Plot: To give you a bit of background on the author. Henry Winterfeld began writing for children in 1933, when he wrote Trouble at Timpetill to entertain his son, who was sick with scarlet fever. He went on to write a number of books which have been published around the world.
This book begins with a class of boys presenting a slave to their school teacher for his fiftieth birthday. After letting the boys know in no uncertain terms that he has no desire for a slave, and that he is not fifty but seventy-two, Master Xanthos orders them to return the slave to the seller.
The boys attempt to do so, but find that the seller has fled town after being threatened for selling this slave.
Unhappy at their new circumstance, the boys make their way back to their school master. However, on the way they are attacked by an old, one eyed, gladiator who wants to take Udo, the slave. The boys manage to escape the Roman market place, after pouring a pot of honey on the man’s head.
Later they find that the slave was carrying a message to an unknown man, this message contained the name of a famous Roman senator who they plan to murder. This senator turns out to be one of the boys fathers, the race is on the figure out whose father, and change his fate before it is too late.
Negative: No swearing that I can recall, a bit of fighting, but nothing that produces blood. A man threatens the life of a boy, and a boy pours a pot of honey over bad guys head. Nothing serious
Overall: I loved this book, it was so funny! I read the first and it was equally funny. I recommend this to all with no reserves, Henry Winterfeld knows how to write a good and funny mystery.