The Lydian Baker
(The Lydia Baker is the 4th of the Marcus Corvinus series)
Titus Helvius Priscus gives greetings to his stepson Marcus Valerius Messalla Corvinus.
Vipsania will have mentioned the Baker statue to you, Marcus.
Tremendously exciting and certainly, assuming it's genuine, the
antiquarian find of the century. If I can acquire it I shall die a
I sighed. 'Perilla, it's dinner time, I'm hungry, and frankly I
couldn't care less if Priscus's hunk of marble turns out to have the
nosy old globetrotting bugger's name carved across its backside in
cuneiform. Now shut up and let's eat.'
'Very well.' Perilla nibbled a canapé. 'I thought you'd be interested,
though. The Baker wasn't marble. Nor was it bronze. It was solid gold,
four and a half feet high.
I choked on my olive.
'You are interested, then?' she said.
What starts out as a simple act of brokering for his stepfather lands
Marcus in customary hot water. For the legendary Baker statue, gifted
to the Delphic oracle by Croesus of Lydia in the sixth century BC, is a
treasure many would kill to possess - and is reputed to bring agonising
death to those who touch it...