PRIMA FACIE: a crime novella of the Roman Empire…

Mosaic of sleeping lovers Cover of PRIMA FACIE The sun is shining on Roman Gaul, but 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 their 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?

Several friends of Ruso and Tilla have asked what happened between their trip to Rome in VITA BREVIS and their arrival back in Britannia in MEMENTO MORI. Did they call in on Ruso’s family in the south of Gaul? Indeed they did. This novella is the story of that visit. Regular readers will meet some familiar faces here. Readers who have never spent time with Ruso and Tilla will, I hope, enjoy the story without needing to know anything about what happened beforehand. 

Book of the Month logo from Discovering Diamonds

PRIMA FACIE was crowned July’s “Book of the Month” on the Discovering Diamonds site – here’s part of their review:

“The dialogue snaps and crackles with life… a perfect introduction to a series I will now happily read my way through.” – Anna Belfrage, Discovering Diamonds

“…a tongue-in-cheek, engaging novella which takes a large cast of well observed characters and the world they inhabit and portrays them in exuberant Technicolor.”  – Lynne Patrick, Mystery People

PRIMA FACIE is available to order in print via all good bookshops. (Paperback ISBN: 9781916469488)

Ebook and print copies are available from Amazon UK via this link. If you buy from, this is where you’ll find it. For Amazon in Germany, click here.

An audiobook of PRIMA FACIE, read by Simon Vance, will be available on 19 November from Tantor Media.

Mosaic of man and woman asking readers who have enjoyed their books to consider leaving an honest review.


30 thoughts on “Novella – out now!

  1. Will it be available via audio version ? I am mostly blind and can’t read more than a paragraph at a time.
    Thank you

    1. Hi Edita, I’m sorry there isn’t an audio edition planned at the moment, which is a bit frustrating. I can’t promise anything but I’ll make some enquiries and see what’s possible.

      1. I, too, enjoyed every book as an audiobook. Simon Vance is a superb narrator, and these books are great fun as audiobooks.

      2. Thank you – I’m really hoping something can be done! But nothing much happens in publishing in August so we won’t know for a while, I’m afraid.

      3. UPDATE!!! I’m delighted to say that PRIMA FACIE will be available as an audiobook in early November, and yes, it will be read by Simon Vance!

  2. Love the characters and their life’s adventure. It’s been a long wait and I look with anticipation to this next chapter. Seems strange that all previous books would be on audio books but not your latest. I’m looking forward to listening to Prima Facie. We audio fans are waiting.

    1. Yes I’m sorry about the lack of audio so far. My agent is on the case, so I’m hoping we’ll be able to get something sorted out. Fingers crossed!

  3. Barnes and Noble ebooks in the US needs to get on the ball. I’ll give another week or two and if not cave in the Amazon 😉
    Eagerly waiting!

  4. Thank you for looking into the audio version of PRIMA FACIE. Please add my wife and me to the list eagerly awaiting it. Love these stories. BTW, I realize there’s not the same level of understanding of the period, but I’ve been very interested in the time just after the Roman departure from Britain (i.e. Arthur’s time?) Might a descendant of Ruso and Tilla be around and need a story to tell of it? Just sayin’ … -Art

    1. Hi Art, thanks for your interest in the audio! No news yet I’m afraid: I suspect a lot of people are away on holidays.
      Lots of mystery about what went on after the Romans left – including the question of how many Roman soldiers actually left and how many settled down with the locals when the pay stopped coming. Interesting times!

    1. Hi Mary, sorry there are no plans for a hardback at the moment. It’s a short book (150 pages) and there probably wouldn’t be enough demand to make a hardback economic. However I’m sure we’d all be happy to be proved wrong!

  5. Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you for this series. It is my favorite book series and I reread all of them every winter holiday break (I’m a college instructor). Thank you for providing me with hours of entertainment. I never tire of Ruso or your tales of Roman Britain. I don’t Facebook or Twitter so can’t follow you there but wanted to say thanks so much! Blessings to you, Tawnya

    1. Oh Tawnya, that’s lovely! I’m delighted to hear that spending time with Ruso has given you such pleasure. Very best wishes for the holidays! – Ruth

  6. I loved the whole series, have just finished Prima Facie , are there more books to follow?

    1. Hi Jane, good to know you’ve enjoyed the books! There isn’t anything else at the moment but Book 9 (as yet untitled) is under way…

      1. I’ve just picked up Prima Facie, (which I believe to be the 9th book).
        Will there be additional books in this very addictive series?

      2. Hi Chavli, thank you for asking! I’m working on another one but it’s taking so long I’m almost too embarrassed to say so. 😳

  7. Keep on writing. 👍 Always pleased to listen to your audiobooks. The Falco/Albia series is another of the pleasures in life.
    I’m so old Latin was essential for university entrance in Scotland so lots of us learned it routinely in not posh state schools. (We only had the four ancient universities then and couldn’t go to English ones because of the different education system. )
    It’s great to have British characters in prominent rôles. The Anglo-saxons didn’t turn up till the Romans left.

    1. Thanks Patricia! It’s good to know that Ruso and Tilla are keeping you entertained. The British characters are fun to write: someone has to point out to the Romans where they’re going wrong.

  8. I have enjoyed all the books. One of my favorite authors was always Rosemary Sutcliff, whose best books were set in Roman Britain. You tread the same geography well, and Tilla and Ruso are enormously engaging characters.

    1. Thank you Steven – great to hear you’ve enjoyed the books, and it’s an honour to be mentioned alongside the great Rosemary Sutcliff!

  9. Ruth, will you be publishing any more Ruso books? I’ve enjoyed reading the whole series – summer is here, and Ruso’s adventures are perfect summer reading!

    1. Hi Julie, thanks for the kind words about the books!
      I have been saying I’ll write another one for so long now that it’s embarrassing, but I do have plans. Honestly. Hopefully I’ll have more words to go with them before long.

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