Blood of a Gladiator

Book One: Leonidas the Gladiator Mysteries

Leonidas, champion of the Roman games under Nero, is awarded the rudis, the wooden sword that means his freedom. He is a freedman now, with no money and nowhere to go.

Enter a mysterious, anonymous benefactor who bestows upon Leonidas a tiny apartment and a slave to look after him, with the command that he make his own living as he awaits instructions from said benefactor.

The slave is called Cassia, daughter of a Greek scribe, recently living in the household of a wealthy patrician family in Campania. She has been turned out of the only home she’s ever known and expected to look after an ex-gladiator, her only skills that of her pen and her sharply observant mind.

The two have to learn to live with each other in tiny quarters, and figure out how they will earn their bread to survive.

Leonidas is finished with death, but when murder follows in his wake, he and Cassia must pool their resources and clear Leonidas of the crime before he is sentenced to a death more horrific than what he faced in the games.