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Lindsey Davis' Marcus Didius Falco

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Ashley
Scribbler
Location: Houston

Lindsey Davis' Marcus Didius Falco

Postby Ashley » Sun August 22nd, 2010, 10:26 pm

I went back pretty far here and didn't see these (I could be blind :p ) listed on here, so I will mention them for anyone who is a fan of mystery and Ancient Rome. They are set during the reign of Emperor Vespasian (who appears as a character, along with his two sons) in the early 100's. The stories focus on Marcus Didius Falco, an 'informer' who, along with his friend Petro, an ancient day fireman, solve murders and generally do the emperor's bidding. Along the way he meets and falls in love with the daughter of a senator, Helena Justina, and the stories not only center around the mystery but his relationship with Helena as well.

Lots of characters, so you have to pay attention, but Ms. Davis tells a fantastic story and keeps you guessing generally till the last moment. I adore Falco and Helena and continually laugh and bite my nails while reading. I know the newest book, Nemesis, should be out at the end of the month.

At least 4/5 stars for all books.
~Ashley

King Arthur Fan Fiction, maintainer

My writing can be found on my Live Journal, HERE.

Eigon
Reader
Location: Hay-on-Wye, Town of Books
Contact:

Postby Eigon » Thu August 26th, 2010, 6:35 pm

I love Falco too (and Petro - and I'd rather like to be Helena Justina!). I like the way the research is integrated into the plot, too - all that information on Roman aquaducts in Three Hands in the Fountain, for instance.
The BBC have done some wonderful radio adaptations, starring Anton Lesser as Falco.
Vespasian had the reputation of being a man from the provinces who was very hot on collecting taxes - so for the radio, he's played with a broad Yorkshire accent, while his sons sound posh.

Russ Whitfield
Reader
Location: Richmond, Surrey
Contact:

Postby Russ Whitfield » Thu August 26th, 2010, 10:33 pm

Lindsey's a genius and full of all kinds of awesome. It's hard enough churning a novel out (I think anyway) but she does it time and time again, and its always brilliant stuff.

I was trying to get a "Help for Heroes" anthology together and she was gonna contribute. It almost came off, but when it didn't, Lindsey wrote to me and said "Don't feel too bad - I don't read anthologies anyway." It cracked me up cos I was in the doldrums at the time and she really made me think - well - you...know...ce cera.

She's really up there with Bernard Cornwell and Simon Scarrow - it just consistently good novel after novel.

Cheers

Russ

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Madeleine
Bibliomaniac
Currently reading: A Trail through Time by Jodi Taylor & Angel by L J Ross
Preferred HF: Plantagenets, Victorian, crime
Location: Essex/London

Postby Madeleine » Fri August 27th, 2010, 11:29 am

I have all these and have so far managed to only read a few - The Jupiter Myth is my favourite so far, great gladiator battle!
Currently reading "A Trail through Time" by Jodi Taylor & "Angel" by L J Ross

annis
Bibliomaniac

Postby annis » Fri August 27th, 2010, 8:50 pm

I grab each one as it comes out- a really enjoyable series. My favourite to date is Saturnalia (the one with the vegetables) -- absolutely hilarious.

More serious, but well worth a read is Davis' poignant novel Course of Honour. This is not a mystery, but the story of Vespasian, later Emperor of Rome, and his long-term mistress, Caenis, who had been a freed-woman of Tiberius' sister-in-law Antonia.
Last edited by annis on Sat August 28th, 2010, 1:42 am, edited 1 time in total.

Eigon
Reader
Location: Hay-on-Wye, Town of Books
Contact:

Postby Eigon » Sat August 28th, 2010, 12:00 pm

Even that has its funny moments - if I remember rightly, we first meet Caenis when she's trying to fry sausages in a little pan used for making cosmetics.
"There were no full time Vikings back then. Everybody had another job."
Neil Gaiman, from Odd and the Frost Giants.

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rockygirl
Avid Reader
Location: Upstate New York

Postby rockygirl » Sun September 5th, 2010, 1:07 am

My favorite is Venus in Copper.

The Falco series is the first Roman mystery series I read. I still think it's the best and by far the funniest.

Has anyone read the short stories about Falco? They show up in several anthologies (which apparently were never read by the author ;) ).

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Margaret
Bibliomaniac
Interest in HF: I can't answer this in 100 characters. Sorry.
Favorite HF book: Checkmate, the final novel in the Lymond series
Preferred HF: Literary novels. Late medieval and Renaissance.
Location: Catskill, New York, USA
Contact:

Postby Margaret » Sun September 5th, 2010, 6:48 pm

Years ago, I read Silver Pigs. It was fun, but I was on a Roman Britain kick at the time and was disappointed that the point-of-view was more Roman than Celtic. More recently, I read Alexandria (see review). Again, lots of fun, and I've always been fascinated by the Great Library at Alexandria. I not only enjoyed it, I learned something. Did you know that the Great Library was not, as is popularly assumed, utterly destroyed in 47 B.C. when Julius Caesar burned the harbor? I'd been mourning a myth most of my life! I still wish a lot of the lost books of antiquity were available to us today and mourn their loss whether burned at Alexandria or lost to decay over the centuries.
Browse over 5000 historical novel listings (probably well over 5000 by now, but I haven't re-counted lately) and over 700 reviews at www.HistoricalNovels.info

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fljustice
Bibliophile
Location: Brooklyn, NY
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Postby fljustice » Sun September 5th, 2010, 7:42 pm

"Margaret" wrote:Did you know that the Great Library was not, as is popularly assumed, utterly destroyed in 47 B.C. when Julius Caesar burned the harbor? I'd been mourning a myth most of my life! I still wish a lot of the lost books of antiquity were available to us today and mourn their loss whether burned at Alexandria or lost to decay over the centuries.


I posted an article about this on my blog. That poor library has been (supposedly) burned so many times: by Julius Caesar in 47 BC, by the Christians when they destroyed the Serapeum in 391, by the Muslims when they invaded in 641. We also forget that we lost a lot of knowledge just because copying texts by hand is hard work. The powers that be made choices about which texts to replace based on more recent publications, patrons' wishes, political whims, etc.; just as our modern librarians make choices about what books stay on the shelves or get discarded. Thank goodness for Google Books--at least until someone blasts the world with an EM pulse and fries all our electronics! :rolleyes:
Faith L. Justice, Author Website
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User avatar
Margaret
Bibliomaniac
Interest in HF: I can't answer this in 100 characters. Sorry.
Favorite HF book: Checkmate, the final novel in the Lymond series
Preferred HF: Literary novels. Late medieval and Renaissance.
Location: Catskill, New York, USA
Contact:

Postby Margaret » Mon September 6th, 2010, 12:52 am

Thank goodness for Google Books--at least until someone blasts the world with an EM pulse and fries all our electronics!


Shudder! I don't even want to imagine ....
Browse over 5000 historical novel listings (probably well over 5000 by now, but I haven't re-counted lately) and over 700 reviews at www.HistoricalNovels.info


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