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Death in the Ashes: A Fourth Case from the Notebooks of Pliny the Younger    by Albert A. Bell Jr. order for
Death in the Ashes
by Albert A. Bell Jr.
Order:  USA  Can
Perseverance Press, 2013 (2013)
* * *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

Death in the Ashes by Albert A. Bell, Jr. is a 'Fourth Case from The Notebooks of Pliny the Younger'. It's another one that you will not be able to put down (the first three affected me the same way).

The year? A.D. 84. Pliny the Younger must leave Rome for the Bay of Naples; a family friend has been accused of murder. Of course, the man's wife begs Pliny for help. Where else is there to turn but to a good friend? Unfortunately, at least four days pass before he reaches the scene. Any visible clues have been obliterated. To make matters worse, his friend refuses to talk to anyone about the murder. That includes Pliny.

Death in the Ashes has an intricate plot that has many twists and turns but is easy to follow. I have to admit I found the Roman names difficult, but the story is so good that I persevered. Well worth the effort. The monumental research revealed a great deal I knew about Pompeii but showed me much more I didn't know. I wish I had had that knowledge when I roamed the ruins of Pompeii in the late '90s. I found it so interesting to taste the lives that were led way back then.

Death in the Ashes has lots of action. Likable characters. Wonderful settings. I think I would have liked Pliny.

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