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Reviews of


Buried Too Deep

Image of Roman arch

Finnis's well-crafted prose subtly weaves authoritative detail into a believable portrait of everyday life near the turn of the millennium. More historical adventure than conventional mystery, but highly readable and endlessly absorbing.
––Kirkus reviews

The third Marcella historical mystery ... is a terrific entry in an exciting series. Finnis provides a great Ancient world whodunit.
––Harriet Klausner
The Mystery Gazette Blog


No one can accuse author Jane Finnis of slowing down the pace as she makes heroine Aurelia Marcella's life interesting in her third historical mystery set in 1st century A.D. Roman Britain. There's action enough for at least a couple of books (not something general mystery fans tend to associate with historical mysteries) and a storyline nicely embellished with numerous and varied subplots, making it feel more like real life (at least my real life) than a linear, artificially constructed plot. It all ties together very nicely at the end though. 

The setting, a mansio (inn) on the empire's western frontier, is a natural for plenty of turbulence, intrigue and change. It also helps set this series apart from other Roman series, which tend to be focused on Rome itself. Another thing that sets it apart is one of my favorite historical mystery heroines - Aurelia, running the mansio with good humor, common sense, passion, caring, and a sharp, but not impossibly perfect mind ... She makes mistakes and leaps to conclusions, but unlike so many books where characters seem to do so merely to fit the author's plotting needs, Aurelia does so believably, as you or I might. As you can probably guess by now, one of the things I really like about this author's work is how the world she creates feels natural to inhabit, despite the differences between it and the one I live in.
––Kim Malo, myshelf.com

Jane Finnis' "Buried Too Deep" has all the elements I consider necessary for a great read - smooth, elegant writing; suspenseful story with several very engaging sub-plots, great historical background, tons of intrigue, lovable characters and just enough gore to make it edgy ...

Aurelia Marcella is one of the most lovable and surprising sleuths I've encountered in a long time. Unbelievably real and even contemporary- sounding, she leads a very emancipated life for somebody living in the first century AD. Not only is she running a large and successful business, but she helps both her brother and her lover in their investigations. And yes, she has a lover and does not seem to yearn for marriage and children at all ... I've thoroughly enjoyed "meeting" her, as well as the rest of the very detailed characters in "Buried Too Deep." I was also mesmerized by the depictions of day-to-day life in the country, especially in view of the fact that other books set in the Roman period that I've read so far all seem to be happening in the cities, most commonly in Rome itself.
––Olivera Baumgartner-Jackson,
 
Reviewer's Bookwatch

   

In Finnis's spirited if at times overly complicated third Roman historical to feature innkeeper Aurelia Marcella, who runs the Oak Tree mansio in the wilds of  occupied Britannia ... sea raiders believed to be led by a barbarian, Voltacos, have been attacking people along the coast. Meanwhile, greedy Roman landowner Ostorius Magnus and his unsavory nephew have been squeezing  tribesmen off their lands. A shipwreck sets off rumors of buried treasure ... Various murders further muddy the case. Some readers may have trouble keeping track of the many characters, but all will cheer the upbeat ending. 
––Publisher's Weekly

For those of us who have read Get Out or Die and Bitter Chill by Jane Finnis, it is welcome news that there is another of this fine series about Britannia around 98 AD, featuring  mansion keeper Aurelia Marcella and her twin brother Lucius.

A beautiful Spring appears to be a forecast of good times with peace and prosperity to come in this troubled frontier province of Britannia. But keeping the peace in this area conquered by Rome is no easy task. The natives, understandably, don't like the Romans, even a generation or two removed from the actual invaders. The Romans resent the ugly treatment from those they consider their inferiors. And then there are the marauding Gauls, who pillage, rape and kill ...

I've always loved history and Finnis fills that desire to learn more with perfection. For both the history buff and those who love a good mystery, Buried Too Deep is the book for you.

––Mary Ann Smyth, Bookloons

First inspired by seeing the Roman remains at York, Jane Finnis, who lives on the East Yorkshire coast, immerses herself in local history. Aurelia Marcella has now appeared in three books; she is an independent and adventurous spirit who is very appealing to the reader. Along with her siblings and their extensive network of friends, employees and customers, Aurelia is brought vividly to life. Roman Britain may seem like the distant past, but human nature has changed very little from those days. Deceit, land grabbing, greed, and jealousy are nothing new. Yet love, family devotion, and loyalty are equally represented. It is fascinating to inhabit those days in the pages of this book.
–– Lorraine Gelly, Reviewing The Evidence

Read the first few pages of Buried Too Deep

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