Danila Comastri Montanari

Publius Aurelius Statius, a detective in the ancient Rome

A wonderful and dangerous town, Rome caput mundi and...murders! Publius Aurelius Statius is the main character of a series of novels which transports us to the Ancient Rome, to solve mysteries with the help of a bright and "bon vivant" senator and his facetious slave. Murders and criminal cases represent also a charming and erudite way to introduce the readers to the Roman daily life and civilization at the time of Emperor Claudius, 1st century BC (Claudius, Tiberius Claudius Caesar Augustus Germanicus, 1 August 10 BC – 13 October AD 54, was Roman emperor from 41 to 54 AD).

Patrician by birth, senator by choice and detective for passion, Publius Aurelius Statius is the last offspring of the noble family of Aurelii , which traces its origins to Anco Marzio. Publius Aurelius grows with little attention from the father, his namesake, a domineering man, severe and violent, and also from the mother, who after having divorced gets remarried five times and goes to live in the East. The only one to take really care of the young Publius Aurelius is the nurse Aglaia.

Publius Aurelius is only sixteen years old when his father dies at a banquet, leaving him amazingly rich, owner of villas, fleets, industries and of all the wealth of the family, which the loyal administrator Diomede has managed to thrive despite the father's gambling addiction . This allows the young Publius to fulfil all his ambitions: to travel, to study philosophy (he is a convinced Epicurean) and, above all, to flirt with beautiful women.

Publius Aurelius is quite allergic to marriage, and in fact his union with the noble Flaminia, who he has married at twenty-two, is not lasting long and got shattered after the death of their first son, still an infant. Publius Aurelius tries to console himself by tightening relations with numerous lovers thanks to its wealth, his charisma and his good looks, without paying too much attention at their social status.

Like all members of the ancient Roman nobilitas Publius Aurelius served in the legions in 26 AD, particularly along the German Limes, on the river Rhine with the legion XIV Gemina. Publius Aurelius is finally also a dear friend of the emperor Claudius, whom he met around 19 AD, and whom he taught the Etruscan language.

And as if the love life, books, friends and politics were not enough for him, Publius Aurelius finds himself immersed in various crimes. Relying on several helpers, very efficient if not really loyal, as the secretary of Castor and his friend Pomponia, Publius Aurelius always manages to solve them. He is not interested in the administration and the outward forms of his noble rank (such as the salutation of clients), leaving to deal with all that his superintendent Paris, the son of Diomedes, who succeeded his father in the role.

All the books of Publius Aurelius Statius series


Publius Aurelius series

1990 - Mors tua

1991 - In corpore sano

1993 - Cave canem

1994 - Morituri te salutant

1996 - Parce sepulto

1997 - Cui prodest?

1999 - Spes ultima dea

2000 - Scelera

2001 - Gallia est

2002 - Saturnalia

2003 - Ars moriendi - Un'indagine a Pompei

2004 - Olympia - Un'indagine ai giochi ellenici

2005 - Tenebrae

2007 - Nemesis

2009 - Dura Lex

2011 - Tabula Rasa

2013 - Pallida Mors

2015 - Saxa Rubra


Standalone novels

1995 - Ricette per un delitto

1996 - La campana dell'arciprete

1997 - Il panno di Mastro Gervaso

1999 - Una strada giallo sangue

2003 - Istigazione a delinquere

2008 - Terrore


about the Author

Danila Comastri Montanari is an Italian mystery fiction writer, born in Bologna in November 1948. She graduated in Pedagogy (1970) and Political Science (1978). For twenty years she has been teaching and travelling all over the world. In 1990 she wrote her first novel, and devoted herself full-time to writing fiction, focusing on a genre, the historical mystery, which allows her to reconcile her main interests: the study of the past and the love for the mystery plots. Danila is a convinced smoker, appreciates spirits, shuns diets, frequents spas and archaeological excavations. She is an avid reader, especially crime, essays, classical Latin, Greek and Chinese texts. She is also a fanatical user of the internet and loves strategy video games. She lives in a large house in the center of Bologna with her husband, daughter, two cats, about two hundred plants, ten thousand books and five computers!

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