Anyone free for lunch?

The very nice Richard Reynolds at Heffers in Cambridge is organising a lunchtime get-together on Thursday 6th March. If you’d like to join us or reserve a copy of the book, the details were here. (LATER: But they aren’t now, because I’ve just returned from eating the sandwiches and enjoying the chance to meet some members of the local crime readers’ group – I forgot to ask the group’s official name – oops – in the wondrously labyrinthine basement of Heffer’s. Apparently there’s an official published map of ‘where the bodies are’ in Cambridge crime fiction, past and present. What a great idea! I fear it’ll be a while before we can do that here in Milton Keynes.)

The book with two names… in which Ruso goes north and regrets it.

One of these lovely covers* should be arriving in a bookshop near you early in March. For a chance to own the British edition – on the left – without paying for it, nip across and enjoy Declan Burke’s blog at Crime Always Pays.

The relevant entry is back on 25th February, but there’s plenty of good stuff to read on the way down. Don’t get sidetracked, though. He needs to hear from you by noon on 4th March.

Ruso and the Demented Doctor cover image Terra Incognita cover image

*The UK edition is on the left, the USA on the right. The answer to the question ‘why are they so different?’ can be found on the books page.


Welcome to my website. Actually it’s a blog, but that’s such an odd word… If this is the first thing you see here, then you’re one of the earliest visitors – thank you.

I’m Ruth Downie, sometimes known as R S Downie (because all writers have to have two initials). I write a series of mystery novels set in Roman Britain, featuring exasperated Army medic Gaius Petreius Ruso and a Briton who calls herself Tilla.

You might reasonably ask why someone who’s only written two books so far needs a blog, a website, a… whatever you like to call it. Well, I probably don’t. Except for this…

The books are published under different titles in different parts of the world. It’s potentially confusing and when I try to explain it, people look even more confused than before. So I won’t do that here. Instead, please take a look at the ‘books’ page (there’s a link on the right) where you can see the very lovely covers, and hopefully all will become clear.

Since you’ve kindly taken the trouble to visit, I’ve added in a few of the sort of things you find on proper writers’ websites (more pages to click on the right) – plus some links to other favourites, including a couple where you can explore the locations of the books.

Hopefully all the technology will work. If it doesn’t, it’s probably because I’ve been pushing the wrong buttons. Please click ‘contact’, let me know and I’ll try and push the right ones next time.