Book Review: Memento Mori, by Ruth Downie

This is probably my most-favourite Roman-era mystery series. I have previously interviewed both protagonists and was proud to be a part of the global launch of Memento Mori (you can read the first chapter here on my blog).

So the short version is: unsurprisingly, I enjoyed it very much. In fact, I enjoyed it so much that while reading the last bits of the book I missed my train stop.


So yeah, an amazing novel for anyone who loves the genre.

What to expect

Dumped straight into the action, Ruso is visiting ancient Bath in an attempt to clear his friend from a murder charge. Expect the usual twisting plot (you only think you know what’s going on!), engaging fully-fleshed characters, charming and realistic dialogue, well-researched history, and everything you might enjoy in a detective mystery set in Roman Britain.

What to be aware of

There are some references to events in past books. This might make some of the characters’ shared history and in-jokes opaque, though you can start reading here without too manyissues.

POV alternates between Ruso and his (native) wife Tilla, written in the 3rd person. Somewhat less common for detective stories, but I find that Ms Downie does an amazing job of both presenting each with a unique voice whilst still tantalising the reader with disjointed bits of information.


You can read my review of the whole series here. Most of what I said there stands for this volume as well. This is an excellently written, amazingly well-researched historical mystery, with charm and wit like no other. Whether you are a long time fan of Ms Downie or whether this is your first encounter, I highly recommend Memento Mori. Get your copy today!


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