A young man is found dead in his bed, with a look of extreme agony on his face and strange tattoos all over his body. His distraught senator father suspects foul play, and knows who to call on.
Enter Felix, a professional investigator. In the business of ferreting out dark information for his clients, Felix is neither a traditional detective nor a traditional magician – but something in between. Drawing on his experience of dealing with the shady elements of society and his aborted education in the magical arts, Felix dons his toga and sets out to discover the young man’s killers.
Murder in absentia is set in a fantasy world. The city of Egretia borrows elements from a thousand years of ancient Roman culture, from the founding of Rome to the late empire, mixed with a judicious amount of magic. This is a story of a cynical, hardboiled detective dealing with anything from daily life to the old forces roaming the world
This is a story of Togas, Daggers and Magic – it will appeal to lovers of urban fantasy, detective murder mysteries and ancient Rome.
NOTE that this novel is written in British English, which uses different spelling than US English.
The world building is perfection, every aspect of the book drags you deeper into a roman-esk era. You can tell the author has a great appreciation for the time period, as if we put the story aside, that alone kept me interested.
Food was a huge part of this story, it was laced through all the interactions, in each place the character visited, and overall fascinating. It not only added to the era the author was engulfing us in, but gave us more insight to the characters. The characters had your typical roman names which all blended in my mind, but they had distinct personalities so I had no trouble keeping them apart.
Overall the story was long winded, and probably could have been shorter, but I personally think that was a nod to the time period as well. It’s written as a memoir, not a fast pace mystery/thriller.
I also really enjoyed reading the notes in the back of the book about the authors research and how he adjusted things to fit his world.