The Triumph of Caesar is the 12th in the Gordianus series of novels set in ancient Rome. ‘Gordianus the Finder’ is a kind of private detective who started his career working for Cicero on a case of parricide. Now 30 years later Gordianus has acquired a house on the Palatine and is well known to the upper reaches of Roman society.
The year is 46 B.C.E. and Caesar has returned from the Civil war, the war in Africa, and the war in Asia. His wife Calpurnia is convinced that his life is in danger, and hires Gordianus to investigate. He accepts the case only because his old friend Hieronymous (from the novel “Last Seen In Massillia”) had also been hired by Calpurnia, and had turned up murdered.
This was a much lighter novel than the previous few in the series. There’s no sense that Gordianus’ life is in danger, and no real sense of foreboding about the death of Caesar, since we know that won’t happen for another 2 years. Still, it is entertaining enough, and has enough historical detail to be interesting without being pedantic.
This is almost certainly the next to last novel in this series. Gordianus is growing old, and the next novel will have to deal with the murder of Caesar and the death of Cicero.