©2006 Lindsey Davis; (P)2006 BBC Audiobooks LTD
"The author's vivid picture of life in A.D. 76 and the sparkling characterizations, particularly the amusing byplay between Falco and Helena, will satisfy most readers." (Publishers Weekly)
"If Sam Spade traveled back in time to A.D. 76, he'd be Marcus Didius Falco, the Roman sleuth at the center of Davis' mordant series." (Booklist)
One of the best parts about this book was the way Davis caught the standard annoyances of swanning around the country as part of a tour group. In this case Falco's family group is chasing after a tour on which a young woman had been killed. Touring was quite popular in the Roman Empire during Falco's time and even now it is possible to find Roman graffiti on ancient monuments thus proving that the urge to leave some personal mark cuts across the ages.
Anyway there are shady tour operators, annoying and importunate guides, bad lodging, worse food and lots and lots about Greece.
The narrator does a fine job of giving Falco a believable voice.
If you loved "I, Claudius", you will love this. Although set 2000 years ago, it reminds me of my recent trip to the same area. Also, I love the British accents for Roman characters a la "Claudius." A fun read for history and mystery readers and for those planning a trip to Italy and Greece.
Seems to me our main character "Falco" just develops more and more. This one was a real mystery, with lots of twists and turns. You may need a strong stomach for some of this story. ( I don't want to give away any of it, just a heads up) If you've read any of my other reviews, you know I read lots of historical novels. I recommend this series to anyone who enjoys mystery and history.
I agree completely with the review that characterized Ms. Davis' Falco novels as an Ancient Roman version of Moonlighting -- although Helena is not as tetchy as Maddie Hayes.
Mr. Rodska is pitch-perfect as narrator.
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