©2004 Lindsey Davis; (P)2004 BBC Audiobooks Ltd
This is definitely my favorite in the series so far. It is absolutely packed with action, and less cliche. This series is often hit and miss but this title contains the characters at their most likable placed in incredibly interesting situations. Christian Rodska, the narrator, continues to be excellent and add great charm and color to these mysteries.
I have read and re-read the books, and now am having fun listening to them on audio. Great narration! These novels have a little bit of something for everyone- they're good mysteries, they're an interesting look at the Roman Empire, and the main character is funny. Smart, but also light and entertaining. So far there has only been one book in the series I haven't absolutely loved.
I liked the first book in the series. It was a PI-noir set in ancient Rome. But the next few books are not in audio and instead are abridged radio dramas. I tried one, but it was difficult to listen to, so I went on to try this book because its back to the audio form. Big mistake!
The book tries to cover the events of the earlier books, but doesn't do a good job of it. I know all the characters, but they are still impossible to keep straight. Like the first book, this is primarily a mystery with some Roman infodumps here and there. While this worked when the main character was a penniless PI, it doesn't work now that his fortunes have risen and he's supposed to be respectable. The noir elements, which were the best part of book one, have been removed and replaced with nothing. The Roman gloss is particularly glaring in this book that takes place in Briton but without any of the knowledge or sympathy found in the Ruth Downie books.
Skip this series. The Roman Medicus series and medieval Mistress of the Art of Death series are much better.
Didius is at it again with the usual nasty people, political problems and women problems in a foreign land. Once again they are on the fringes of the Roman Empire in Britain. Good story that moves along and is well read. However, if you don't like historical fiction, this type of mystery may not be liked.
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