Lawrence, Caroline. The Man From Pomegranate Street. Book 17 of the Roman Mysteries series.
Flavia and her friends, having been accused of treachery by the emperor Titus, make their way back to Rome to beg for amnesty. Unfortunately, Titus contracts a fatal fever, and Domitian takes control. There is still a price on their head, but if they can figure out who killed Titus, they might be spared. They never do find out what happens, but must remain in exile, where the friends all manage to make happy lives for themselves.
These are all fabulous books, and the detail given to Roman life is superb. While not huge circulators, I will get a die-hard fan or two every year, so I am glad to finally have the complete set. Companion volumes, as well as the DVD of the BBC television production of the first book, are available primarily in the UK, which is a real pity. If your 7th grade studies Rome in social studies, these books are a must have. This series was very wonderful, and I was sad to read about Flavia getting married, although the book hints that her crime fighting days might not be completely over.
Two somewhat disappointing books-- Howe's Angel in Vegas looked amusing, but had a frenetic tone that made the book confusing. Also, all things Elvis do not circulate well in my library.
I was angered by Ariela Anhalt's Freefall. It's a great book. Good mystery, some bullying issues, good length-- everything I look for. However, there are multiple, random, gratuitous uses of the f-bomb. Why? WHY? The author is 19, and since I ground my 16 year old for two weeks any time she utters the word, I was just incensed. No. It's not okay to use this word at school, so it should not appear in print in young adult literature. It just shouldn't. Is this censorship? Yes. Is this cramping intellectual freedom? Didn't our mothers always tell us that if we were using profanity, we must not be very creative? There are lots of other books that I can buy.
Question for the day: Did Ms. Anhalt think it was okay to use this sort of language because she read books that used it? Will we be seeing more of this? Where will the foul language end?