hundred, sir. I can't go below two hundred. You'll ruin me."
    "Go on!" urged the chorus from the scaffolding. "Two hundred for this lovely lady!"
    Ruso looked up at the workmen. "Buy her yourselves if you like. I only came out for a bottle of bath oil."
    At that moment the girl's body jerked. A feeble cough emerged from her lips. Her eyelids drifted shut. A slow silver drool emerged from her mouth and came to rest in shining bubbles on the sodden wool of her tunic. Claudius Innocens cleared his throat.
    "Will that fifty be cash, then, sir?"

    image: slave market

    Greek philosophy
    Ruso lay on the borrowed bed and stared into the gloom that hid the cracks in the ceiling plaster, reflecting that Socrates was a wise man. Surveying the goods on a market stall, the great one was said to have remarked, "What a lot of things a man doesn't need!"
    What a lot of things a man doesn't need. That thought had comforted Ruso over the last few months. The more you own, he had told himself, the more you have to worry about. Possessions are a burden.
    The kind of possessions which needed to be regularly fed were a double burden. They were only worth having if they earned their keep by doing the laundry, or barking at burglars, or catching mice, or carrying you somewhere, or chirping in a way that your ex-wife used to find entertaining. It was a pity Socrates hadn't thought to add, Which is why I never shop after drinking on an empty stomach.

    Learning to appreciate British beer
    Ruso took the dripping cup of beer and wondered whether to clear up the dishes, or whether to wait and see how long it would be before Valens did.
    Valens squinted into his own beer, rescued something with a forefinger, and flicked it over his shoulder. A rush of inquisitive puppies followed its course.
    "How long have you been a beer drinker?"
    "I'm not. Some native gave it to me as a thank-you for treating one of his children."
    Ruso frowned into his drink. "Are you sure he was grateful?"
    "Smells like goat's piss, I know. But you'll get used to it."
    Ruso tried another mouthful and wondered how long getting used to it would take.

    "Visit Sunny Britannia"
    Valens's letters had made Britannia sound entertaining. The islands, apparently, were bursting with six-foot warrior women and droopy-mustached, poetry-spouting fanatics who roamed the misty mountains stirring up quarrelsome tribesmen in the guise of religion.
    His own observation of Britannia now led Ruso to suspect that Valens had deliberately lured him here to relieve the boredom.

    An open air market
    "Fresh fish, sir?" A woman who was out of breath from pushing a cart up the slope lifted a cloth to display glistening silver bodies. She grinned, showing a gap where her front teeth should have been. "Just caught in time for dinner!"
    Ruso shook his head.
    In the space of a hundred paces he also declined a bucket of mussels, a jar of pepper, a delivery of coal, a set of tableware, an amphora of wine, a bolt of cloth to make the finest bedspread in Deva, some indefinable things in the shape of small sausages, and an introduction to an exotic dancer. Stepping onto the quay, he dodged a trolley being pushed by a small boy who couldn't see over it. Behind him a voice shouted, "Tray of plums, sir?"
    It was comforting to know that he still had the appearance of a man with money to spend.

    Hospital administration and how to save money
    "Where's the clean linen kept?"
    "Third door on the left, sir." The orderly disappeared into a side corridor.
    Ruso flipped the latch and collided with the door, which had failed to open as expected. He rattled it to no avail, then realized there was a keyhole. When the orderly reappeared with an empty tray he said.
    "Where's the key?"
    "Officer Priscus will have it, sir."
    "He took the key to the linen closet?"
    "Officer Priscus is in charge of all the keys, sir."
    "That's ridiculous!"
    Ruso contemplated the silent, locked door of the linen closet. He had yet to meet Officer Priscus, but already he hated him. The man seemed to have turned hospital administration into an art form—something incomprehensible, overpriced, and useless. In the meantime, a sick girl was huddled in a corner of the changing room, facing a pile of wet towels.
    Ruso stood back, contemplated the latch for a moment, and moved. A splintering crash echoed down the deserted corridor. He helped himself before anyone could arrive to see who had just bypassed the hospital administration with a military boot.

    First rule with women: Get their name right
    "By the way, I dropped in on your Tilla just now. Since you were too busy."
    Ruso frowned. "My what?"
    "Tilla," repeated Valens. When there was no reply he shook his head sadly. "Gods above, Ruso, you are hopeless. What have I told you? First rule with women: Get the name right. Anyway, it looks as though you've got away with that arm. Too early to say whether it'll be of any use, of course."
    "Are you sure she's called Tilla?" persisted Ruso. "It doesn't look anything like that on the note of sale."
    Valens shrugged. "She said that's what you called her."
    "I didn't call her anything. I can't pronounce her name. It's got about fifteen syllables stuffed with g's and h's in odd places."
    "She seems to think you told her she'd be Tilla from now on. She seemed quite cheerful about it."
    "Did she?" There was no justice in the ways of the world. Ruso, who had saved the girl's life, was rewarded with weeping and "Let me die." Valens, who would have fixed her broken arm with a sharp saw, was granted a pleasant chat.

    How Tilla got her name
    "Utilis, said Ruso suddenly. "Useful. Her Latin's a bit shaky. She got into a bit of a state last night. Thought she was never going to get better and wanted to be off with the ancestors, or something. I told her she'd be utilis to me."

    The joys of house hunting
    Several would-be landlords had chalked up advertisements on the amphitheater walls.
    The smell of urine and old cabbage stew, which hit Ruso as soon as the first door opened, failed to mask the personal odor of the toothless crone who announced,
    "He an't here, I dunno where he is, and he an't done nothing."
    "I'll keep looking," said Ruso.
    "Did have," said the next one. "We did have a room. Somebody should have rubbed the notice off."
    The third room was still having its walls plastered, but the owner's wife promised it would be ready by nightfall.
    "How much?"
    She told him. Ruso laughed and walked away, and she let him go.

    The servants always know
    "Somebody ought to ask the servants what happened to her," ventured the plump woman, dabbling her fingers in the bowl held by a patient slave and drying them on the towel over his arm. "Servants always know everything, you know. It's amazing."
    As Ruso dipped his hands into the warm water, he glanced at the face of the slave holding the bowl. The man's expression gave nothing away.

    A most persistent clerk
    It was with neither joy nor enthusiasm that he opened the front door to urgent knocking shortly after dawn and found his clerk calling to ask whether there was anything he wanted done.
    "What I want done," explained Ruso, summoning all the patience he could muster and wondering what sort of a clerk could fail to understand a staff rotation, "is for you to push off and not bother me until I tell you to. Is that clear?"
    "Yes, sir."
    "Yes, sir," replied the man, saluting, but instead of pushing off as ordered he remained on the doorstep.
    "I said, dismissed."
    "Yes, sir."
    "Are you ordering me not to come, sir?"
    "Of course I'm ordering you not to come! Is there something the matter with your hearing?"
    "No, sir."
    Ruso leaned against the door frame and yawned. "Albanus," he said, "are you deliberately trying to annoy me?"
    The man looked shocked. "Oh no, sir."
    "Do you want to be charged with insubordination?"
    "Oh no, sir!"
    "Then what is the matter with you?"
    Albanus's shoulders seemed to shrink as he glanced around to make sure there was no one listening in the street. "Officer Priscus's orders, sir."
    "Officer Priscus," explained Ruso, "has seconded you to me. So you do what I tell you."
    "Yes, sir."
    "So what's the problem?"
    "Sir, he's my superior. So when he tells me to report to you in the morning, I have to do it."
    Ruso sighed. "He only meant the first morning."
    Albanus shook his head. "No, sir. He told me again yesterday."
    Ruso ran a hand through his hair. "I'll talk to him. Now get lost."
    Albanus nodded eagerly. "Shall I get lost anywhere in particular, sir?"

    image: description

    Take delight in a community full of interwoven relationships between army doctors, soldiers, slave girls, and hairy locals - all trying to live on the edge of the Roman empire.


  6. says:

    I'm a bit of a Roman detective nut (shocking, I know), and have read several such series. I usually jump from one series to the next, interspersing with Urban Fantasy or non-fiction reading. I read this whole series front-to-back without pause, which should give you an indication of how much I loved it.

    My reviews tend to focus on setting readers' expectations rather than rehashing blurbs or plot summaries. I hope this is useful to you.
    You can see my review for the whole series here.

    What to Expect
    Ruso is a physician, serving as a medic in Rome's Legio XX stationed in Britannia at the start of Hadrian's reign. Ruso is reluctantly (he's a doctor, dammit, not an investigator!) dragged to solve a murder no one else wants to take a close look at. Things naturally become much more complicated than anyone expects, and Ruso is both aided and frustrated by his native housekeeper Tilla.

    What I liked
    The absolute charm of the writing. All characters are fully fleshed, believable, with their own motivations. The writing is witty, the setting is rich, the plot thought-out, and the mysteries engaging.

    These are the kind of books where you care for the characters. Downie has a knack to depict the world-views of the characters realistically, switching viewpoints from a Roman medical officer to a British peasant woman. It is clear that each character - from main to support cast - is a fully realised person, with their own agendas and biases.

    The plot of the stories grips you till can't put the book down. Downie is masterfully weaving the investigations through sub-plots, distractions, daily lives, grand events - till you just have to know what happens next. Ruso may be a reluctant investigator, but he has that nagging voice in his head when things don't quite fit well, and it keeps him following and digging for the truth. Tilla has her own sense of fairness, and views on what makes the world tick.

    Downie locates each book in a different town, mostly around Roman Britain - this one set in Deva (Chester), and future volumes in other places. Downie has clearly done her research, and each location comes alive with the latest modern archaeological understanding of life there seeping through her writing.

    What to be aware of
    These aren't the noir mysteries I normally read and recommend. While there are certainly some gruesome bits (did I mention combat medic?), these aren't your typical first-person hard-boiled detective. Rather, the stories are told in a lighter vein, in third person perspective from either Ruso or Tilla's POV (only a few scenes in the early novels, with more Tilla-time as the series progresses)

    Ms Downie has experience with archaeology and Latin history, and it shows in her writing. She has elected to translate most Latin terms into modern English (e.g. calling a master 'my lord' rather then 'domine', or using 'doctor' for physician), which may sound a tad weird to those used to Latin terms from similar series.
    Be aware that while it's not strictly necessary to read the books in order, it certainly helps. This is the perfect place to start reading.

    I absolutely love this series. I have no idea why it took me so long to get back to it, but I am glad I did. I devoured most of the books over my holidays. which made for a very enjoyable immersive 'trip' to ancient Roman Britain.
    The only 'problem' I have with giving this book its much-deserved five-stars, is that the series gets even better!

    Assaph Mehr, author of Murder In Absentia: A story of Togas, Daggers, and Magic - for lovers of Ancient Rome, Murder Mysteries, and Urban Fantasy.

  7. says:

    The mysteries in this series are all set in the time of Trajan/Hadrian, in Roman Britain (Britannia). I loved the characters of Ruso, the overworked, compassionate Roman military doctor and Tilla, his British housekeeper. Some of the dry humor is laugh-out-loud; this book is a fast read, but bears rereading to wallow in the characters' interplay. I loved Ruso's interior thoughts. The mystery was a perhaps secondary, but necessary plot device.
    Ruso's personality seems to me like a cross between the personalities of Arthur Dent and Eeyore, if such a thing is possible. Valens, Ruso's devious (but basically good-hearted) doctor roommate and friend reminds me so much of M*A*S*H's Hawkeye Pierce. The beer barrel in the kitchen -- from one of Valens's grateful British patients perhaps? -- brought to mind the liquor still in the 'Swamp', Hawkeye's tent quarters. I've read and own the other 4 books in the series and am eagerly awaiting #5.

    In January 2013 I received #5 in the series, Semper Fidelis; it's just as delightful as the previous 4. Semper Fidelis

    In August 2014 I received and read #6, Tabula Rasa. This is one of Downie's best yet [except for the ghastly cover!]
    The contents inside were what interested me, though.

  8. says:

    ...The back cover made it sound so interesting and original - like a historical fiction mystery with men in short tunics with great senses of humor. It's really about a lonely, rather boring medicus (doctor) for the Roman Empire stationed overseas who stumbles upon a whorehouse, a couple of missing girls, and some bad oysters. Of course in the mix there is a beautiful, resilient, implausible slave girl - who was possibly once royalty or a healer or ???. Did I mention the doctor is in debt trying to save the family farm which conveniently lends itself to extortion?

    The first 100 pages had me nearly comatose as our characters were painfully developed. Then the plot kicked in and had me guessing for a few minutes, until the introduction of a newish character who, to me,was clearly killer. I spent the last 50 pages waiting for the happy ending because well, everything else ended up neatly so why not the doc and the slave girl?

    In the end it was tolerable but not something I'd recommend.

  9. says:

    Fantastic mystery about a Roman army Medic (Ruso) that just can let things rest when he sees a problem, injustice or human cruelty. Loved this and am glad that there are 6 more in the series to read.

  10. says:

    What's a doc to do?

    Father has died leaving debts. Brother has a very fertile wife. Stepmother is a bit of a over shopper. The less said about the ex-wife the better. And now, here he is at the end of the world.

    Okay, Roman Britian.

    But they dress werid.

    Oh, and dead girls seem to like him.

    Is this the best mystery I've ever read? No. But it's not the worst either. There are some wonderful touches of humor and the world feels real. It's a nice diverting read.

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