Series: Libertus Mysteries#1
An influential (or at least well-off) Roman is found dead in the furnace room of his country villa in 2nd century Roman Britain. Libertus, a former slave and mosaicist by trade, had recently completed a mosaic for this Germanicus. Libertus is enlisted by his patron, Marcus (yes, this historical fiction book plays it a bit loose with the use of Roman names), to investigate the matter because Marcus is worried that the murder may be political in origin (these days the Roman Empire is rather unsettled).
This was a cute little historical mystery set in a slightly later Roman time period than I'm used to reading about. The resolution to the mystery did turn out to be one of my theories but I wasn't certain that I was right until the end. I completely missed the motivation for the murder though. I may continue reading the series, but I'm not rushing out to buy the next one. I liked Libertus and his slave, Junio, but overall the characters felt a bit flat.
I read this for the More Historical Than Fiction bookclub and for the "Murder Most Foul" square in the Halloween Bingo. It could also fit the "Terrifying Women" and "Amateur Sleuth" squares.