Bodies politic by David Wishart

Cover Bodies Politic by David Wishart

Conspiracies and wedding preparations in ancient Rome.

In a nutshell:

Short synopsis:

Marcus Valerius Corvinus is setting out to vindicate Macro who was forced to commit suicide by his former bosom buddy, the Emperor.

Language I read the book in: English

Did I like it? Yes, this is another great addition to the series

For people who… like the Marcus Corvinus series, mysteries set in Ancient Rome, wisecracking modern sleuths in a historical environment

My thoughts: 

Starting to read

As opposed to all the earlier books now we are in the reign of Caligula. I kind of like that because not only is Caligula a rather interesting character (maybe not likeable, but colourful), but I also found him in earlier books rather refreshing, especially together with some of his entourage, e.g. Felix and his sidekick. It also helps that I always picture John Hurt as Caligula in my mind.

Marcus Corvinus is once more drawn into an investigation which turns out to be under false pretenses from the start. When I heard that the note that starts it all did not come from Macro I immediately thought of Felix’ scheming, but after visiting Caligula I dismissed this. Maybe, however, this is a double bluff. We’ll see.

Already the lack of continuity in the books is apparent again. Not that it matters that much, but Marcia’s husband is not Paullus, but Fabius. David Wishart sometimes just doesn’t get his names right (see the name of Marcus’ mother or Marcia’s relationship with Fabius in previous books). 

Later on

I have been waiting for this. In all Marcue Corvinus books there is a Deus ex Machina in the shape of Caelius Crispus. Whenever Marcus needs information, secrets that nobody possibly could know, he turns to Caelius Crispus for it. The man is a notorious gossip monger, he knows everything about everybody, a knowledge he uses to climb up the career ladder. He only imparts information reluctantly but always sends Marcus into the right direction nevertheless. He is indispensable for Marcus’ sleuthing, because without him the plot would be stuck.

Towards the end

The political mysteries are always a little convoluted with all the people involved and goings on in the various political camps and parts of the world. This one was even more so, because there were a few separate conspiracies (real and fake ones), so you had to really be on your toes to follow them all. I love the vacation in Alexandria with a bit of local flair. It is also nice to compare it with the same trip of Decius Caecilius Metellus in “The Temple of the Muses”  around 60 B.C.

All in all

This is a very good continuation of the series and I hope that there will be more, especially now that Caligula is emperor. He is a much more lively character than Tiberius and provides a lot of entertainment for the reader (even though not necessarily for the people around him).

If you don’t know the series, I recommend you start with the first book, “Ovid” and work your way through, though.

Location: Ancient Rome at the time of Caligula

CaligulaTemple of Castor and Pollux

Images from wikipedia

Movie tip:

I, Claudius (TV series)


Product info and buy link :

Title Bodies Politic
Author David Wishart
Publisher self published
ISBN 9781476446431
I got this book from I bought it from Smashwords
Buy link Buy Bodies politic as e-book from Smashwords
More info The Marcus Corvinus series
Even more info David Wishart’s website


Have you read this book? What did you think of it? I would love to hear other opinions.

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