The title refers to ominous threats left on the bodies of murdered Romans in Britain who in the year 91 A.D. are still tenuous settlers in this northern outpost of the Roman empire. Only decades after Boadiceas failed Iceni uprising against them, and with increasingly organized attacks lead by a mysterious leader called the Shadow of Death, the future of Pompeii born innkeeper Aurelia Marcella begins to look bleak. She is, however, determined to stay, and resolves to uncover the source of the disturbances. A sprinkling of romance and Roman double dealing adds to this action filled, fast paced story which takes place in a little explored historic period. It is difficult, however, to always feel one is reading about a region considered a rough frontier. It might have helped if instead of using modern British phraseology and expressions, the author had drawn upon letters written by British Romans to create dialogue more suitable to the period.