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The Bull Slayer

The Bull Slayer
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A turbulent frontier province, rotten with corruption and seething with hatred of Rome—a barbarian god whose devotees may include a murderer—a clever and unscrupulous faith healer who knows everyone's secrets—a boy who struggles toward manhood though stricken with the Sacred Disease: these are the elements in a mystery that Pliny, newly appointed governor of Bithynia, confronts when a high Roman official is found murdered on a desolate hillside, miles from the capital. But as Pliny pursues one baffling lead after another, he is being betrayed where he least expects it: his beautiful wife, neglected and lonely in an alien city, falls desperately in love with a handsome young provincial—an affair which threatens to bring not only pain but ruin to Pliny's career. All these threads come together in a surprising and tragic finale.

Read Chapter One (pdf)
Read about Pliny's world: background, sources, map, and pictures
Read a Q & A with Bruce
Watch an interview with Bruce

The Bull Slayer is available in hardcover, paperback, ebook and audiobook.

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Bruce's Behind the Pages Interview

Part One

Part Two

Part Three


"Consistently entertains..."
   —Kirkus Reviews

"Macbain's love of the ancient world is manifest on every page of The Bull Slayer, and his choice of a sleuth is inspired...The result is a highly atmospheric and absorbing murder mystery that builds to an earthshaking climax."
   —Steven Saylor

Poisoned Pen Press, hardcover, March 2013, ISBN-13: 9781464201080
Poisoned Pen Press, paperback, March 2013, ISBN-13: 9781464201103