Genre: Historical Mystery
Setting: Ancient Rome, 76AD
This novel is one of Davis's Marcus Didius Falco Mystery series. The main character is Falco. He is an informer. He gets paid to find information, and sometimes solve murder mysteries. He usually works for clients, but occasionally he does jobs for the Emperor. He has worked his way up from the mean streets. In this novel, he has attained equestrian rank, and has married his long time girl friend, Helena Justina, who is the daughter of a Senator.
Falco has a very interesting family life. Between his wife, daughters, mother, sisters, Pa, and in-laws, Falco has plenty to deal with. Often they somehow become involved in his investigations. This novel is an example.
Falco's wife is not a typical Roman woman. She is educated and independent. And she has been a part of his investigations for several years. As a favor to her, Falco has let her brothers help him with his investigations. Now one of her brothers has gone off to Greece to get an education. While there, he has become involved in a murder mystery involving a second rate travel company.
Falco and Helena, and a group of family members, go off to Greece to find the wayward brother, and to solve the mystery. The plot then takes us on a grand tour of ancient Greek tourist stops: Olympia, Delphi, and Athens.
I always enjoy the Falco novels. Falco doesn't sound like your Shakespearean Roman, but like someone who has paid his dues. This novel is no exception. It is a fantastic read. And the real kicker is that it has one of the best endings that I've ever read!
See Delhi and Die