Surprises in historical mysteries, or, "Hey, those folks are just like us"
The killing in question is financial (though the story is full of references to killings of the more literal kind, as befitting a tale of events occasioned by a famous revolt). The action begins with suspicions arising from a Roman speculator's huge gains in Britain at a time when everyone else was losing money.
Now, I suspect that most people don't associate ancient Rome with finances, speculation, investments, syndicates and allegations of insider trading, yet here they are, believably presented in fictional form. I don't know the Roman empire's financial history, but a quick search for "Boudicca's revolt" yields numerous references to the calling in of loans, so the connection is plausible. And, boom! Thanks to a short piece of crime fiction, I may think about the Romans a bit more realistically from now on.
And now, your questions: What historical crime fiction made you think: "Wow, I didn't realize they did that back then"? More broadly, what historical crime fiction left you feeling you had been taught some history?
(Read Tacitus' account of Boudicca's rebellion here. Also, "The Boudicca Killing" appeared in the UK in 1979, at the dawn of the Margaret Thatcher era. Its clear-eyed discussion of speculation as well the hand-rubbing glee of its last line lead me to suspect strongly that the author was commenting on what he suspected was about to happen. Any comments, British readers?)