Rubies of the Viper
by Martha Marks
When her brother is murdered in first-century Rome, Theodosia Varro inherits the family estate, going from poverty and isolation to great wealth and a prestigious position in society. Unfortunately, she lives in a time and a place that deny women of her class the very things she most desires: personal freedom and self-determination. Only by identifying her brother’s killer can she feel safe, yet her efforts take her in quite the opposite direction. After her own actions and the scheming of others lead to catastrophe, Theodosia struggles to survive and recover what matters most in her life.
(Word count 117,000; e-book $2.99 USD, print $12.95 USD)
Reviews of Rubies of the Viper
“If I were to select a book of the year to read, Rubies of the Viper by Martha Marks would be in the running for top choice. Yes, it is that good.
-Rhonda Esakov, Story Circle Book Reviews
“I just finished Rubies of the Viper and found it to be a fast-paced, exciting read. As a male, I tend to shamelessly lump books with female lead characters into a ‘chick’ book category, mysteries being the exception. This exception did not let me down. There is much more to this book than simply solving the mystery of who killed Theodosia Varro’s brother, Gaius.”
“Rubies of the Viper is a fast-paced, suspenseful and romantic historical novel and a totally satisfying read. Set primarily in Rome at the time of Emperor Nero, Rubies of the Viper tells the story of Theodosia, a young single woman without family to guide or protect her when she suddenly inherits her family fortune at the death of her half-brother. The mystery surrounding that brother’s death, the confusion of competing suitors, the secrets surrounding her own background, the machinations of unknown enemies, and her conflicted relationship with her household slaves keep Theodosia off balance and in danger throughout the book.”
-M. Louisa Locke, author of Maids of Misfortune
“How does a young, entitled and free thinking woman view Rome in the 1st century? Martha Marks does a really good job showing us how her young heroine becomes the pawn of the Roman system. She inhabits her book with both real and fictional characters for a fast, enjoyable and educational read. This was fun – I highly recommend it.”
-Hazel Sara Greenberg, New York City