The Sirens of Surrentum by Caroline Lawrence
Release Date: September, 2006
Buy it: Amazon | Book Depository
Everyone is thinking about love at the luxurious Villa Limona, where Flavia, Jonathon, Nubia and Lupus have come to spend a fortnight's holiday. But there's a rotten core beneath the beauty. A famous murder was committed nearby, and a prisoner is at large amongst the villa's guests. Faced with many distractions, can the friends set a trap to catch the culprit?
The next book in my trip down memory lane and definitely my least favourite. I've love the Roman Mysteries series for being so light-hearted and entertaining but this book was so heavy.
There were a couple of major topics in this book that felt heavy and brought the general tone of the book down. Some of the topics may trigger people or make you feel uncomfortable; this book was more on the YA spectrum than the children's spectrum of genres.
The writing style was flawless as usual; I felt like I was living in Ancient Rome. Caroline Lawrence has a way of describing unfamiliar places in a familiar way which helps the natural flow of the story. I especially loved how bright and vibrant she made the Roman lifestyle, with the lavish feasts and beautiful scenery. Although she references previous books in the series, Lawrence manages to not spoil anything, so you can read the series in which ever order you want.
I did feel like the characters had changed quite dramatically throughout this book. All four of the children have to face several difficult situations that require them to act older than they are. Surprisingly it was Flavia who had the most character development throughout this book; she became so mature and I'm so proud of my baby!
Even though I had a few major problems with this book I still really liked it. It doesn't really fit into the middle grad level of books, but it isn't "old" enough to fit into young adult. If the book sounds interesting to you then go ahead and read it! Just be warned that does deal with some heavy subjects.