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Buried Too Deep    by Jane Finnis Amazon.com order for
Buried Too Deep
by Jane Finnis
Order:  USA  Can
Poisoned Pen, 2008 (2008)
Hardcover, Softcover
* *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

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.

When a neighboring farmer is killed, the Gauls are suspected, but what is their motive? A newcomer who wants all the land he can acquire for the nephews he raised? Possibly someone who wants to search for a fabled buried treasure of gold? Or simply blood rivalries one clan not respecting the other's beliefs? Aurelia sometimes works with her brother Lucius, who is an investigator for Rome. A shipwreck off the Headland could contain a trunk of gold coins. Again, suspicions arise when the cache is empty.

A woman, at that time, was regarded as chattel. Nothing more than to serve her man. Aurelia is not a woman of her times, and she demands and receives respect - but knows when it is in everyone's best interest that she take a step back. Finnis's books burst with historical fact. Page after page of togas and sandals and wine drinking take the reader back to the time of which she writes.

I've always loved history and Finnis fills that desire to learn more with perfection. The treatment of women in those times shows that we have come along a long hard road to achieve what women's rights we have, but life still contains inequities. For both the history buff and those who love a good mystery, Buried Too Deep is the book for you.

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