I have read all of Lindsey Davis's Falco and Flavia Albia stories and I love them. They have humour despite the often "unpleasant" content that is inevitable in the context of the stories being set in ancient Rome. One of the great features of both of these series is the characters, that are wonderfully drawn. By the end of a book you know the people, but I am sad that Falco has almost completely disappeared. However in the present story there are references to how Flvia Albia respects and feels for her adoptive parents. The way Falco might have dealt with the sort of nasty issues that appear in "The Third Nero" are referred to and give some guidance to our heroine, but she remains her own woman and makes her own decisions.
The multiple story lines in this book are all relevant and are well drawn, with the characters being clearly defined in all their richness and idiosyncrasies. The political minefield of the imperial palace is so well described, so the whole story works very well. Flavia Albia's anxieties as a day old bride with a seriously injured husband are clearly presented, but do not interfere too much with the main story line. This is a book to be enjoyed at many levels and I recommended it to anyone who enjoys human issues, political intrigue and the "who done it".