Bodies Politic & No Cause for Concern in the Marcus Corvinus series by David Wishart
No Cause for Concern and the ebook version of Bodies Politic are self-pubbed continuations of the Marcus Corvinus historical mystery series by David Wishart – numbers 13 and 14 in the series by my count. Bodies Politic was briefly print-published by Plashmill Press (?), but there was some sort of messy situation, and the author somehow managed to get digital rights, and so the ebook is self-pubbed. Bodies Politic is a full length novel. No Cause for Concern is much shorter - to me it’s more of a novella. But it does continue the story line nicely.
This series is a sort of take-it-or-leave-it series – I suspect you’re either going to love it or hate it. The main character, Marcus Corvinus, is a sort of wise-cracking Roman from the time of Tiberius onward towards the end of the Julio-Claudians. I like the wise-cracks – I figure there were probably both wise-crackers and poets back then just as there are today. But one of my friends really hated the style. I also love the descriptions of the places and times – when we visited Rome a few years ago, I felt like I already knew my way around.
There are two sorts of books in the series – some are very political (Ovid, Germanicus, Sejanus) and some are more light-hearted (Food for the Fishes, A Vote for Murder – the scene with Dassa the sheep at the end of Vote is IMO priceless). I slightly prefer the political ones, but overall like them all a lot.
Now, about the self-pubbed ones. I liked both of these, aside from the fact that No Cause for Concern is pretty short. I felt they both ran true to the form of the previous books in the series. I noticed a few typos, but I’ve noticed a few typos in e-books by major publishers too. The writing didn’t feel noticeably looser, and Corvinus and others retain their same characters.
If you haven’t read any of the earlier ones in the series, I suggest you start with the beginning (Ovid) and see if you like the style, which is quite distinctive. If you have read some in the series, and liked them, you’ll probably like the self-pubbed ones. And, of course, the converse is true too – if you didn’t like others in the series, you probably won’t like these.
And, just as an aside, I took a look at the author’s website, and he has announced that he has signed with Severn House to do two more books in the series, with the next, Solid Citizens, coming out in October 2013. So these may be the only self-pubbed ones in the series for a while.
Last edited by sufue; 01-25-2013 at 05:39 PM.