One of the best of the current writers in this field' Donna Leon, Sunday Times
Lindsey Davis has written over twenty historical novels, beginning with The Course of Honour. Her bestselling mystery series features laid-back First Century detective Marcus Didius Falco and his partner Helena Justina, plus friends, relations, pets and bitter enemy the Chief Spy. After an English degree at Oxford University, Lindsey joined the Civil Service but became a professional author in 1989. Her books are translated into many languages and have been dramatized on BBC Radio 4. Her many prizes include the Premio Colosseo, awarded by the Mayor of Rome 'for enhancing the image of Rome', the Sherlock award for Falco as Best Comic Detective and the Crimewriters' Association Cartier Diamond Dagger for lifetime achievement. She was born in Birmingham but now lives in Greenwich, London. Her most recent books are Master and God followed by The Ides of April.
Marcus Didius Falco, everyone's favorite ancient Roman gumshoe, is back in another cheeky mystery. He's had the nerve to read his own poems in public, which leads more or less directly to his being called upon to investigate the murder of a publisher a task he is compelled to undertake in part because he himself is a suspect. Jupiter help him, that puts him up against some of the toughest customers he has yet to encounter: authors. Davis hastily assures us that her publisher and colleagues are nothing like the slimy fellows so cheerfully portrayed here, but she has a wicked eye for the worst that the writing profession can bring out in a soul. As usual, Davis flings out a host of memorably unappetizing characters, raucous family encounters, and a sharp little mystery, wrapped up with a nice, unexpected twist at the end: the culprit really was under everyone's nose all along but with unexpected motives. As much fun as the rest of the series and a bit tauter than the last few; for all mystery collections. Barbara Hoffert, "Library Journal" Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
"Lindsay Davis brings Imperial Rome to life." -" Ellis Peters"
"Her witty and literate Falco novels are models of the genre." - "Times"
"One can only hope that Falco will be around for as long as Flashman." - "Time Out"
"A rollicking narrative... its award-winning author [is] in excellent form. - Frances Fyfield
In Davis's 12th Marcus Didius Falco story (after 2000's One Virgin Too Many), the Roman informer, a sort of Columbo in a dirty toga, investigates a sensational murder connected to the worlds of poetry, publishing and banking. It's a good mystery and, as such, the reader doesn't suspect the perpetrator until all is gradually revealed, and then everything makes perfect sense. Unfortunately, unlike historical mystery author Steven Saylor, Davis deliberately makes his ancient Rome seem contemporary. Characters talk about man management and brandish the stylus and note tablet like a Palm -Pilot. On the other hand, the technology is true to period. Without benefit of forensic evidence and crime labs, Falco has to talk to people and rely on a few clues, such as a missing sea-nettle flan from the victim's lunch tray. Did the murderer really like nettle flans so much that he stopped to snack? Moreover, like sleuths from the dawn of civilization to the present day, Falco has to get on with solving the crime amid the distractions of work and various crises here, involving his father, his mother, his sister, his lover and even his dog, Nux (Latin for "worthless"). The Romans were great believers in what we've come to call family values; the antics of the ruling families aside, those standards were important to the average Roman, including Falco. In the end, we leave Marcus Didius Falco with a wine flagon and a good scroll to read. Given the society in which he lives, he probably won't be idle for long, much to his fans' delight. (July 30) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.