Things are going well for Decius Caecilius Metellus. He is Praetor Peregrinus, which means he has to judge a case or two, but those cases are outside of the city. His cases will be those dealing with foreigners, and all of Italy is his province. His first stop is Campania, Italy s most popular resort district. Decius and his wife, Julia, are happy for a change of scenery. But the good times end when, in a town near Vesuvius, a priest s daughter is murdered. Decius must find her killer and keep the mob off a young boy who everyone blames but he believes to be incent. Decius may have acquired more prestige, but he s also acquired more trouble. With his SPQR vels, John Maddox Roberts has written a satisfying and entertaining historical mystery series. The stakes just keep getting higher in this latest atmospheric puzzle.