Claudia Seferius unsurprisingly finds murder and trouble in ancient Gaul.
A young girl named Brigetia walks uneasily through a thick Gallic forest, studied lasciviously by a character identified only as The Watcher. His stalkings repeatedly interrupt Roman widow Claudia Seferius’ trip to distant Gaul, where she hopes to solve the mystery of her missing father, who had trekked West in the wars ten years earlier and never returned. As usual, adventures sidetrack Claudia from her objective. She accepts an invitation from coarse local businesswoman Marcia, “the richest woman in Aquitania.” Expecting help and moneymaking tips, she’s sucked instead into the chaos swirling around Marcia’s bustling villa. Marcia is driving workers hard to complete a burial shrine in her honor. She seems equally abusive to her pretty cousin Stella, whose husband left her, with five children, on Marcia’s estate. With so many enemies, it’s no wonder that Marcia has had death threats. But can Claudia believe her tale of an attempt on her life? When police detective Marcus Orbilio, Claudia’s sexy foil in previous adventures (Widow’s Peak, 2004, etc.), investigates, he falls prey to an attack himself. Then the sleuths realize that several young girls have gone missing.
Claudia’s tenth Roman romp, again juggling chills and raucous humor, brings the long-simmering relationship twixt Claudia and Marcus to a crossroads.