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Get Out or Die (Aurelia)

Get Out or Die - Jane Finnis This is the first in a series (currently three books) of mysteries, set in Roman Britain, featuring Aurelia Marcella. At this time 91AD Britain is a recently conquered country – around 43 AD, discounting Julius Cesar’s brief encounter. Aurelia runs an Inn just outside Eburacum (York). This makes the region one of the outcrops of the Roman Empire.I don’t like the title – it is used in the book but it doesn’t feel right. I haven’t been able to think up a much better one either. The story is good. The British are trying to remove the Romans by using guerrilla tactics. (leaving messages like Get out or Die). This consists of murdering travellers at night and carrying out attacks on pay convoys. There is no satisfactory reason why Aurelia’s inn is targeted, and it does appear to have been singled out. The novel is written in the first person from Aurelia’s point of view so attention is going to be focused on her property above that of others.The book reads well and is engrossing. I felt there were a few week points which let it down a little. I’d worked out who had done it and why early on and felt a little annoyed when then they dismissed this suspect. I won’t say too much about it, although I felt it was week on this point I do tend to get these things very early on. More importantly I enjoyed reading this book. Aside from the too easy ignoring of a suspect the writing is good and well paced. There were a few phrases which I particualry liked: Aurelia describes things as having taken a few heartbeats. In those days the concept of a second, or even a minute, would not have existed.