Julius Caesar left his gardens to the citizens of Rome. Now the gardens and their sacred grove are dangerous haunts, especially for women alone. Why has someone buried tattered scrolls by obscure philosophers - and does it involve a worse crime than terrible writing? Soon that puzzle is overtaken. A woman disappears from her husband's birthday party; she meets a dire fate, then Albia learns that on the same night, two louche slaves given to her family by the brooding Emperor Domitian also vanished in the gardens. Apparently, it is well known that a killer lurks there. The vigiles have failed to investigate properly for decades and this won't improve when the sinister agent Karus arrives. Albia must co-operate, in order to give the many victims justice and find answers for grieving relatives. But can she herself remain safe?