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1. Nemesis (Marcus Didius Falco Mysteries)
2. Alexandria (Marcus Didius Falco)
3. The Silver Pigs (Marcus Didius
4. The Iron Hand of Mars: A Marcus
5. Silver Pigs
6. Two for the Lions (Marcus Didius
7. Scandal Takes a Holiday (A Marcus
8. Saturnalia: A Marcus Didius Falco
9. A Body in the Bathhouse
10. Three Hands in the Fountain (Marcus
11. Falco: The Official Companion
12. Rebels and Traitors
13. The Course of Honour
14. Shadows in Bronze: A Marcus Didius
15. Poseidon's Gold: A Marcus Didius
16. Falco on his metal : Venus in
17. Last Act in Palmyra (Marcus Didius
18. See Delphi and Die: A Marcus Didius
19. Time to Depart (Marcus Didius
20. The Accusers (Marcus Didius Falco

1. Nemesis (Marcus Didius Falco Mysteries)
by Lindsey Davis
Hardcover: 352 Pages (2010-08-31)
list price: US$24.99 -- used & new: US$15.83
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0312595425
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description

The much awaited latest installment in this New York Times bestselling series brings Marcus Didius Falco back to the city of Rome and its deadly, convoluted intrigues
In the high summer of A.D. 77, Roman informer Marcus Didius Falco is beset by personal problems. Newly bereaved and facing unexpected upheavals in his life, it is a relief for him to consider someone else’s misfortunes. A middle-aged couple who supplied statues to his father, Geminus, have disappeared under mysterious circumstances. They had an old feud with a bunch of notorious freedmen, the Claudii, who live rough in the pestilential Pontine Marshes, terrorizing the neighborhood.

When a mutilated corpse turns up near Rome, Falco and his vigiles friend Petronius investigate, even though it means traveling in the dread marshes. But just as they are making progress, the Chief Spy, Anacrites, snatches their case away from them. As his rivalry with Falco escalates, he makes false overtures of friendship, but fails to cover up the fact that the violent Claudii have acquired corrupt protection at the highest level. Making further enquiries after they have been warned off can only be dangerous—but when did that stop Falco and Petronius?

Egged on by the slippery bureaucrats who hate Anacrites, the dogged friends dig deeper while a psychotic killer keeps taking more victims, and the shocking truth creeps closer and closer to home.

After Alexandria, the first book in this long-running series to hit the New York Times Bestseller list, Lindsey Davis brings her beloved characters and series back to Rome in a book that brings together a number of long-running plot threads to surprising and compelling conclusions.
... Read more

Customer Reviews (10)

5-0 out of 5 stars Nemesis Maintains Her Standards
As with all the Falco novels Ms. Davis maintains the attention to detail and knowledge of the period that make these outings the gold standard of historical mysteries. She both entertains and teaches her readers about this period that makes it entertaining to a broad spectrum of readers.

4-0 out of 5 stars Spy vs. spy in circa 75 AD Rome
The estimable Roman PI, Marcus Didius Falco, returns to home ground in First Century Rome to face some personal tragedies and to confront, once again, his worst enemy--Emperor Vespasian's Chief Spy, Anacrites.Early in this new story (number 20 in the series) by Lindsay Davis, Falco loses two family members.One of these tragedies changes his financial fortunes radically for the better and suggests a rise in future social and professional status as well.The other is closer to home and combines with a second family setback that impacts his adopted daughter, Albia.Into this troubled context comes a welcome assignment from the office of the Emperor that sets Falco and long-time friend, Longus Petronius, on the trail of a gang of murderous thugs working out of the Pontine Marshes in the far suburbs of Rome.The criminals in question have imperial protection of some kind that keeps the resolution of the case out of reach until the last page of the book.

This is one of author Davis' better episodes in the Falco series.As always, there is a good mix of family issues, interesting secondary characters and mystery plot."Nemesis" also shares, with other books in the series, the engaging examination of every day life in ancient Rome, with its characters going about their lives in much the same way as do subjects in contemporary mystery stories.So, a good balance of characters and plot that rarely wander far from credibility.

Good read.Recommended.

5-0 out of 5 stars Another winner from Lindsey Davis
I've been a fan of Lindsey Davis' "Falco" books ever since I read the first one. This book is another chapter in an exciting series of novels about Marcus Didius Falco. While darker than previous volumes, mainly due to the deaths of his newborn son and of his father, it was still an enjoyable read.

I can heartily recommend the series and this book.

4-0 out of 5 stars A strong entry in an excellent series
Full disclosure: I'm biased. I think I've read ONE Lindsey Davis book I didn't thoroughly enjoy. Falco and company especially have always been richly detailed, vibrant, "alive" characters that a reader really feels like he/she knows, especially if they've been with the series since the beginning. Perhaps I'd only give this volume 3 stars if I were less emotionally invested in the characters.

Nemesis is not the best book in the series, but it's a thoroughly enjoyable one and, more importantly to me, it marks a major transition for Falco et al. His legal status has changed, his old bugbear Anacrites is once more taking too close an interest in his family, he has lost and gained (although not all his gains are remotely welcome ones), and he is forced to resort to questionable and sometimes brutal tactics in his efforts to keep his family safe and solve the murder mystery de jour. This is a darker Falco than we've seen before, but he's still perfectly recognizable as the M Didius fans have come to know and love (after all, this is a guy who participated in the murder of his C.O. after the Boudica rebellion).

My only real complaint is that the two major plot points introduced in the first chapter needed to be explored in more detail. Either should have thrown Falco for a loop emotionally but neither really did. Still, I can see his attempts to cope being a major part of the next few books so I'm not complaining too hard.

I will admit that I wasn't at all surprised by the solution to the mystery but I was fine with that because I didn't entirely feel that the mystery was the point of the novel. Everything is in the process of changing for Falco, including his own approach, and that has remarkable promise to keep the series fresh and unpredictable 20 books in. "Nemesis" left me eager for more. I can't see what's next for Marcus and his unconventional family.

5-0 out of 5 stars Nemesis by Lindsey Davis-- Death In Rome
"Nemesis" by Lindsey Davis is a brilliant addition to the Marcus Didius Falco series that began with "The Silver Pigs, and is a logical continuation to it. I just hope that it's not the last book in the series. Two of the last sentences in the end of the book hinted that it could go either way.

The other books in this series explored many other aspects of life in Ancient Rome and the Roman Empire. This book focuses on death, crime, and Rome's three competing and cooperating police forces. It showed how Falco's friends and family handled dealings with them.

I cried at the end of the second chapter of Nemisis and shouted hurrah! at the end of it. Brava! ... Read more

2. Alexandria (Marcus Didius Falco)
by Lindsey Davis
Paperback: 352 Pages (2010-08-31)
list price: US$14.99 -- used & new: US$8.40
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 031265023X
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description

     In first century A.D. Rome, during the reign of Vespasian, Marcus Didius Falco works as a private "informer," ferreting out hidden truths and bringing villains to ground.  But even informers take vacations with their wives, so Falco and his wife, Helena Justina, with their two young children and others in tow, travel to Alexandria, Egypt.  But they aren't there long before Falco finds himself in the midst of nefarious doings -- when the Head Librarian of the world-famous library is found dead under suspicious circumstances, in his office with the door locked from inside.
     Falco quickly finds himself on the trail for dodgy doings, malfeasance, deadly professional rivalries, more bodies, and the lowest of the low - book thieves! As the bodies continue to pile up, it's up to Falco to untangle this horrible mess before the killer begins to strike closer to home.
... Read more

Customer Reviews (32)

4-0 out of 5 stars Lindsey Davis's Alexandria
Lindsey Davis can be relied upon to write an entertaining story that is also of historical interest.She knows her Roman history and weaves it into a fascinating "detective story" set in the ancient past.The main character, Falco, also has an interesting personal life and interactions with members of his family.Reading a Davis Falco novel is the best way to escape the present and put oneself into a different time and place.

5-0 out of 5 stars Alexandria
I love all the Falco books, especially when he goes out of the contry - i.e. beyond Rome.This time he goes to Egypt, a place that interests me.Having Falco there, with his amazing wife, makes it just that much better.Davis includes enough historical reality in her books to make them especially interesting, and she always tells a good tale.

3-0 out of 5 stars Ancient detecting
Overall, I liked this book, but occasionally found the language too modern.Her descriptions of the ancient city of Alexandria was interesting and believable.Falco's family is nice.We wish all ancient Romans could've been so nice.All in all, I'd recommend this book to those who are fans of the ancient world.

5-0 out of 5 stars Falco and the Great Library
Once again Falco ends up in the middle of a murder and a mystery. On a family vacation to Egypt, he is "asked" by the Roman Prefect to look into the "death" of the head of the Great Library of Alexandria, at that time the largest collection of writings in the world. Falco knows that the government is simply pushing this on to him so that, if he fails, they can blame him, a foreigner. At that time there was quite a bit of anti-Roman felling in Egypt, a period of time only about 30 years after Marc Antony and Cleopatra lost the battle of Actium to Augustus.

Falco and his brother-in-law begin looking into the death, and the circumstances surrounding it, thereby stirring up a whole lot of trouble, and people. There appear to be secrets that many people want to keep quiet, and Falco is trying to turn over their rocks. There are other deaths, one particularly gruesome, before Falco sorts everything out, just as he is preparing to leave for home. There is one last task to be done, and this task very nearly causes Falco to lose his life. In the end, all is well, and our hero ends up back in Rome in one piece.

As usual in this series the writing is first rate, and the sly and subtle humor keeps the reader chuckling along with the plot, even when it turns somewhat nasty. May the author, and Falco, live long and bring us more mysteries, and enjoyment!

3-0 out of 5 stars Where Have you gone, Jim Rockford?
When I started the Falco series, I couldn't get enough.I read book after book.In my imagination, I traveled from the wilds of the German forests to the bogs and mists of Britain.I walked the streets of ancient Rome and I had a thoroughly good time.Somewhere around "A Dying Light in Corduba" the stories stumbled.Sadly, Marcus is just too domesticated.Back in the day, he was the "Jim Rockford" (think James Garner) of the city.An "informer" of low repute and constantly dodging the bill collectors.Getting beaten up by gladiators was not uncommon.By the time of "Alexandria", we have Didius with family in tow, touring a legendary city...and that's about that.I put the book away after 133 pages.A 300+ page turner does not wait for over a third of the book, for the plot to get moving.At this point we haven't even met all the suspects!I also fell asleep trying to read this latest offering.The first six books are a delight.Forget about the rest. ... Read more

3. The Silver Pigs (Marcus Didius Falco Mysteries)
by Lindsey Davis
Mass Market Paperback: 329 Pages (2006-10-03)
list price: US$7.99 -- used & new: US$2.98
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 031235777X
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description

When Marcus Didius Falco, a Roman Â"informerÂ" who has a nose for trouble that's sharper than most, encounters Sosia Camillina in the Forum, he senses immediately all is not right with the pretty girl. She confesses to him that she is fleeing for her life, and Falco makes the rash decision to rescue herÂ--a decision he will come to regret. For Sosia bears a heavy burden: as heavy as a pile of stolen Imperial ingots, in fact. Matters just get more complicated when Falco meets Helena Justina, a Senator's daughter who is connected to the very same traitors he has sworn to expose. Soon Falco finds himself swept from the perilous back alleys of Ancient Rome to the silver mines of distant BritainÂ--and up against a cabal of traitors with blood on their hands and no compunction whatsoever to do away with a snooping plebe like FalcoÂ….
... Read more

Customer Reviews (17)

5-0 out of 5 stars Having a lot of fun
If you had told me that I'd like historical fiction set in ancient times a year ago, I would have been skeptical.Now I am totally into the all-to-human, easy-to-like Roman detective Falco.I read Lindsey Davis' book Alexandria first and loved it.When I went to find another one by her, I discovered that this is a series.After next reading the first one in the series, I was hooked. I went in search of the next 6 books (stockpiling for pleasure).

For those of you who pick up one of these books and want more, I have to tell you that I could not find them at Amazon USA, but I was able to order them from amazon.co.uk where the entire series is thriving.Kudos to you, Lindsey Davis.Thanks for my fun and relaxing reads.

2-0 out of 5 stars Didn't finish it
I didn't finish the book.It started out interesting but after 240 pages, I found the characters dull, the action slow, and the plot still confusing and uninteresting.It really became a romance novel--which I try and avoid. Lindsey's use of words, comparisons, irony, and humor come out of left field, many times, and thus were confusing to me as to what her point was.Isn't that the point of writing--to get your ideas across to the reader? I mean, after reading some of the positive reviews, some people are getting this more so than I am--admittedly i don't know much about historic Roman culture--but because of this, the book just wasn't for me.My guess is her reading audience is very specific and most of them have probably left a review here.I don't plan on reading any more of her novels.I just couldn't relate to her ideas, storyline, emotion, etc.

2-0 out of 5 stars Entertaining
If you like detective stories, do not care much for action and are short of reading material, read this book. It will help you pass your waiting time somewhere.

1-0 out of 5 stars Giving this book one star out of generosity
This was undoubtedly one of the worst books that I have read. Where do I start? This is one in the series of stories with the protagonist, Marcos Didius Falco, by Lindsey Davis. I assumed from the other reviews that it is also considered historical fiction. It does have diagrams of the ancient Rome and the Forum in the beginning of the book. I did not find much in the way of historical relevance. I think that the author also attempted to be humorous.

The story starts out with our protagonist Marcus Didius Falco- I will abbreviate as MDF-strolling through the Forum on a hot summer day. My first impression of MDF is a character like the slave, Psuedolus, in "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum". I should be so lucky. Soon, I realized that MDF is like this character except he isn't funny. Soon MDF is almost run over by a beautiful maiden, named Sosia Camillina, who is attempting to escape her "jail-fodder, jelly-brained" pursuers. Since all the inhabitants in the story are mere cartoon characters there is no need to become in any way attached to them. The lovely young Sosia is soon murdered by unknown assassins and MDF becomes involved in this very weak -shall I say lame- mystery, concerning stolen silver ingots (silver pigs).

The first third of the book is concerned with MDF's relationship or lack there of with Sosia as well as his landlord Smartactus, best buddy, Pretonius and washer women Lenia. All these are cartoon characters more at home in a Monty Python film than in this work of fiction.

The next third of the book has our happy go lucky MDF going undercover as a slave in a Roman silver mine in Britannia (Britain). This is where the story goes from just bad to really bad. MDF who seems to enjoy the soft life works as a slave for two years persecuted by the evil foreman Cornix and comes out no worse for wear. Despite all the hardships he is his happy go lucky whitty self.

The final third of the book is MDF's relationship with a Senator's daughter the acerbic and strong-willed Helena Justina who is some how connected to the stolen silver pigs. After too many pages of juvenile banter we find that MDF and Justina are quite attracted to one another. If you enjoy this type of sophomoric love story, you might enjoy this subplot. Eventually, mostly through coincidence MDF is ableto discover the culprit and solve the mundane mystery of the stolen pigs.

I would divulge the culprit if I thought it would keep someone from ready this book. There are so many positive reviews of this book that I don't think that it would help.

The only reason that I finished this book- and I can truly say the last fifty pages were painful-was I thought it only fair if I was going to review it.

To enumerate the reasons for my utter disappointment with this book:

1)Marcus Didius Falco is a silly, cartoon like character. Neither interesting or funny.
2)The plot was weak and did not keep my interest.
3)The only item in the book that might be interesting from a historical standpoint is the fact that togas were soaked in urine to bleach them. I don't know if it is true. I assume the author added this to offer some factual relevance.
4)The metaphors are miserable from the first page -"Rome frizzled like a pancake on a griddleplate" thoughout the story-"Delirium, if not death itself, was snuggling up to me". To the very end-"eyes like warm caramel in a creamy almond face"

I highly recommend that you pass on this book.

5-0 out of 5 stars First in a magnificent series
Most reviewers have praised this series for its humor, ingenious plots, and fast-moving narrative.I entirely agree, but I should like to add that it is also a tour de force in bringing to life the domestic details of the Roman empire during the first century AD.When I was in school and struggling through Caesar's Gallic Wars it was difficult to think of the Romans as people like ourselves;if only these books had been available in Latin, I would have been a much more enthusiastic scholar!I have the entire series (which, although each book is free-standing, reads much better in sequence).From time to time, when daily life seems particularly tiresome, I take a break and immerse myself into Falco's world. And, if by the end of the series you have not fallen head over heels in love with the intelligent, perceptive and totally delectable Helena Justina, you haven't been paying attention! ... Read more

4. The Iron Hand of Mars: A Marcus Didius Falco Mystery
by Lindsey Davis
Mass Market Paperback: 320 Pages (1994-07-02)
list price: US$6.50 -- used & new: US$19.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 034538024X
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
"A seamless blending of humor, history, and adventure." Publishers Weekly
A detective novel of ancient Rome.
When wild Germanic troops rebel and a Roman general disappears, Emperor Vespasian turns to the one man he can trust: Marcus Didius Falco, Imperial Rome's answer to Columbo. Slipping undercover into Germania, Falco meets with disarray, torture, and murder in his quest to find a Druid priestess who alone can persuade the barbarians to embrace peace.
... Read more

Customer Reviews (14)

4-0 out of 5 stars Not Free SF Reader
Standard rebellion in Germany.

Falco is off overseas again, as Vespasian wants to know what is going on in Germania and the legion dealing with the uprising there, having lost an executive. Our favorite informer takes them a new standard and again involves himself in getting into trouble.

Not quite as good as some of the earlier books, but decent enough.

3.5 out of 5

5-0 out of 5 stars Still very fine after all these years
I just reread this earlier Lindsey Davis/Marcus Didious Falco mystery and it was still completely enjoyable the second time around.Interesting plot, wonderful historic detail and terrific character development and interaction.What's not to like.Lindsey Davis is my girl!I look forward to her annual Falco offering and happily recommend this series to anyone who hasn't heard of it (how would that be possible?)

5-0 out of 5 stars They Just Get Better
This is the fourth novel in the mystery series featuring Marcus Didius Falco, an informer and sleuth in Rome at the time of Vespasian. A series of books that have become hugely popular, so much so that the author is now at the forefront of historical mystery writers. It was probably a stroke of genius on her part to have novels that are extremely well researched and contain all the elementsthat would be and should be found inRome in AD70, but to have a lead character who has the vocabulary of a present day New York cop. In this the fourth novel Falco and Helena Justina seem like old friends.

In this novel Falco has to leave his beloved Rome and travel to Germania, a land that is haunted by the ghosts of past massacres. Dark and dismal, cold and wet and huge parts of it covered by virtually impenetrable forests, where the bloodthirsty tribesmen feel at home and are more than ready to inflict another defeat on the Roman army, such as they did not many decades past.

Falco has the enter the most dangerous country known to Roman world, with a few trainee recruits, their Centurion and their Commander. Not just any old Roman officer but Camillus Justinus, the brother of Helena, who will cut Falco into little pieces and feed him to the fishes in the Tiber if he even thinks about returning without her favourite sibling.

4-0 out of 5 stars Falco battles the frontier, native/Roman leaders, and Helena
Falco hits the road again in this fourth novel, this time for Germania.Unlike the first two novels, where the action split between Rome and rural locales, almost all of "The Iron Hand of Mars" is set in Gaul and Germany.The grit of the frontier backdrops matches Falco's sour attitude toward the journey and his Imperial mission.His girlfriend Helena Justina fortunately joins the more urban portions of the trip, as their character interactions in Davis's subtle prose are the highlight of these novels.

The plot consists of a long list of Imperial requests relating to recent and past Roman military troubles on the frontier.Davis skillfully explains the history of first century Roman clashes with the Germanic tribes and relates it to the plot without bogging down in dry exposition.Falco's interaction with various members of the frontier legions shows Davis's thorough command of Roman military details.Falco's trek through feral Germania has the same wild adventure tainted with ghosts of legionary history feel as the journey beyond Hadrian's Wall in Sutcliffe's "Eagle of the Ninth."However, random encounters with several of the final people on Falco's task list leave the ending feeling coincidental.Regardless, Davis skillfully develops several new characters, including a gruff centurion and Helena's tribune brother, and continues to build the relationship between Falco and Helena.

4-0 out of 5 stars More History than Mystery
This book is definitely more of a history book than a mystery book, but that doesn't mean it's not enjoyable.The wild ride through old Germany and the adventures that befall Falco's ragtag bunch of recruits is fun.The more I read of Falco, the more likeable he becomes.And the characters we are introduced to in each book make quite an impresion.In this case an effeminate barber called Xanthus, and the lovely Helena's younger brother.Her characters seem alive, and it makes for a fun quick read.If you are interested in getting an idea of what Germany was like in 71AD, you could do worse than read this book.Looking forward to the next installment. ... Read more

5. Silver Pigs
by Lindsey Davis
Paperback: 318 Pages (2000)

Isbn: 0099465248
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Customer Reviews (39)

4-0 out of 5 stars In ancient Rome
As usual with the Falco series by Lindsey Davis, the reader is transported to ancient Rome to follow the adventures of this first century private eye.Evil doers and palace intrigues are fancifully explored making for a great read.

5-0 out of 5 stars Signed by the author
The book is in excellent condition. It is a hard cover but seems a cheap production. It is an import so maybe it is just the British style. HOWEVER it is signed by the author, my favorite author, and if it had been printed on burlap I would still treasue it!

5-0 out of 5 stars Falco is great!
This is a great book, the first in a series starring Falco. Non-stop action, a wise-cracking protagonist, and lots of info I didn't previously know about the 1st-century Roman Empire. I'm sure there are some anachronisms in this book, but it's a small quibble.
Suggested to me by my Classics professor.

4-0 out of 5 stars Not Free SF Reader
Ancient Roman private eye.

Davis takes the whole wisecracking private detective schtick and transplants it to an Ancient Roman setting, at least briefly, anyway, in this book.

Investigator and Imperial Agent Falco gets sent to Britain to look into dodgy mining doings, and gets in a whole lot of trouble.

There he meets Helena Justina, a senator's daughter.An instant hate/love relationship with someone who is out of his class.

A mystery to solve and economics to overcome.

Very entertaining historical crime novel.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Start of a Wonderful Series
This is the first novel in the mystery series featuring Marcus Didius Falco, an informer and sleuth. A series of books that have become hugely popular, so much so that the author is now at the forefront of historical mystery writers. It was probably a stroke of genius on the part of the author to have novels that are extremely well researched and contain all the elementsthat would be and should be found inRome in AD70, but to have a lead character who has the vocabulary of a present day New York cop.

Falco has done his time in the legions in that god forsaken place called Britain and it is the last place on earth that he would return to through choice but he has been told by the powers that be that he will go back to Britain and no, there is no choice.

When he arrives the weather is even worse than he remembered and the natives are still as unfriendly as ever. He just wants to complete his mission, find the missing silver and get the hell out of it, that is until he meets the lovely Helena Justina and if he thought he was having a hard time before he met her, he was in for an almighty shock. ... Read more

6. Two for the Lions (Marcus Didius Falco Mysteries)
by Lindsey Davis
Mass Market Paperback: 434 Pages (2000-11-01)
list price: US$6.99 -- used & new: US$22.77
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0446609021
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
The Sam Spade of Ancient Rome ("Publishers Weekly") sinks his teeth into the investigation of a star gladiator's murder in the tenth novel in this popular mystery series. "A detail-rich scan of daily life in ancient Rome".--"Booklist".Amazon.com Review
Marcus Didius Falco, Lindsey Davis's clever, ambitious, not-so-holy Roman man about town, is on special assignment for the Emperor Vespacian. This time he's tracking down tax fraud among the bestiarii, the slaughterers, and the lanistae, the suppliers of the gladiators and animals who provide the executions, spectacles, and entertainment for the Roman masses.

Hoisted by his own tarnished petard, Falco is unwillingly partnered with his ex-boss Anacrites, Rome's chief spy, but that's the least of his problems; his investigation has hardly begun when he finds himself in the tunnels under the arena with a lion named Leonidas--a man-killer who may or may not have been switched with a tamer beast for a private party meant to impress a wealthy Senator's mistress.

While Leonidas presents no immediate threat to Falco--the king of the jungle is quite dead--the circumstances of the beast's demise lead Falco to ponder a connection between a murderous feud that seems to have broken out in the ranks of the lanistae and the lucrative contracts soon to be let by the emperor for his magnificent new amphitheater. And when the most popular gladiator in Rome is killed--not in the arena, as might be expected, but while sleeping in his own bed--Falco and his patrician lover Helena take passage to Tripoli to track down the perpetrator. Along the way, they attempt to solve a domestic crisis involving Helena's youngest brother, who seems to be right in the middle of the African connection between the murders of man and beast, as well as the feud between two powerful lanistae. And there's still another reason to embark on a journey to the Dark Continent--the search for an extinct variety of wild garlic, which could make Falco a wealthy man and which ends with a hilarious denouement.

As usual, Davis serves up a generous helping of history, a raffish band of minor characters, a charming love story, and surprisingly relevant commentary on the nature of the bureaucracy, politics, and chicanery among the rich and famous. Two for the Lions promises--and delivers--a treat for the author's many fans, and a terrific introduction to his new ones. --Jane Adams ... Read more

Customer Reviews (18)

4-0 out of 5 stars Falco Travels Again
In this one, Falco travels to North Africa. While a good read, I like the stories better that take place when Falco is in Rome.

3-0 out of 5 stars Not Free SF Reader
Not a popular man.

Not one of the better Falco books, this one.Marcus Didius still needs the cash to get himself promoted in rank in Roman society and make his relationship with Helena seemly, so to speak.As such, he stoops to tax collecting, but his investigative skills are put to more work with killings at some gladiator schools.

Helena's scarpered brother and woman also give his family a headache, in the process.

5-0 out of 5 stars Marcus Didius Falco - Ancient Slueth Amuses Reader
I was looking for something to read and my wife recommend Two for the Lions.I was skeptical but wanted to show that I value her input.She is my best friend after all.So this started off slow for me.To be quite honest, I was only reading a couple of pages at a time and it wasn't enough to catch my attention.All I kept thinking was, why is this guy interested in a dead lion anyway?I thought he was a murder investigator or something like that.At any rate, eventually it did start to grab me and the interest in the death of the lion is explained by the beautifully realized plot. The humor and wit are first-class and the reader gets to learn a bit about ancient Rome.

In short, I loved Two for the Lions and I'm looking forward to the next book.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great story!
I love the way the author manages to tell the story with real historical background detail while making the characters speak with a nearly current day idiom... and makes you believe it! It has been a while since I read a Falco story and now I don't know why I stopped. Happily it was easy to catch up with things. This story has a great plotline along with the always good characterizations. The only negative I found was wow(!) it ended abruptly! I know the books tend to run into one another so there will be more detail in the next installment, but giving so little wrap-up seems like a mean way to get you to buy the next book.

5-0 out of 5 stars Probably the Best Yet
This is the tenth novel in the mystery series featuring Marcus Didius Falco, an informer and sleuth in Rome at the time of Vespasian. A series of books that have become hugely popular, so much so that the author is now at the forefront of historical mystery writers. It was probably a stroke of genius on her part to have novels that are extremely well researched and contain all the elementsthat would be and should be found inthe Roman world of circa AD70, but to have a lead character who has the vocabulary of a present day New York cop. In this the tenth novel Falco and Helena Justina now have a baby girl (Three Hands in the Fountain)

It is AD73 and the Emperor Vespasian has come up with a good idea for making money. Why not hold a census, after all if the senate know who everyone is and where they live it will be much easier to impose taxes on them. Falco and Partner become Censors. Well someone has to do it. There job is to investigate fraudulent claims, a messy, but lucrative business.

Unfortunately for Falco his `partner' is none other than Anacrites, a no good low life and palace spy. While investigating the people who run the gladiator schools and wild beast shows, Falco is involved in the mysterious death of a lion, an escaped leopard and a dead gladiator. There is much rivalry among themen who organise the vast games in Rome. It is a cut throat world where life is cheap and killing a man comes as second nature to many of the people involved in Falco's latest case. ... Read more

7. Scandal Takes a Holiday (A Marcus Didius Falco Mystery)
by Lindsey Davis
Mass Market Paperback: 384 Pages (2006-05-30)
list price: US$6.99 -- used & new: US$3.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0312940408
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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As an Â"informerÂ"Â--a private detectiveÂ--Marcus Didius Falco has an insider's knowledge of the Empire's less than glorious side. He's also been in the middle of its most dangerous secrets more than once. So when he's hired to find notorious gossip Â"scribeÂ" Infamia, Marcus figures the missing muckraker is either taking advantage of a vacation bribe from some wealthy wifeÂ--or resting up from injuries inflicted by some senator's henchmen. But instead of earning an easy fee, Marcus soon finds himself at odds against a sinister ring of pirates preying on the wealthy; a ruthlessly-vulgar construction magnate...and several of his own less-than-reputable family members. And what he uncovers will lead him through the dark byways and underground of the Empire's busiest seaportÂ…where a cold-blooded killer with nothing to lose waits to bury one cynical informer for good...
... Read more

Customer Reviews (20)

5-0 out of 5 stars Another good one
Well, I didn't give this 5 stars because it is likely to become a mainstay in English literature classes.In context, though, comparing it to the other Lindsey Davis books (I have read 19 of them so far) and the general competition, it is exactly what I am looking for.People who read these books are looking for certain things, and my rating is that this book does a fabulous job of fulfilling this need.I will presume that enough people have given a plot synopsis, and just say that I have always appreciated witty, interestingly plotted books.I don't like massive explicit violent books, but one where I like the characters and the plot keeps moving me on are great.These are familiar books, where roughly the same characters show up somewhere in the Roman Empire.Lots of descriptions of Roman architecture, religion, ritual, etc.In earlier books she makes it clear that she studies archeological records, and this is still obviously true with each new site.This book brought together many of the standard characters, witty conversation, etc.OK, so the characters talk a lot like modern Brits.Who cares?Who knows what Roman vigiles or informers really sounded like anyway, especially when at home with their families?Maybe they sounded like modern Brits?

5-0 out of 5 stars FAVORITE AUTHOR
I love Lindsey Davis' combination of real life in ancient Rome, humor, mystery, and interesting characters.I've puchased the entire series and can't wait for the next one.

5-0 out of 5 stars Thoroughly enjoyable entry in a variable series
After finding The Accusers sluggish and dull, I am so pleased to report that Scandal Takes a Holiday was a treat: fast-moving, entertaining, and informative.
My only criticism is that Davis uses the "had I only known" line to push the plot forward more often than she needs to.

5-0 out of 5 stars Love that Lindsay Davis!
I always wait with bated breath for the next Falco novel, and this one does not disappoint.In it Falco and his brood are at the seaside for the summer, but not for R&R.Falco is trying to locate a missing scribe who happens to write the hottest gossip column in the daily news of that time.Bear in mind that these novels are set in 76AD - in ancient Rome.If you haven't read one of Ms. Davis' novels, I highly recommend that you do, and this one would not be a bad place to start.Then you'll want to read all the other previous 16 in the series.Ms. Davis is a delight and Falco is wonderful!The books are cheerful and humourous, but you also learn a lot about ancient Roman life.In this book we learn all about the privateers and pirates that plied the seas, and we read as Falco gets in one scrape after another.Pure delicious fun.

4-0 out of 5 stars Explore ancient Ostia
Set in AD 76. When the Roman private informer (the equivalent of today's PI) Falco takes his family for a holiday in a nearby port town, he is naturally not opposed to picking up a little paying work on the side. Intending merely to locate a missing gossip columnist, Falco finds himself amidst a group of murderous prirates.

The plot weaves through family matters and law enforcement, and provides a close look at ancient Roman life. Faloco's path runs through every corner of the city of Ostia, builing a detailed picture of this politically and economically important port.

Davis' research leads to an authentic portrayal of life and politics in the first century AD. ... Read more

8. Saturnalia: A Marcus Didius Falco Novel
by Lindsey Davis
Mass Market Paperback: 384 Pages (2008-04-29)
list price: US$7.99 -- used & new: US$4.11
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0312945957
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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It’s 76 A.D. during the reign of Vespasian and the Roman festival of Saturnalia is getting underway. The days are short; the nights are for wild parties. But not for “informer” Marcus Didius Falco. His job is to uncover unwelcome truths and deal with sensitive situations, frequently at the behest of the imperial government. So when a general’s famous female conquest escapes from house arrest—leaving a horrendous murder in her wake—Falco is on the case. If  finding a fugitive isn’t enough of a Zeus-like headache, Falco’s wife Helena Justina’s brother has also gone missing. Against the riotous backdrop of the season of misrule and merriment, the search seems impossible. And Falco seems to be the only one who notices that some dark agency is bringing death to the city streets…
... Read more

Customer Reviews (23)

3-0 out of 5 stars Lackluster Saturnalia Festival in Old Rome
I think that Steven Saylor, in his Roma Sub Rosa series, featuring Gordianus the Finder, is the only contemporary author able successfully and properly to mix factual, relevant Roman history with a good detective story (and keep us focused on the mystery to solve).

Here in Lindsey Davis' "Saturnalia," the stronger historical background wins out over the weaker detective story. At 380 pages, the book is a good 100 pages too long. There are too many characters, too much irrelevant material, and a fundamentally uninteresting set of vaguely interwoven "mysteries." The detective Falco seemed much of the time to be without ideas or sufficient energy to solve the problem for which he had been hired. Near the end, the true villain became obvious.

Most of the characters were bland and/or unlikeable, except for Marcus Didius Falco's wife, Helena, who was charming, bold and smart. In many ways, she became the central character and was clearly the brightest star in an otherwise dim array of people in this book. The children were fun, and the soldiers, who were housed at the Falco house, were entertaining and a vital element to enliven the story.

Though overdone, descriptions of the food, customs, mores, rituals, and lifestyle of ancient, pagan Rome were entertaining and educational. Class distinctions were clearly drawn. Often there was a much needed touch of humor, such as the costume party where one main character was cleverly dressed as a turnip to avoid discovery by the evil forces.

It took me a long, long time to read this story, as it was easy to put down and hard to pick up. Tedious it was with rare flashes of entertainment and an occasional insight into this ancient culture we often unwittingly admire a bit too much.

Probably won't read any more of this author. To me this book is a 2.5 on Amazon's rating scale, but, despite the fact that it was such a chore to read, I rounded it up to a 3.0 because the author is so widely respected.

2-0 out of 5 stars one of her weakest
I am surprised at the high marks this book is getting from reviewers as I found it one of the poorer books in the series.It starts out promising, with a great festival, a terrific character from the past, and a seemingly impossible knot for Falco to unravel.But the story just seems to lose its way.There is a side plot about a serial murderer that really is never developed and the main story just seems to meander along until I was within 20 pages or so to the end and wondering how Davis would pull the threads together.It was done very poorly and quickly including one very unconvincing twist.It was a let down for all the potential this installment had. If you are a fan, go ahead and read it but don't expect too much. If this is your first in the Falco series, please try another.

4-0 out of 5 stars Falco's Usual Good Romp
It's always nice to have the opportunity to visit with old friends, and that's just what Marcus and Helena Justina have become over the years.History the Davis way is so much more exciting than those five years of Latin!
The mysteries in this edition of the Falco chronicle are not quite up to standards set by Tey and Sayers, but they are plausible.The glimpses of Saturnalia customs was quite intriging.

5-0 out of 5 stars Falco at the festival
Falco is once again stuck in the middle of a search for a missing person (Veleda, the priestess character from an earlier book), and also, by almost a sideline, a grisly murder. All of the action takes place during the seven day festivel of Saturnalia, when Romans do a lot of unusual things, and even slaves get to act as masters for a bit. The book has the usual mix of the regular loons and misfits, with a few new ones thrown in for good measure. No one is ever going to mistake this series for great literature, but I enjoy these works very much, and the humor gives me a funny relief from the daily grind.Keep them coming!

5-0 out of 5 stars Saturnalia
1st book came with a printing flaw but received the replacement book within 3 days... and I was even notified when the book I returned was received by you!Thanks Amazon... I have never had a complaint about the services I have received from you! ... Read more

9. A Body in the Bathhouse
by Lindsey Davis
Hardcover: 304 Pages (2002-09)
list price: US$24.95 -- used & new: US$12.44
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B0002D6D60
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
In another classical crime romp — this time in Roman Britain — Falco investigates a spate of killings, only to find himself next on the assassins' list.

Marcus Didius Falco, once a common informer, now middle class, discovers that newly acquired rank brings associated problems, the most gruesome of which is a corpse buried under the tiles of his new bath house. The contractors have fled to Britain where, as the Fates have it, Falco is ordered.

A local chief and ally of the Romans is having a palace built by the Emperor Vespasian. However, the project is running late, work is slipshod, and fatal accidents keep happening. Somewhere on the site are the murderers who may be behind this latest spate of killings. Somewhere in the forefront, troubleshooting for the Emperor, is Falco, without an ally and now next on the list for assassination.Amazon.com Review
With his entire family in tow, including wife, two children, and a sister whose spurned lover's plans for revenge have put her life in danger, Marcus Didius Falco, the Roman Emperor Vespasian's smart-aleck PI, follows two unsavory building contractors suspected of murder to a barbarous, uncivilized outpost of the Empire--the south coast of Britain, where its Great King, his royal architect, and an officious project manager are building a magnificent palace. Since Vespasian is paying for it, he's charged Falco with making sure Rome's money isn't being wasted, as well as with tracking down the suspects--two jobs that morph into one as the body count keeps rising. Falco is a lively protagonist who can't stay out of trouble but always comes out of it with the mystery solved and his sense of humor intact in this consistently fine series of historical thrillers. --Jane Adams ... Read more

Customer Reviews (13)

4-0 out of 5 stars Not Free SF Reader
Builder bumping off means off to Britain.

Falco has an unpleasant discovery in a new structural addition, and the disappearance of those involved leads him to yet another trip to Britain, not his favorite place by any stretch.It is a whole family affair, with kids, and even some in-laws.

Falco sticks his Informer nose in to see if he can solve what is going on with corruption in the building industry and a large Roman project.

3.5 out of 5

3-0 out of 5 stars Back to Britannia
Falco revisits old haunts here, returning to Britain "five years" after the start of this series. In the interim he's had many far-flung adventures in increasingly domesticated situations.

The setting provides numerous opportunities for Davis to take jabs at her fellow Britons, while developing Falco's sleuthing after misbegotten building contractors-as if the caustic author were revenging herself on a bad personal experience. The first two-thirds of the story is more scornful witticisms than it is mysterious. Oh, right, there are some bodies falling from the scaffolding but what can you expect on an imperial construction site in barbarian Britannia? Falco has it easy for over 200 pages of banter with hardly a hint of suspense among the evident corruption. Davis is true to the modern archaeological finds at Fishbourne in that the construction of the royal palace hardly rises above its foundations. The story is more fun for its incidents and argot than plot and action. Falco's final apprehension of the miscreants makes little sense because it's so accidental. The slow pace of the first two-thirds of the story corroborates my previous suggestion that Davis, and Falco, are best when they stay close to Rome rather than gallivanting about the Empire into some provincial backwater like Palmyra, Corduba, or Britannia. This volume is not one of my favorites in the series.

This book should be read after Ode To A Banker because some issues and nefarious characters there continue here, along with Falco and his now familiar menagerie. Actually, this volume is the middle of a trilogy that concludes in The Jupiter Myth (still in hardback at this writing). The cover art on my pb copy (with the new circular mosaic theme) differs from that shown on Amazon.

1-0 out of 5 stars The Old Gray Mare Ain�t What She Used to Be.
As a Ivy League trained classicist and fan of Lindsey Davis from the time of her very first Falco novel, "Silver Pigs," it's hard for me to say this: frankly and colloquially put, "A Body in the Bathhouse" really stinks. I had begun to sense a growing problem in her last few books- the plots had become thinner, the dialogue more contrived, even the characters seemed to be growing tired of themselves. I had hoped in this book the process would have been reversed, but "A Body in the Bathhouse" only completes the cycle of decline. You get the sense reading her pages that Ms. Davis merely threw together a number of unrelated, superficial characters and plots simply to meet a publisher's deadline. And speaking of the publisher: is anyone editing her series these days? According to the cover, Ms. Davis is an author of "internationally bestselling novels." So why does her editor allow all these supposedly Roman characters to speak in a low-end Birmingham argot that is almost unintelligible to the average American reader? (And I would guess, to quite a few Brits as well, not to mention the Aussies and all other English speakers around the globe.) Enough already! A bit of the King's English, please! And finally, while Ms. Davis' anti-gay bias has been hinted at almost from the beginning of this series, her increasing use of gay stereotypes to portray effeminate and evil men simply smacks of uniformed heterosexual bias. All in all, my recommendation is to wait for this one to come out in paperback, expect little when (and if) you read it, and simply hope for a sea change in future volumes.

5-0 out of 5 stars Thoroughly enjoyable
Lovely job.This one was just plain fun once it got started.It reads well.I don't think Ms. Davis' strength has ever been the puzzle.No one would mistake her for Agatha Christie.On the other hand, she's a lot more enjoyable to read.Yes, one could wish the mystery were tidied up better, but then the whole thing might not be so nicely spiced.As it is, I enjoyed myself hugely.(Note the wonderful "Briton" playright who gets by without royalties by being popular with the general public and hence sharing in the ticket sales.Several rather delicious references to a Vespasian-era Shakespeare.We were amused.)

5-0 out of 5 stars Superior detail--funny and rich
It's been a tough time for Roman informant Falco. First he and his father discover a decomposing body buried under the tiles of his bathhouse. Second, his chief rival begins stalking his sister. Third, Emperor Vespasian wants him to go to Britain to sort out a building project gone bad. Finally, Falco's been asked to find work for his wife's overly energetic but highly impractical brothers. When the chief murder suspects turn up missing, Falco decides to go where the biggest building project is located--Britain--even though he hates that dreary island.

Britain is every bit as dreary as Falco remembers from his days in the military, and it's still a sleepy province far from the civilization of Rome. But Vespasian wants to build a fancy palace for one of the few local kings who supported Rome during a recent rebellion--and he doesn't want to have to pay too much. Falco finds the building crews at war with one another, and nasty hints that the corruption goes even deeper than is usual. Unfortunately, those who benefit from the graft want to keep things just the way they are. It's up to Falco to sort out the problems without creating a diplomatic crisis for his Emperor. Fortunately, Falco's brothers-in-law turn out to be hard-working, if impractical, and his wife, Helena remains a pillar of strength. Which is lucky when the body count really starts to mount.

Author Lindsey Davis delivers an exciting and amusing tale of mystery and history. Falco is a richly detailed character with a lot going on in his life and a lot of constraints that keep him from just throwing out all the scoundrels and starting over. Davis weaves together the multiple mysteries in the novel into a complete whole, gives an intriguing glimpse into what Rome and its provinces might have been like when Rome really did rule the world, and does it with a light tough that keeps the pages turning.

A BODY IN THE BATHHOUSE is a fine and rewarding mystery. ... Read more

10. Three Hands in the Fountain (Marcus Didius Falco Mysteries)
by Lindsey Davis
Hardcover: 368 Pages (1999-04-01)
list price: US$30.00 -- used & new: US$17.52
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0892966912
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
First-century sleuth Marcus Didius Falco confronts ancient Rome's most dangerous serial killer in the latest entry in the author's international bestselling, award-winning series. 15,000. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (21)

5-0 out of 5 stars suspenseful fast paced and fun
I admit this particular volume in the series is a bit more gruesome than some of the prior ones but it is not nearly as bad as one might think form the plot synopsis on the cover. yes this one is almost impossible to get the ending which I like as I hate it when the butler did it ..

5-0 out of 5 stars All Hands to The Pumps
Falco is back in his beloved Rome with Helena and a new baby girl, tactfully named after both grandmothers, Julia Junilla Laeitana. Falco is out enjoying himself with old friend from his army days, Petro, who is now a member of the Vigiles, when they comes across a gruesome discovery in the fountain they are standing by. A severed human hand. With the possibility of bits of Rome's population floating around the Roman water system it is time for our hero to get involved.

This time he has the help of Petro, who has been suspended from the vigiles for having a rather unfortunate liaison. But of course nothing is easy for Falco. What with more than my jobs worth water board officials, who seem to have a vested interest in keeping things quiet, Falco and Petro seem to be running up a dead end. That is until Julius Frontius an ex-consul who Vespasian has assigned to look into the matter becomes involved. He is certainly able to use his influence and the investigation begins to make progress.

When another girl goes missing Falco begins to realise who the serial killer is, but will he be able to catch them before they strike again . . .

5-0 out of 5 stars A Serial Killer in Ancient Rome!
This is another great entry in the Marcus Didio Falco series.We learn all about the ancient Roman acqueduct and sewer system as we watch Falco go after a serial killer.(Yes they must have had them even then).Falco is back in Rome with his wife and baby daughter and in urgent need of employment as usual.But he sort of falls into this particular case. He and his friend Petronius are sitting by a non-working fountain taking some much-needed R and R when they discover a severed human hand.This sets them both on a quest to catch a serial killer that it appears has been abducting and killing women for a long time.Like all of Ms. Davis' books this book is great fun.We get to renew our acquaintance with old friends and meet some new ones as well.I can hardly wait for the next episode.

5-0 out of 5 stars Another fun Falco mystery
This is my third one.I've read two.One Virgin Too Many, and A Dying Light in Corduba.This one is before Virgin and after Corduba.Junia Junilla Laeitana (partially named after a wine!) has been born to Falco and his 'wife," the aristocratic Helena.Anacrites, Chief Spy and Falco's sworn enemy, is just beginning to come out of convalescence after being beat up in the previous book and being nursed to health by Falco's Ma.Claudia Rufina, a character from the last book, has been engaged to Helena's snotty brother Aelianus. Falco's best friend Petro has been fired from the police force after being unfaithful to his wife with a gangster's daughter, and Petro and Falco have teamed up to form an investigative partnership.They find a human hand in a fountain that is being repaired by a civic workman and rapidly it comes to light that there has been a serial killer at work during the Roman Games for years.This is not good news.The ex-consul Frontinus employs Falco and Petro to stop this person.As usual, Falco and Petro have problems of their own, and Rome's bureaucracy is not entirely helpful, while the actual mystery, particularly in this story is not entirely the point.(I did have a quibble with its resolution, however.) The Local Color of Ancient Rome, and surroundings in this book, is so well conveyed through Falco's dry wit and wary yet hopeful humor that the read is just plain fun.And this mystery particularly wrily displays the struggle with bureaucracy that has been Rome's legacy to the modern day.One scene has Falco and Helena registering the birth of Julia Junilla Laeitana (partially named after a wine!) at the birth registry office and that is quite funny.

1-0 out of 5 stars Review
Three Hands in the Fountain (Lindsey Davis, 1996) is quite a disappointment.Although genuinely funny, with good dialogue, the plot is a mess.

The setting is Rome, vividly depicted, and seen through the eyes of a plebeian, with emphasis on the waterworks, "a vital state concern, and had been for centuries.Its bureaucracy was an elaborate mycelium whose black tentacles crept right to the top", and on the bureaucratic complications of the aqueducts.To these waterworks, someone is adding various pieces of human anatomy-gore, with much scope for black comedy.It soon becomes apparent that the murders are linked to the many Roman Games, giving the informer hero Marcus Didius Falco "an excellent excuse to spend much of the next two months enjoying himself in the sporting arenas of our great city-all the while calling it work".The atmosphere of "watching scores of gladiators being sliced up while the Emperor snored discreetly in his gilded box and the best pick-pockets in the world worked the crowds" is vivid and almost tangible.

Setting, therefore, is quite good (although certainly not comparable to the brilliant depiction of Rome in Robert Graves' superb I, CLAUDIUS).What is not so good is the actual plot: the detection is not very good, with few clues to speak of, and no suspects; and the murderer's identity is a complete let-down, completely characterless, and introduced on page 231 of 294.This is not what I expect from an author The Times suggested as being "well suited to assume ... the title Queen of the Historical Whodunnit". ... Read more

11. Falco: The Official Companion
by Lindsey Davis
Hardcover: 308 Pages (2010-11-01)
list price: US$29.95 -- used & new: US$18.13
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 184605673X
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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A must-have companion to the acclaimed series about the Imperial private eye
As the girl came running up the steps, I decided she was wearing far too many clothes . . .
So, in 1989, readers were introduced to Marcus Didius Falco, the Roman informer, as he stood on the steps of the Temple of Saturn, looking out across the Forum, and now, 20 years and 20 books later, Falco fans want a companion volume. Only here will readers learn the author’s private background, including her descent from a failed assassin and how atheism improved her knitting. Here too are the real glories and heartache involved in research and creation—why the baby had to be born in Barcelona, which plots evolved from intense loathing of management trainees, what part a thermal vest played in the iconic Falco’s conception. Enlightening quotations from the Falco books and eminent sources: Juvenal, through Chandler, to 1066 and All That are also included.
... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars essential for fans
I have been a Falco fan from the beginning. This book is as wonderful as the novels, full of the author's trademark sly and wry wit.It can be dipped into for specific information, but it is also fun just to read straight through. After a short autobiography, Davis supplies answers to everything you ever wanted to know about the world of Marcus Didius Falco from where Davis gets her ideas, to summaries of the novels, character sketches, even a couple of family trees.There is also general information on ancient Rome including maps, glossary of terms, timeline and much, much more.There is also a wealth of photos of relevant places and objects and even a photo of the dog that inspired the appearance of Nux. ... Read more

12. Rebels and Traitors
by Lindsey Davis
Hardcover: 752 Pages (2010-01-19)
list price: US$27.99 -- used & new: US$6.25
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0312595417
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

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An epic novel of the turbulent English Civil War seen through the lives of those that fought for peace and struggled for love

Set against the terrible struggle of the English Civil War, Rebels and Traitors is the story of how this turbulent era effected everyone, from rich to poor, and the hopes and dreams that carried them through years of deprivation, bloodshed and terror.

When Gideon Jukes and Juliana Lovell, who are on opposites sides of the struggle, meet during one of the era’s most crucial events, their mutual attraction brings the comfort and companionship for which they both have yearned. But the flowering of radical thought collapses; its failure leads to endless plots and strange alliances. And shadows from the past threaten them individually and together in their hard-won peace.

Like Margaret Mitchell’s Gone with the Wind and John Jakes’ North and South, Lindsey Davis brings to life a turbulent time through the stories of those who struggled, fought, lived and loved on all sides of a defining and devastating time.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (11)

4-0 out of 5 stars very good historical fiction
Traditional historical fiction at it's finest. Very nicely captures the
english civil war period. Highly recommended.

3-0 out of 5 stars Not Bad But Biased
Saying that I must confess I'm a royalist sympathizer. I do believe that I've learned much that I didn't know about the Parlimentarians from reading this book albeit in a biased form. Another reviewer commented that they learned Prince Rupert was a swine from reading this. Why, because Ms. Davis says so? So much of history is interpretive and I try to read up on the facts afterwards instead of just going by what is written in novels to make up my own mind. I do give Ms. Davis credit for the enormous amount of research she must have done in writing this story but she's a bit obvious where her sympathy lies. We even get Falco spouting his republican sympathies in her other books. Sorry. but I find Puritans a snoozefest. I live in New England and can still see the Puritan influence here in the 21st century. I can only imagine what it was like to live under their regime in the seventeenth century. I found Gideon Jukes a stick in the mud. I did enjoy the parts of the story involving Julia (though being an intelligent woman I couldn't figure out why on earth she's marry Lovell in the first place) and Kinchen Tew's story was fascinating.

4-0 out of 5 stars A great deal of research
went into this historical novel.I kept thinking as I read it that Ms. Davis focuses mostly on ancient Rome and for her to write about England during this time period in such detail must have required a great deal of research and a significant mental shift.I truly enjoyed the book; the characters were well developed and I found I cared about what happened to them.When one of the towns was attacked by the Royalists I was completely shocked.The scenes were heart wrenching and unbelievable.I thought I knew quite a lot about this period of time but after reading this book I realized I knew very little about the lives and hardships of the times. I am grateful to Ms. Davis for opening my eyes and providing an enjoyable read as well.

4-0 out of 5 stars Bribing the Horse with a Bucket of Ale
I am almost ashamed to give this book only four stars, because I read it in every spare minute and cursed the library for making it only a 14-day book.And I loved it.Lindsay Davis did her research and then some...which counts, if you were married to a historian and are the mother of another one.I did not know enough about the English civil war(s) before I read "Rebels and Traitors," and now I know more, including what a slimeball Prince Rupert was, what pitiful conspirators were around in the 17th century, and where the really dangerous neighborhoods in London were.There was a lot of terrific costume detail too, and even some intriguing brothel tech.The fifth star is left off for those of lesser stamina who give up on all the hard-core history.There's a horse at one point who has to be led through a haberdashery shop so that he can be hidden in a backyard shed from Cromwell's officials (don't ask); this is accomplished by bribing the horse with holding his favorite treat out ahead of his nose, a bucket of ale.We, the readers, can expect the scenes with Gideon, Juliana, the children, and the smarmy and irresponsible Orlando to be our buckets of ale that we will follow through everything, the politics, the weird cults, the military history, eeeeeeverything.At the end I spotted a couple of possible cliffhangers. (I am an old hand at this.)I think Maud Tew has bigger business opportunities in mind, and I have never seen her equal for starting anew; and of course, the end of the book cries out for more of the story.Can we look for "Restoration"?If anybody can kick "Forever Amber" into the dustbin it's Lindsey Davis.Fetching blonde young Celia Jukes somehow ending up at the dissolute court of another inept and blundering King Charles?I can only hope.

This was a great read.Don't be afraid to skip the history if that's what you need to do.

5-0 out of 5 stars History without the pain
This is not the book to read if you want a novel that flows easily and lightly from scene to scene.But if you are interested in this period in English history (1649-1657) you will really enjoy this novel.It is a very large book because that period is a very traumatic one for the area, covering the buildup to the execution of King Charles and the period before the return of the monarchy.

Ms. Davis has brought ancient Rome to life with her Falco series.And she does the same for this period of English history with this book but in a more concentrated manner.She has characters from both sides that she follows, giving details of their lives and problems and solutions.The history is also given as the story develops which slows down the reading but it is what gives this book its difference from a normal historical novel.

When you finish this book, you will have a new perspective and understanding of life in England in those times.You will understand more of the attitudes and difficulties faced by both men and women in that time of war and change.The book is available from the UK division of Amazon. ... Read more

13. The Course of Honour
by Lindsey Davis
Paperback: 352 Pages (2009-05-12)
list price: US$14.95 -- used & new: US$4.79
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0312556160
Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
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In ancient Rome, ambitious citizens who aspired to political power, to become one of the ruling elite—a senator, had to follow what was known as “The Course of Honor.” This course had only one unbreakable rule: a senator is forbidden to marry a slave, even a freed slave. When the soldier Vespasian meets an interesting girl in the imperial palace, he doesn’t know she is a slave in the household of the imperial family. But he is inexorably drawn in by her intelligence and charisma. Yet as Vespasian slowly rises from near-obscurity and as emperor after emperor plays out their own deadly, seductive games of lust and conquest, the future is something no one could imagine. No one could believe that a country-born army man might win the throne—no one, that is, except a slave girl who, with the future Emperor, begins a daring course of honor of her own.
... Read more

Customer Reviews (6)

2-0 out of 5 stars Around the course
Another L. Davis Roman gumshoe adventure. It is entertaining and very similar to other books by the same author on the same subject. Good light reading.

5-0 out of 5 stars Isn't it romantic...
This is an amazingly sweet book.

Two people, one a bad tempered angry slave and one the unimportant son of a provincial tax collector meet when the man and his brother get lost in the imperial palace in Rome. They come across a young slave girl cooking sausages and an attraction is formed for life between the young man and the slave.

Vespasian is not an important man in Rome when he meets Caenis. In fact, though he is later and senator and she is later a freewoman, there is a long span of time where her connections to the royal family make her important than he is. But they loved each other deeply their whole lives in spite of their long separation of twenty years when he married, and she even helped him raise his children. When Nero died and Vespasian took the purple in a military coup, he has his beloved move into the palace with him-defying all social conventions to be with her.

The absolute only thing I think could have made this book more sweetly romantic would be Vespasian overruling the law that members of the senate couldn't marry freedwoman. But hey, perhaps that was a more drastic step that it seems it would have been. Roman society confuses me, but in this book it is clear, wonderful, corrupt and a place where even social opposites can fall in love.

Five stars. I'm really looking forward to Lindsey Davis' new book, Rebels and Traitors which is about the second English civil war and comes out in January.

For more reading on Vespasian's younger son corrupt and disastrous rule of Rome check out The Light Bearer by Donna Gillespie.

4-0 out of 5 stars Lindsey Davis novel
This is a fairly gripping non-Falco historical novel.The characters are gripping and the action moves along... It's interesting that it's described as a novel about the relation between Vespasian and a slave who's described as 'a bad-tempered slavey' and who eventually becomes the prosperous freedwoman Caenis [...];although they spend fairly little time together there is a constant emotional connection.

3-0 out of 5 stars Good history, bad romance
341 pages to cover 70 years of a very interesting man and his times isnt nearly enough, and it shows. The book is narrated by and focusses on the ex-slave Caenis rather than Vespasian directly and as a result much of the history is given in brief doses of lecture rather than portrayed. Interesting stuff though!

What is not interesting is Caenis. A moody, angry, stubborn, unlikable girl who's defining characteristic seems to be avoiding living any type of life whatsoever, and lashing out constantly at Vespasian anytime he makes an appearance. I cant imagine why he is interested in her, or why the entire City of Rome seems to have the impression to be rude to her is unforgivable when she is nothing but rude to him, and avoids everyone else but her lively friend Veronica, like the plague.

This is most definately not a Falco novel, nor is she Helena Justina, more the pity. I love the Falco books and here the author does a good job again with Vespasian in his younger days but thats about it.

3-0 out of 5 stars Not a Falco novel.
THE COURSE OF HONOUR, while set in generally the same time period as her Marcus Didius Falco series, is not a Falco novel.The description for this is misleading.Although an enjoyable book in its own right covering Vespasian and his slave-mistress, it is not part of the Falco series. ... Read more

14. Shadows in Bronze: A Marcus Didius Falco Mystery
by Lindsey Davis
Mass Market Paperback: 464 Pages (2007-10-02)
list price: US$7.99 -- used & new: US$3.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0312357761
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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It's the first century A.D. and Marcus Didius Falco, Ancient Rome's favorite son and sometime palace spy, has just been dealt a lousy blow from the gods: The beautiful, high-born Helena Justina has left him in the dust. So when the Emperor Vespasian calls upon him to investigate an act of treason, Falco is more than ready for a distraction. Disguised as an idle vacationer in the company of his best friend Petronius, Falco travels from the Isle of Capreae to Neapolis and all the way to the great city of PompeiiÂ…where a whole new series of Herculean eventsÂ--involving yet another conspiracy, and a fateful  meeting with his beloved HelenaÂ--are about to eruptÂ….
... Read more

Customer Reviews (15)

2-0 out of 5 stars Goes right by me
I've tried to read Lindsey Davis several times, and I just can't get interested in these books.I finally managed to finish Silver Pigs after two attempts, and have made two tries to read this one.But it just doesn't hold my attention.

The problem is that her writing is choppy and does not flow smoothly.The plot lurches from one scene to another without much logic, and the appeal of the wisecracking Falco character is more than offset by a plot that is, frankly, hard to follow.These books are supposed to be light reading, but I find myself having to flip back constantly to find out who so-and-so is, and why Falco is doing thus-and-such, and it just gets to be too much of a chore.

I love Steven Saylor's Gordianus series, and John Maddox Roberts's SPQR stories, but the Falco series just leaves me cold.I am mystified as to why there are so popular.

4-0 out of 5 stars Number 2 in the excellent "Falco" series

This is the second of a series of detective stories set in Vespasian's Roman Empire and featuring the informer Marcus Didius Falco. Informers in ancient Rome were something between a private detective and a government spy.

I tried this historical detective series because I had enjoyed Ellis Peter's "Brother Cadfael" detective stories. Where Cadfael is excellent, Falco is brilliant. Ellis Peters herself (or to use her real name, Edith Pargeter) said of the early books of the series 'Lindsey Davis continues her exploration of Vespasian's Rome and Marcus Didius Falco's Italy with the same wit and gusto that made "The Silver Pigs" such a dazzling debut and her rueful, self-deprecating hero so irresistibly likeable.'

Funny, exciting, and based on a painstaking effort to re-create the world of 71 AD.

Having foiled an attempted coup with the help of senator's daughter Helena Justina in the first book, Falco is clearing up some of the mess, when it becomes clear that another plot may be afoot. Emperor Vaspasian sends Falco to find out what's going on ...

If you have met and enjoyed either the Cadfael or Thraxas series, this is even better.

It isn't absolutely essential to read these stories in sequence, as the mysteries Falco is trying to solve are all self-contained stories and each can stand on its own. Having said that, there is some ongoing development of characters and relationships and I think reading them in the right order does improve the experience.

The full Falco series, in chronological order, consists at the moment of:

The Silver Pigs
Shadows in Bronze
Venus in Copper
The Iron Hand of Mars
Poseidon's Gold
Last Act in Palmyra
Time to Depart
A Dying Light in Corduba
Three Hands in the Fountain
Two for the Lions
One Virgin Too Many
Ode to a Banker
A Body in the Bath house
The Jupiter Myth
The Accusers
Scandal taks a Holiday
See Delphi and Die

I have read and can warmly recommend all of these.

Lindsey Davis has also written a historical novel set in the same timeframe called "The Course of Honor" which is about the love affair between Vespasian and his mistress Caenis. The author has taken the two sentences from Suetonius which are all we know of Caenis, and from them she has conjured the vital image of a woman beautiful in both form and personality and a charming love story.

5-0 out of 5 stars Incredible Series
Lindsey Davis has captured the feel of ancient Rome and surrounding countries/seas.She brings Rome and it's inhabitants alive, so much so that you can almost feel what she writes!I recommend the entire series of Marcus Didius Falco and his friends to anyone who likes history and who would like to feel what it was like in ancient Rome.

5-0 out of 5 stars shadows in bronze
Lindsey Davis, as usual, is an excellent author and did a great deal of research before writing this book. Enjoyed it.

4-0 out of 5 stars Not Free SF Reader
Burning conspiracy relations.

Covered up executions, arson, and people from Helena's past all pay a role in this Falco story. Back in Rome, he has some running around to do with his friend Petronius to discover what is going on, under cover of a holiday journey.

His paths cross with Helena multiple times in the course of these investigations, ensuring this book is just about as good as the previous novel. ... Read more

15. Poseidon's Gold: A Marcus Didius Falco Mystery
by Lindsey Davis
Mass Market Paperback: 352 Pages (1995-09-27)
list price: US$5.99 -- used & new: US$26.98
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0345380258
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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"GREAT STUFF...A classic hard-boiled, smart-mouth detective who happens to work in ancient Rome."
--Molly Ivins
Los Angeles Daily News
After six months in wild Germania, imperial gumshoe Marcus Didius Falco is back in Rome sweet Rome. But his apartment has been ransacked. And although he desperately needs 400,000 sesterces in order to marry his aristocratic love, Helena, his only client is his mother, who insists that he find out whether the scandalous claims against his dead brother, Festus, are true.
Then the chief tarnisher of Festus's good name is murdered, and Marcus becomes the prime suspect. Someone is definitely fiddling with the scales of justice. The more Marcus hunts for the thread that will lead him out of this doom-laden labyrinth of misery and mystery, the less his life is worth. Except, as seems likely, as a meal for the Emperor's hungry lions...
--Roanoke Times & World-News
--Publishers Weekly
... Read more

Customer Reviews (7)

5-0 out of 5 stars Poseidon's Gold
I received this book shortly after placing the order, which was great, and it was in great condition. Based on this, I recommend this seller.

4-0 out of 5 stars Not Free SF Reader
Dodgy relative deals.

Back from Germania, Falco again has to deal with trouble that is literally much closer to home, or at least closer to family. His male relatives have more than a touch of the Arthur Daley about them, and it seems, in this particular antique business, somethign valuable has gone missing.

Amusing investigations and the odd bad joke follow. Definitely a good one.

5-0 out of 5 stars He ain't Heavy, He's my Brother
This is the fifth novel in the mystery series featuring Marcus Didius Falco, an informer and sleuth in Rome at the time of Vespasian. A series of books that have become hugely popular, so much so that the author is now at the forefront of historical mystery writers. It was probably a stroke of genius on her part to have novels that are extremely well researched and contain all the elementsthat would be and should be found inthe Roman world of circa AD70, but to have a lead character who has the vocabulary of a present day New York cop. In this the fifth novel Falco and Helena Justina seem like old friends.

Falco is eager to get back to the hustle and bustle of Rome after what has seemed like an endless journey from Germania where his last adventure took him. Falco and Helena are shocked to find the apartment in Rome has been ransacked and used by squatters. Falco has been talked into staying with his mother until he finds out that she already has a lodger, an ex-legionary friend of Festus, Falco's brother and this so called "friend" is demanding money he says he is owed to him by Festus from a business venture.

The next day the ex-legionary is found stabbed to death and the chief suspect is guess who? Falco has his work cut out to prove that he is innocent, find the real killer and also prove that his brother is innocent of the crime too. The last part won't be easy because it is just the sort of crude justice that Festus would employ. As if that wasn't bad enough Falco may have to call on someone else for help. The last person he wants to be indebted to . . . Geminus, formerly Marcus Didius Favonius, Falco's father. If his mother finds out his life won't be worth living.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Stuff!
This is an excellent book.It's sharp and witty like all Didius Falco books, but in this one we see a more vulnerable Falco as he tries to get rid of a lot of preconceived notions about his father.Geminus Falco is a wonderful character, and I certainly hope we see more of him in upcoming books.In this book Falco and his father are working together to try to clear his late brother's name and some very outstanding debts.Falco gets in a lot of scrapes as usual, but this is more of a caper book than the others I've read so far.It's great fun, and hard to put down.

5-0 out of 5 stars A masterful mix of history and mystery
I've been a fan of Lindsey Davis for some time.I am an amateur historian who is especially interested in ancient Rome, so I've read dozens of books on the subject.I am amazed at the wealth of detail contained in this book (and in all of Davis' Falco mysteries, all of which I've read).Such minute attention to detail not only provides an absorbing background to Davis' stories, but also testifies to her admirable efforts at presenting a plausible snapshot of ancient Rome, its geography, its history, and its populace.Davis' novels are both literature and history.This would not be exceptional were it not for the fact that Davis is a hell of a story-teller.Her tantalizing mysteries are spiced with the day-to-day details of life in ancient Rome, and the result is a fascinating read.Highly recommended!! ... Read more

16. Falco on his metal : Venus in copper, The iron hand of Mars and Poseidon's Gold (3 title omnibus)
by Lindsey DAVIS
Paperback: 1029 Pages (1999)

Isbn: 009940639X
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17. Last Act in Palmyra (Marcus Didius Falco Mysteries)
by Lindsey Davis
Mass Market Paperback: 432 Pages (1997-01-01)
list price: US$6.99 -- used & new: US$103.74
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0446404748
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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A new mystery featuring ancient imperial Rome's only private detective finds Marcus Didius Falco in Syria on a mission for the emperor, where he finds a corpse, loses a lady, and joins a murderous theater troupe. Reprint. LJ. PW. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (16)

5-0 out of 5 stars Great read
I loved this one - one of my favorite Falco stories. I had just visited Petra, so that made it even better.

4-0 out of 5 stars Not Free SF Reader
Killer entertainment.

Falco is undercover for the Emperor again, and Helena is along for the ride. A disappeared muso lands our intrepid Informer in the middle of a travelling theatre show, and murder isn't far behind.Even worse, Falco tries writing his own.

A reasonable book, but if you have no theatre interest at all you may not enjoy it as much with all the jokes there.

3.5 out of 5

1-0 out of 5 stars About Amazon
I have not recieved this book and have ordered it twice. My review is that Amazon should not sell things they do not have and cannot get. I have been trying to read the series in order of printing.

5-0 out of 5 stars Last Act, but not for Falco, I Hope
Quite a number of authors have jumped on the sleuth in Ancient Rome bandwagon, but Lindsey Davis is probably the best of the lot. Her leading character Marcus Didius Falco has been sent out of Rome on a dangerous mission to spy out the Lands of the East. An Imperial order sends him and his girlfriend Helena Justina, the daughter of a Senator to the rose red city of Petra. There they discover a murdered playwright.
Falco feels obliged to investigate the murder and soon becomes embroiled in more murder and mayhem, making him wish he had not left his beloved Rome. All the author's books have been entertaining and of a very high standard, this one is no different.

2-0 out of 5 stars A low point in an otherwise enjoyable series
I have been happily ploughing through the Falco series over the past few months.This entry was most disappointing.It has Falco traipsing all over the far eastern reaches of the empire through town after town.Nothing much happens as Falco searches for a murderer in his midst and inevitably finds him.I found the travel to be repitious and I was bored by several pointless side plots.

Also, is it just me or is this book particularly crass with language and blantant profanity?I'm not adverse to "realism" in my reading, but the tone of the books seem to have changed for the worse with this entry.

I have the next in the series, Time to Depart, and am hoping for a return to form. ... Read more

18. See Delphi and Die: A Marcus Didius Falco Mystery
by Lindsey Davis
Kindle Edition: 384 Pages (2010-04-01)
list price: US$7.99
Asin: B003J4VE0Y
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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It's 76 A.D. during the reign of Vespasian, and Marcus Didius Falco has achieved much in his life. He's joined the equestrain rank, allowing him to marry Helena Justina, the Senator's daughter he's been keeping time with the past few years. But that doesn't mean all is quiet for Falco, Helena, and their two young daughters. 
By trade he is an informer, a man who looks into sticky situations, and he's been hired to pry his errant brother-in-law away from a murder investigation. Which means Falco must himself take it on -- requiring that Falco and Helena travel to Olympia in Greece under the guise of being tourists interested in the classic sites to investigate the suspicious goings on and the shady dealings of a fly-by-night travel agency. With two woman already missing from the packaged tour, things only get stickier when two more - including Falco's brother-in-law - disappear in what is Falco's most complex and dangerous case yet.
... Read more

Customer Reviews (19)

5-0 out of 5 stars Another thumbs up for Davis
Another thumbs up for Davis, the Marcus Didius misteries get better every time, this one is no exception. Mistery lovers should read them all!!

3-0 out of 5 stars Worst of the series--too bad
For a good travelogue of Greece in the Roman era, this would be fine, as a novel--it's tedious.There's little mystery, hardly any menace, the wit is too caustic and nasty to be funny, and the characters seem lifeless.

I was bored throughout.Better luck next time.

4-0 out of 5 stars See Delphi and Die
Davis had Falco and company head to Greece to solve a murder.A well woven story with a lot of of wit.

4-0 out of 5 stars Travel is the pits
Falco and Helena travel to Greece to solve mysterious deaths, and more happen all around them.With the help of their family and many red herrings the truth is finally told.I am eagerly awaiting the next installment even though I would have liked to have seen an afterword to this one.

4-0 out of 5 stars a charming read
Lindsey Davis never fails to provide a fun read. Though the family members traveling with Marcus and Helena to Greece offered little of what we have learned to expect from their relatives in the way of extra heartburn for Falco, the spot-on observations about tourist groups and travel were great. I completely enjoyed "See Delphi and Die". ... Read more

19. Time to Depart (Marcus Didius Falco Mysteries)
by Lindsey Davis
Mass Market Paperback: 432 Pages (1998-01-01)
list price: US$21.99 -- used & new: US$11.70
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0446605913
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Balbinus Pius, the most notorious gangster in Emperor Vespasian's Rome, has been convicted of a capital crime at last. A quirk of Roman law, however, allows citizens condemned to death "time to depart" and find exile outside the empire. Now as every hoodlum in Rome scrambles to take over Balbinus' operations, private eye Marcus Didius Falco has to deal with an unprecedented wave of crime--and the sneaking suspicion that Balbinus' exile may not really be so permanent after all. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (18)

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent story
I recently have been rereading the Falco series, and I find A Time to Depart to be interesting, vivid and funny.I like the mixture of the tragic and the comic, with the reality of the similarity between people of our own time and people who lived in Vespasian Rome made vividly clear.I liked this book so much that I decided to buy a used hardback edition of it, because I know I will be reading it again.

4-0 out of 5 stars Not Free SF Reader
Underworld upheaval.

Good old Petronius busts a Roman gang leader, leading to a fight for control and his former position among the Roman criminal element.

Or, in other words, people Falco is somewhat familiar with, so the Emperor taps him to look into what is going on, and things get a little hair for both he and Helena.

3.5 out of 5

5-0 out of 5 stars The Books get Better and Better
This is the seventh novel in the mystery series featuring Marcus Didius Falco, an informer and sleuth in Rome at the time of Vespasian. A series of books that have become hugely popular, so much so that the author is now at the forefront of historical mystery writers. It was probably a stroke of genius on her part to have novels that are extremely well researched and contain all the elementsthat would be and should be found inthe Roman world of circa AD70, but to have a lead character who has the vocabulary of a present day New York cop. In this the seventh novel Falco and Helena Justina almost seem like long lost relations to the reader.

Time to Depart the title of this latest offering from Lindsey Davis is quite a poignant phrase. If a Roman citizen committed a crime they were not confined to prison but in the true sense of the words they were given time to depart from the Roman Empire and very few were ever allowed to return. Exile was considered to be the worst punishment possible for a Roman. Falco is on the quay at Ostia. "It is Time to Depart" for one of Rome's most famous criminals and Falco and his friend, Petronius are there to see that it actually happens.

In this bookLindsey Davis has allowed Falco to remain within the confines of his beloved Rome. Working with his oldest friend Petronius Longinus, Captain of the Aventine Watch. There has been an outbreak of robberies and murder in the city and Falco and Petro pool their resources to try to get to the bottom of them. At the same time Falco is looking for a new place to live for himself and Helena. He believes that in a few months time their old apartment will not be big enough for them

5-0 out of 5 stars Marvellous Stuff!
In this book Helena and Falco are back in Imperial Rome. The stories seem to be more exciting when Falco's on his own turf. This story tells about rival gangs and gangsters in ancinet Rome. I don't know whether it's comforting or not to know that these types of bad guys have been around forever. Falco and his friend Petro get involved in a city wide manhut. Corpses turn up along the way. We see heists, murders, fraud and the whole gamut in this book. It's a rollicking good tale, and I can hardly wait for the next one.

3-0 out of 5 stars The Too-Long Arm of the Law
The Rome of the Vespasian's time may be ancient to us, but it's home to Marcus Didius Falco, the emperor's informer and hero of "Time to Depart," the seventh book in this series by Lindsey Davis.

The departure in the title is that of Balbinus Pius, the godfather of Rome's underworld. Convicted of a capital crime, he is given "time to depart" under law to escape execution. Return to the city would mean death.

Shortly thereafter, the city is hit with a number of grandiose crimes: a market is emptied of valuable goods, the goldsellers are robbed in daylight, and, worst of all, men connected with Balbinus' trial are found tortured and killed. Falco finds himself in the center of these troubles in a number of ways. The goods he bought overseas on behalf of his father were among the stolen goods, and his best friend, Petronius Longus, was the officer who put away Balbinus. On behalf of the emperor, he must help his Petro determine who is seeking to replace Balbinus, as well as secretly determine who in the empire's version of a police force, may be on the take.

Falco is also troubled by domestic matters when he finds that his lover, the daughter of a Senator who cannot marry him under law, is pregnant. Apart from the legal troubles (which, irritatingly, are neither resolved, nor did it turn out as threatening as Falco thought), he also needs to find a home, both for his expanding family and a mongrel dog determined to join them.

One of the pleasures of visiting a historical world is in seeing just how different it is from our day. The world of ancient Rome did not have autos or phones, windows or locks on doors. A high-rise meant a five-story building. You didn't walk down certain streets, especially after night, or you had a retinue of club-wielding slaves that you hope will protect you when needed. Family links were not just optional, but vital, even when its members were undesirable (and Falco's extended family provide him with a great source of frustration, from his neer-do-well father to his lazy brothers-in-law). Graft, prostitution, murder, influence peddling and organized crime are not modern inventions by any means, but in a world measured on the human scale, these are take on an intimate, almost claustrophobic quality. Falco's world is smaller than ours, who can live in one city and drive to another to work, and "Time to Depart," for all its grand scope, is also an intimate novel.

It's also a longer novel than needed. When the crime wave breaks out and no suitable candidates for the role of instigator offered, it becomes apparent what's going on, and suspicions are confirmed after about 275 long pages. After that, events pick up speed, and the resolution of most of these threads are efficiently weaved in the book's remaining 125 pages, concluding with a wedding (not Falco's) which will either leave you shaking your head at the licentiousness of ancient Romans, or remind you of the receptions you attended. ... Read more

20. The Accusers (Marcus Didius Falco Mysteries)
by Lindsey Davis
Paperback: 384 Pages (2004-10-01)
list price: US$21.99 -- used & new: US$12.79
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0446693294
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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The 15th novel in the acclaimed Marcus Didius Falco series finds the first century sleuth confronting Roman legal forces that may just destroy him--and his family.

Fresh from his trip to far-flung Londinium in Britain, Marcus Didius Falco needs to re-establish his presence in Rome. A minor role in the trial of a senator entangles him in the machinations of two powerful lawyers at the top of their trade. The senator is convicted but then dies, apparently by suicide. It may have been a legal move to protect his heirs, but Falco is hired to prove it was murder. As Falco shows off his talents in the role of advocate, he exposes himself to a tangle of upper-class secrets and powerful elements in Romes legal hierarchy that may have consequences he hadnt quite bargained for. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (22)

5-0 out of 5 stars Falco 15: "I Claudius" meets "LA Law"

This is number fifteen in a series of excellent detective stories set in Vespasian's Roman Empire and featuring the informer Marcus Didius Falco. Informers in ancient Rome were something between a private detective and a government spy.

Back from Britain, Falco and his business partners get involved in a court case. The story highlights both some of the similarities and differences between courts in Ancient Rome and today. One similarity is that there were elaborate, complex and highly controversial court cases about large sums of money, in which the winners could make their fortunes and the losers face financial ruin. One difference is that, while in modern courts the clients can win a fortune or be ruined, you can be certain that the lawyers on both sides will come out well ahead, but in ancient Rome the laywers also faced the prospect of vast returns or utter ruin.

(There will of course be those who argue that in this respect the Roman legal system was more civilised than ours ...)

The first commission which Falco and Associates receive on returning to Rome is securing and presenting some evidence in the trial of a Senator for corruption. This is accomplished with no great difficulty: some time later Falco hears that the Senator has been convicted. Then two days later, the Senator dies, apparently by his own hand, and possibly to save his heirs from having to pay the fine.

(This gives rise to one of the best lines in the book - Falco says of the deceased's lawyer "It was a chilling thought that counselling his client to die may have been good legal advice.")

Falco and associates are offered a commission to prove that the death was not in fact suicide. Soon they find themselves prosecuting a new legal case - in which victory will bring great returns, and defeat may bring ruin ...

The full Falco series, in chronological order, consists at the moment of:

1) The Silver Pigs
2) Shadows in Bronze
3) Venus in Copper
4) The Iron Hand of Mars
5) Poseidon's Gold
6) Last Act in Palmyra
7) Time to Depart
8) A Dying Light in Corduba
9) Three Hands in the Fountain
10) Two for the Lions
11) One Virgin Too Many
12) Ode to a Banker
13) A Body in the Bath house
14) The Jupiter Myth
15) The Accusers
16) Scandal taks a Holiday
17) See Delphi and Die
18) Saturnalia
19) Alexandria

I initially tried this series because I had enjoyed the "Cadfael" mediaeval detective stories by Ellis Peters. Where Cadfael is excellent, Falco is brilliant. Ellis Peters herself (or to use her real name, Edith Pargeter) said of the early books of the series, 'Lindsey Davis continues her exploration of Vespasian's Rome and Marcus Didius Falco's Italy with the same wit and gusto that made "The Silver Pigs" such a dazzling debut and her rueful, self-deprecating hero so irresistibly likeable.'

Funny, exciting, and based on a painstaking effort to re-create the world of the early Roman empire between 70 and 76 AD.

It isn't absolutely essential to read these stories in sequence, as the mysteries Falco is trying to solve are all self-contained stories and each book can stand on its own. Having said that, there is some ongoing development of characters and relationships and I think reading them in the right order does improve the experience.

5-0 out of 5 stars Courtroom Drama in Old Rome
Back in Rome again, Marcus Didius Falco needs to get his family business reinstated after a absence from the city.He delivers a document to the corruption trial of a senator accused of absconding with the highway maintenance funds.Two weeks later, the senator is dead, supposedly having committed suicide to avoid having to surrender his family's fortune to pay his fine.

But is it suicide or murder?Why was the son disinherited but the son's recently divorced wife getting the entire honey pot?Lindsey Davis constructs a riveting mystery out of Roman inheritance law, corrupt informers and a mind-twisting mystery.

In any faithful rendition of the past, the reader is sure to find echoes of the present.Davis makes her ancient Romans sound hip, cynical, cocky, humorous, world-weary--utterly in keeping with their own time which is not so far removed from ours.It is a cliche to say that a book makes some past time live again.This book makes our modern world seem very similar to ancient Rome under the Emperor Vespasian and does so in an absorbing, completely entertaining fashion.

3-0 out of 5 stars Slow. Really slow.
I have been a fan of Falco for years, and have followed him all over the Empire, but this time he nearly lost me. The book is 50 - 75 pages too long for its material and proceeds at a snail's pace. I don't normally read courtroom dramas," so if that's what this book is, I will make sure not to try any.

Here's my parody of how this book is written: "Three days later, when I picked up the book again, I had to review all of the characters and their situations. There was Tedius Magnus, his daughters Tedia Maxima and Minnia Muscula ..." and so on.

Of course, it's always nice to spend some time with Falco and his gang, but reading this book is like watching the most missable episode of a TV series that you really like, and not being able to mute the ads.

5-0 out of 5 stars love the book hate the price
love the book, no question about that.. and I know the other books tend to go up in price used when a new one coems out and folks try and fill in.this series should be read in order for best enjoymeNt . i ALSO THINK Amazon HAS RUN OFF ALL THE DECeNT CHEAP BOOk SeLLLERS . wish I could hirea gumshoe to investigate Amazon

4-0 out of 5 stars Not Free SF Reader
Multiple dodgy lawyers, not exactly a shocker.

Back from Britain yet again, Falco needs to get back in the swing of things in his investigative role.He gets involved in the case of a senator that has apparently committed suicide, but with two lawyers involved, both with dubious reputations, something doesn't seem right.

Falco has to work cut out for him investigating these guys who know a whole lot of tricks that can get your lowly Informer into a lot of trouble.

3.5 out of 5 ... Read more

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