Surprisingly, nobody is poisoned at the Society of Olive Oil Producers banquet-the attempted murder of Rome's cheif spy occurs immediately afterward. Suspicion falls, quick as the Italian night, on the dinner's sinuous dancer, a lady who has already left for Corduba, Spain. Naturally, Marcus Didius Falco, the Phillip Marlowe of Roman detectives, is dispatched to follow her. But he has pledged to stay with Helena, his pregnant, patrician wife, until she gives birth. Caught between Scylla and Charybdis, Falco makes what be a fatal mistake: he brings Helena with him to a terra incognita of olives and intrigue, where a dies irae and a remorseless killer wait.
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by Lindsey Davis
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