Praise for A Bitter Chill...
"[Finnis'] second period mystery again uses topnotch writing and research to get under the skins of the Romans and their increasingly restive Brit charges."
It's freezing in late December, 95 A.D. Roman settlers in Britannia are preparing to celebrate Saturnalia. Innkeeper Aurelia Marcella runs an inn near Eboracum (modern York) in consort with her mostly absent brother and her younger sister, Albia. Aurelia finds her plans for a peaceful holiday shattered when her brother makes a surprise midnight appearance. His news? An enemy in Rome is spreading rumors that the family is plotting against Caesar.
To add to Aurelia's woes, the inn is threatened by a sort of protection racket. Then a party of rich, demanding travelers related to the provincial governor rolls up at the door. Their nearly murderous quarrels and their quest for a rebellious heir spill over into Aurelia's household.
And then, at the Saturnalia feast, one of the party dies and Albia becomes the chief suspect. Outraged, Aurelia must contend with conspirators-and threats-of all stripes to solve a very political murder.
Jane Finnis worked for some years in London as a freelance broadcaster for BBC Radio. Now settled in East Yorkshire with her husband Richard, she spends much of her time researching and writing about the Roman Empire.