Book - 2010
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When a pair of his father's associates disappear under suspicious circumstances, informer Marcus Didius Falco of A.D. 77 Rome investigates allegations of a feud involving a group of notorious freedmen, who are receiving high-level protection from corruptrulers.
Publisher: New York : Minotaur Books, 2010
Edition: 1st U.S. ed
ISBN: 9780312595425
Branch Call Number: Mystery Dav
Characteristics: 342 p. : ill., map ; 24 cm


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Aug 06, 2014

As a longtime fan of Falco, I've noticed each novel is increasingly convoluted and the whole thing is a bit removed from the original fun, but I did enjoy this one and laughed several times. I think you'd like the book more if you were familiar with the characters from previous books (so go read some). I liked the "dark" theme, something to think about after you're done, I'm and adult and I don't need my novels *too* sweet.

Jan 30, 2014

Just okay. Too much filler of extraneous names and details that don't really advance the story.

Aug 16, 2012

Much darker, grittier than usual in this series, but a very good read.

Jul 04, 2011

Yes it is dark but that might reflect those times as much as these. Still an excellent plot and an engrossing read. I hope that she hasn't wrapped the series up.

May 16, 2011

Spoiler alert: stop reading if you don't want any information about the plot.

I suppose that Falco had to end up investigating a serial murder at some point in his career. Unfortunately, Lindsey Davis' wonderful quirkiness is often subdued or out-of-place in her exploration of this theme. Her latest Falco outing is slightly disappointing, perhaps because it is oddly reminiscent of the banquet of serial killings that are served for our delectation in so many contemporary mysteries. One would never know by the reading habits of the Western hemisphere that serial killing is a rather rare event. Maybe this is why it holds a morbid fascination for us.

Certain plot details lead me to wonder whether Falco may take up a new occupation or be forced into early retirement. In support of my theory, Davis' publishers have announced her new mystery series, which is set in the time of the Roundheads and the Cavaliers.

Dec 06, 2010

This was not a favourite of mine among the Falco books, but I have really enjoyed the series.


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Dec 06, 2010

We lingered over a fine meal, eaten out of doors with grand sea views from the lofty precipice where Antium stood. This was always an hour when we liked to come together, to relax, review the day and reassert our partnership. With just the two of us tonight, it was like old times - that elusive condition married people should seek more often.

Dec 06, 2010

The butcher in Lanuvium was typical. He was built like an unhealthy boxer, with a cleaver through his belt. A row of meat joints hung along the front of his shop, just where his horrible nitty head would bang into them all day. He had blood on his tunic. It looked and smelt as if it was weeks old so if you ate his meat you would keel over. But if we all avoided the produce of off-putting butchers, we would be stuck with a diet of lettuce leaves and the Empire would be overrun by beefy barbarians.

Dec 06, 2010

I find it surprising more people are not killed over dinner at home. In my work we reckon that murder is most likely to happen among close acquaintances. Someone will finally snap after years of being wound up to blind rage by the very folk who best know how to drive them to distraction.


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