They’re back! A new MEDICUS novella on 9 July

Cover of PRIMA FACIE Mosaic of lovers in bath house

Many thanks to the patient friends of Ruso and Tilla who’ve been in touch to ask how – and indeed what – they’re doing.

Occasionally I get emails asking what happened in between the novels. Usually the answer is ‘not much’, which is why there isn’t a book about it. However… some people wondered whether Ruso and Tilla might have called in on Ruso’s family in Gaul after they left Rome at the end of VITA BREVIS.

And so PRIMA FACIE, a novella telling the story of that visit, was born. As with the full-length novels, you don’t have to have read any of the other books to make sense of it. Although if you have, you’ll be meeting some familiar faces.

Here’s the blurb from the back cover:


A tale of murder, intrigue, and betrayal in Roman Gaul.

It’s AD123 and the sun is shining on Southern Gaul. Ex-military medic Ruso and his British wife Tilla are back after a long absence – but it’s not the reunion anyone had hoped for.

Ruso’s brother has left him in charge of a farm he has no idea how to manage, a chronic debt problem and a gaggle of accident-prone small children. Meanwhile his sister Flora has run away to rescue her boyfriend, who’s accused of murdering a wealthy guest at a party.

Can Ruso and Tilla save the boyfriend from the murder charge – or should they be saving Flora from the boyfriend? Will any of the guests tell the truth about the fatal party before it’s too late? And how long can Ruso continue to lie about what’s inside the bath house?

Mosaic portrait of man and woman captioned THE MEDICUS SERIES

PRIMA FACIE will be published on 9 July. It’ll be available in print via all good bookshops, under ISBN 978 1916 469 488

(If you aren’t in a position to support a local bookshop, Amazon print copies can be pre-ordered here for the UK, here for the USA, and here for Amazon De.)

…or you can pre-order the Kindle ebook here in the UK, or here if you shop on

Before you ask – I’ll apologise now to folks who prefer their books in audio. Sadly novella-length books (this one is about a third the length of a full novel) aren’t something that audio publishers are clamouring for. Well, mine aren’t. If that changes, there will be dancing and celebration at Downie Towers and when I’ve recovered, I’ll post the details (about the audio, not the dancing) here and everywhere else I can find on the Internet.

17 thoughts on “They’re back! A new MEDICUS novella on 9 July

    1. Thanks for asking, Barbara. In theory it’ll be out everywhere on 9 July in print & ebook (the first time ever!) Print copies won’t be available to pre-order till next week at the earliest but the Kindle version should show up on US Amazon soon if it isn’t there yet.

  1. Hi, Ruth! So glad to hear about PRIMA FACIE, but Amazon says I can’t preorder it because it’s only available on Will this be remedied later for your US fans? Cheers — Sherry

    1. Argh! Sorry, Sherry. Hopefully it will filter across to Amazon US shortly – it’s only appeared in the UK this morning. I’ll keep an eye on it and chase if necessary.

  2. Hi Ruth,
    I just finished Prima Facie, and I loved it.
    It took great discipline to limit myself to a chapter a day, because I wanted to savour it rather than binge out as at a Baccus Festival.
    Again you did not dissapoint. You create a realistic environment, with believable characters that almost step right off the page.
    It amazes me , how you can write good murder mysteries in one of histories bloodiest eras, yet avoid the gore and graphic, without diminishment of the story.
    Thank you for the enjoyment you have brought to me through the entire Medicus series.
    And keep writing.

    1. Hi Brian,
      That’s great to hear, thank you! It’s very good of you to get in touch. To be honest it’s impossible to know whether a story works until other people read it, so I’m delighted to know that you enjoyed it.
      Very best wishes,

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