Flavia Albia is the adopted daughter of Marcus Didius Falco and Helena Justina. From her mother, she learned how to blend in at all levels of society; from her father, she learned the tricks of their mutual professional trade. But her wits and (frequently) sharp tongue are hers alone.
Now, working as a private informer in Rome during the reign of Domitian, Flavia has taken over her father’s old ramshackle digs at Fountain Court in the Surbura district, where she plies her trade with energy, determination, and the usual Falco luck. Recently hired to help investigate a fatal accident, she finds herself stuck with a truly awful person for a client and facing a well-heeled, well-connected opponent.
That is, until her client unexpectedly dies under what might be called “suspicious circumstances.” While this is not a huge loss for society, it is a loss for Flavia Albia’s pocket. Even worse, it’s just one of a series of similar deaths for which she now finds herself under suspicion. Before things go from abysmal to worse, Flavia must sort out what is happening, and who is responsible.
©2013 Lindsey Davis (P)2013 AudioGO
I purchased this as I love the Falco stories. Sadly, this lacks the humor. Perhaps it's because Falco is such a clearly drawn "character" (in more ways than just one) that a young female just can't compete with him. This isn't a mystery - I knew from the get go who the murderer was, what would be his uh downfall and what the mistaken identity was. I don't recall the Falco stories as being so transparent, but even if they were the stories were just plain fun. In this one, whenever she went to her parents house I'd think "Great, now the story will get more lively" but alas, Falco is not permitted an appearance. The reader was OK....I just miss Falco and the person who reads those books is terrific - just the right amount of dry humor. I think, if you've not read any of Davis' other Roman stories, this would probably work just fine, but for me, I'm just hoping we get to hear from dear old "pa" Falco in the near future.
I loved the Falco series. That might be the reason that I am disappointed with Ides of April. I find that I was disappointed in the character of Albia, and didn't really like her. She makes snap judgements about people, often disparaging ones, and justifies them based on her 'training' as an informer. I kept thinking " Falco wouldn't have taught her that..." Half the story she is trying to make it in a man's world, and is frustrated about not being treated as an equal (an opinion I think is totally justified in the world of ancient rome), but then she spends the rest of the time gushing about the love interest (who she has only known for a couple of days) like she is a love-struck teenager. Having gotten to know her character in the Falco series, I found I really didn't care for the adult she had become. Hopefully any future books in this series will feature a less petty heroine.
I think that this book might be best enjoyed by someone who hasn't read the Falco series. The mystery is pretty good, and I enjoyed listening to the twists and turns in the plot. I think, though, that it is probably best enjoyed without any prior knowledge of Marcus Didius Falco.
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