I was very sad to learn of the death of Colleen McCullough. Although it was her epic saga The Thorn Birds that made her famous, I met her work with Fortune’s Favorites, the third book in her Masters of Rome series. Before this, I was not a huge fan of Roman history, and I’m still not, but I love this series. McCullough took me on a fascinating journey through the last century of the Republic from the rise of Gaius Marius to the fall of Antony and Cleopatra. Never has Roman politics been made so hilarious. I’ve always wondered what she could have done with the tragedy, farce, and fiasco of the early Empire.