It's no wonder Gordianus the Finder solves so many of these nine cases in a single flash of insight. Most of the mysteries aren't very mysterious; even Gordianus' slave (and future wife) Bethesda picks out the thief of his friend Lucius Claudius' silver the minute she hears the story. Still, three groups of readers will find these stories irresistible: history buffs who appreciate Saylor's careful research into Roman politics and Roman mores; fans of his five novels (A Murder on the Appian Way, 1996, etc.) who want to find out how he first became Lucius Claudius' friend, or how he acquired his faithful slave Belbo; and anyone who enjoys leisurely, literate storytelling. Though none of the stories is more than five years old, nearly half ("A Will Is a Way," "The Lemures," "King Bee and Honey," "The Alexandrian Cat") have already been anthologized. All the others could well follow.