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The Last Drops of Blood

In Chapter 19 of The Deadliest Hate, a palace servant leads Miriam into a bustling anteroom where murals of the Battle of Actium decorate the soaring, gilt-edged walls, and a geometric mosaic in onyx and sardonyx tiles its polished floor. Here is her account of passing through the anteroom into the courtyard:

As soon as the servant took my himation, a steward led us to the immense peristyle courtyard, where guests were being greeted with a goblet of Faustian Falernian wine. Before taking a sip, they poured a few drops onto the floor as a libation to their gods. As the deltas of dark wine trickled between the tiles, I remembered the Judean matron stabbed to death in the Forum whose last drops of blood trickled between the cobbles. (Little did Miriam know that the dagger that killed the matron was actually meant for her.)

Next week, Miriam will take you into that splendid courtyard, where she hopes to encounter Judah. But don’t take your eyes off her. The assassin’s dagger is poised. If you can’t wait to find out what happens (and really, who can?), read Chapter 20 of The Deadliest Hate. Two clicks and it’s yours.

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