It moves very fast, but I thought maybe too fast, and the writing is choppy. However, there is a lot of genuine ancient Roman detail, and Falco runs into serious dangers while going undercover in British silver mines and meeting many actual historical figures in Roman history. He is a tough guy, but his mother keeps him in hand. He meets a twenty-three-year-old aristocrat daughter in this story who obviously is someone who is going to matter to Falco going forward.
All in all, I think it will be a fun and entertaining series. View all 4 comments. Wow, I really liked this! It's very accessible; you can enjoy it even if you don't know a thing about the history of Ancient Rome. The author supplies historical details smoothly without lecturing the reader. The mystery itself wasn't especially gripping, but the story was fast-paced, with truly likeable characters and great dialogue.
I started snickering at the dramatis personae and continued to be amused all the way through the book. There are frequent, oddly placed paragraph breaks, which make Wow, I really liked this! There are frequent, oddly placed paragraph breaks, which make the writing seem a little choppy at first, but after a while I started to enjoy the narrative style. I've already ordered the next book in this series.
View 1 comment. Enjoyed the reread. I always find new plot points or historical references that I've missed. This time it was Vitellius and mushy peas. Oct 19, Donna rated it liked it Shelves: historical-fiction. I like the MC in this series. He is like your uncle who lives next door.
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He is normal, trying to do the best he can I liked that I got to see more detail about him. I've read a few of these novels in this series, and they all share some commonalities. The author writes with a contemporary flair That usually isn't something I like, but she makes it work in her books. I also like the way she constructs I like the MC in this series.
I also like the way she constructs her plots. The mystery is methodical and it peels away, piece by piece. So 3 stars. Phillip Marlowe? Mike Hammer? Nope, none other than Marcus Didius Falco the private investigator who is the creation of English author Lindsey Davis. I always marvel at how well British authors can work with the Roman Empire as a setting, as there are quite a few books and series set in Ancient Rome, as I am also a huge fan of the Medicus series by Ruth Downie — I admit I have not read the works of Steven Saylor from the US but hope to begin shortly.
Here Davis has begun a series about the first gumshoe, as Marcus Didius Falco has left the military and has gone into this line of work, as well as working as an informant when the need arises. The plot in this book takes us from Rome to Britain and the Silver mines located there. It is quite a fun and fascinating book, one that moves along at a very fast pace and provides us with a good plot, a good mystery, a good hero Falco and a beguiling heroine.
The dialogue is realistic and the history is spot in accurate. If the remaining 19 books are anything like this one, then it will be a wonderful series for one and all to read, especially for those who enjoy history and detective novels. Highly enjoyed this book and give it a big thumbs up recommendation. Solid effort for a first book in a series, even though I could figure out some of the conspiracy and the conspirators before Falco — but that is OK since he is the first private investigator and I have read many more of these books than he has worked on cases!
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Have fun with this book and series. Dec 09, Kei rated it really liked it. Oh - where do I start? A private eye series set in ancient Rome. This is the first one - I won't add all the books individually, there are I think 18 by now, but it's set in Rome in 70AD, the hero is Marcus Didius Falco, a Roman 'informer' They are my favourite ancient Roman couple Evah. There is adventure all over the Oh - where do I start? There is adventure all over the Empire, treachery, theft, politics, murder I love, love, love this series.
Probably rates three stars for writing, plus an extra for meticulous research inserted so painlessly that you're barely aware of it. Mar 23, Karin Slaughter rated it it was amazing. This is the first Davis I read and I loved it. My pal and fellow author Fidelis Morgan suggested I give it a try because I couldn't think of a book that wrote about a successful relationship in an interesting way. I have to say that Fidelis was right. Falco and Helene are very solid in their love for one another, but they disagree and argue and do all the usual things couples do without cutting too deep when they disagree.
I think that's the key to a relationship haha, and a sign that it migh This is the first Davis I read and I loved it. I think that's the key to a relationship haha, and a sign that it might be over --when you fight, do you go for the jugular or do you hold back because you love that person? Not that I fight a lot. I actually hate fighting. But you know what I mean.
Like that scene in the next-to-last I think season of the Sopranos when Tony and Carmella are in the pool house and they say the meanest, nastiest things that they can never walk back from Sara and Jeffrey will never do that. But I suppose I should talk about the Falco series in terms other than my own work! There's so much good stuff in these books, and you don't realize that you're also learning some really cool things about Roman times. I was touring Bath once and the guide was saying all this stuff that I already knew from the Falco series.
So, Lindsey managed to do something that a lot of my teachers couldn't: make me learn. May 30, Assaph Mehr rated it it was amazing Shelves: roman-detectives. The series that tarted it all for me. I always loved ancient Rome since I first read Asterix , and detective stories. This was the perfect combination. Falco is taken on a journey from what starts with an upper-class young lady in trouble with some ruffians, to the highest echelons of society and money counterfeiting.
Expect a noir feel to the story, with gruff men and The series that tarted it all for me. Expect a noir feel to the story, with gruff men and damsels in distress. Be aware that this is the first book by Davis, and has some issues an altogether far too speedy recovery from a broken arm comes to mind. Still, no one can fault Davis for her research and accurate depiction of what life in the stratified Roman society was like at the time.
Mar 09, Kelsey Hanson rated it it was ok Shelves: historical-fiction , fiction. Actual rating: 2. Lots of people writing in their own half stars. Take the hint!! The first thought I had in the first chapter was "Is the narrator British? What is he doing in Ancient Rome". I later learned that the author is in fact from England. I didn't care much for the story. For some reason, the plot was really hard to follow apart from the obvious and incredibly played out love at first fight line. The saving grace of this story was the snarky and likeable main c Actual rating: 2.
The saving grace of this story was the snarky and likeable main character and the ancient background, but at the end of the day that wasn't good enough to get three stars out of me. Feb 25, Jim rated it really liked it. At the time I was more interested in the late Roman Republic, so I was more drawn to the Steven Saylor mysteries featuring Gordianus the Finder, contemporary of Cicero and Julius Caesar and the significant events of that era. Falco's period is also fascinating: after the Year of the Four Emperors, just as Vespasian is beginning his rule.
In this inaugural book, Falco - a bawdy, cantankerous "informer" private investigator of little means - struggles with a dysfunctional family, a landlord with limited patience for late payments, and not nearly enough work The case, which begins with a maiden with "far too many clothes" fleeing from a band of bully boys, leads Falco through palaces, sewers, and the silver mines of a Britain the former soldier hoped never to see again. Along the way he loves, loses, and loves again vague enough? The dialog is first person, and reads a bit like Sam Spade in the Subura. You are never left wondering what Falco's opinion is, on any subject or person.
As this is the first of many Falco novels, paying attention here is worth it; Davis seems unwilling to let any juicy bits stay on the floor, and applies the Five Second Rule to rescue them for later enjoyment. I can't call Falco lovable, but he's got a gruff charm that - try as he might - he can't hide completely. Along the way, Rome - all of it, not just the polished marble and chalk-white togas, but the stink of the slums, the chaos of the hearth, the perils of travel whether across town or across the continent, the struggle to earn a daily denarius, and the surprisingly but authentically modern-seeming conveniences and complaints of urban life - is itself a vibrant, slightly dangerous but romantic cough character.
As for Britain: Falco never quite escapes it, and Davis will never be invited to join the Londinium board of tourism. But it too wheezes with what passes for life. Highly recommended. The characters were definitely a strong point and I plan to look for the next book in this long and popular series; while there was plenty of dry humor and excellent research into the period, the mystery itself was very compl 3. The characters were definitely a strong point and I plan to look for the next book in this long and popular series; while there was plenty of dry humor and excellent research into the period, the mystery itself was very complex and had a lot of parts and potential bad guys - I had a hard time telling them apart I think it's the Roman names!
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Also, I honestly lost track whether Falco was looking for the murderer of a young girl with her family as his clients, or working for the emperor trying to solve a case involving theft from the silver mines of Britain, or both I look forward to trying the next in the series to see if the pacing evens out and if I have an easier time following the characters' motivations. I can see why Didius Falco has such a following - even his daughter now has a spin-off series! I look forward to further reading to find out.
First time I've ever bothered to switch edition on a GR book, and that's because reading this book in pages of titchy tiny font really do make a difference. Does slow things down and make it that little bit worse. Still plenty good though. The fun is in the humour because the mystery is sadly a little underdeveloped, but that's okay, because Lindsay Davies as Falco is one of my favourite authorial voices ever; irreverent, sentimental and self-deprecating. Aug 30, Delphine rated it really liked it.
When a Philip-Marlowe like character becomes the narrator of events that take place in Ancient Rome, you get Lindsey Davis! The research is excellent, the stories are fascinating, the historical truth is respected and… a sort of hard boiled detective investigates. Probably one of the best historical novels, along with Sharan Newman, on the market. Dec 09, Brad rated it liked it Shelves: detective , historical , a-floating-bar-of-ivory , cities. I needed a new series to make me fall in love with a clever detective informer all over again, and I really wanted it to be the M Didius Falco series.
The long and short of it is that Lindsey Davis failed to make me fall in love. It was more like a mild like. I can't see myself coming back for more of this series. I came looking for a genuine mystery. I was hoping for some Raymond Chandler style Roman detection, or some brooding Henning Mankell style Roman detection, or even some frustrating I I needed a new series to make me fall in love with a clever detective informer all over again, and I really wanted it to be the M Didius Falco series. I was hoping for some Raymond Chandler style Roman detection, or some brooding Henning Mankell style Roman detection, or even some frustrating Ian Rankin style Roman detection.
What I got was Moonlighting meets Remington Steele meets Hollywood-sword-and-sandal-romantic-mystery-lightness. It's not horrible I bet it would make a cracking and very watchable TV series , but not for me. Jun 13, Lou Robinson rated it really liked it. Despite the slightly strange first person writing style, I really enjoyed this book. It introduces Marcus Didius Falco, a private informer just about surviving in Rome at the time of the emperor Vespasian.
It's fast paced and has all the elements of a novel to keep you entertained, bit of romance, crime, travel I'll certainly be picking up the next Falco story. Shelves: women-writers , kindle , historical-ancient , mystery-ancient. Ah to be Rome surronded by naked people! Which isn't quite what happens to Marcus Didius Falco; he does seem to get surronded by women an awful lot.
The Silver Pigs (Marcus Didius Falco, #1) by Lindsey Davis
This is actually a quite funny, sometimes touching, and very good novel. Falco must solve the mystery of the pigs which are really silver and not pig shaped at all while dealing with his mother and various others. View 2 comments. Dec 24, Laura rated it liked it Recommends it for: Bettie, Wanda. Shelves: historical-mystery , hf-ancient-europe , audio-books , british-literature , read , historical-fiction.
Anton Lesser brings the popular detective to life in Lindsey Davis's witty and enthralling adventures set in the days of the Roman Empire. Dramatised by Mary Cutler. Directed in Birmingham by Peter Leslie Wild. First broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in I read some series like River Song travels with the Doctor: out of order. Falco is constantly on the hunt for new clients and new income, lest his greedy landlord send some gladiators around to bust his kneecaps and other, I read some series like River Song travels with the Doctor: out of order.
Falco is constantly on the hunt for new clients and new income, lest his greedy landlord send some gladiators around to bust his kneecaps and other, more precious body parts. As I pointed out in my review of Venus in Copper , this series has two notable strengths. Firstly, Falco is a great protagonist. Secondly, Davis is great at reifying ancient Rome, describing it in all its glory.
In this way, Davis also subverts some of the tropes of the private investigator. She establishes Helena Justina as a permanent love interest for Falco. In The Silver Pigs , we get to see their first meeting and the way their relationship begins from mutual animosity towards something approaching amity, and then finally to love. Falco and Helena are a good match for each other: stubborn, clever, and passionate; I wish them well. If I need to, I might refer back to them while I read.
She creates a consistent voice for him as narrator, expertly balancing between exposition that her modern readers need to know and inferences about would be apparent to someone living in ancient Rome. So many books set in this time period focus on the dynastic struggles. Many take a very wide view of history, with their stories set across decades and dynasties. It is refreshing, then, to have a book like The Silver Pigs. However, this is never more than a side element; the main story is undoubtedly the mystery that Falco decides he must solve.
What drives Falco is the constant sense of danger as the ground shifts beneath his feet. Watching Falco deal with the people who are supposed to be helping him is probably as much, if not more, fun as watching him deal with the people who want to hurt him. The Silver Pigs is a promising start to the Falco series. I think it would probably give a first-time reader a good indication of whether they can expect to like the rest of the books. I certainly intend to continue dipping into this series at a leisurely pace. These books are excellent works of historical fiction when it comes to setting and character.
Davis set out to write mystery in ancient Rome … and she has certainly succeeded. Nov 04, Lisabet Sarai rated it liked it. It seems like a promising premise: take the noir stock character of the down-and-out gumshoe, gruff on the outside but with a soft center, and move it to Imperial Rome. Throw in some local color, a know-it-all mother, a couple of dames, some nasty bad guys, and an engaging interlude in the uncivilized wilds of Britain, seen through the eyes of the urbane Roman private eye Marcus Didius Falco. Unfortunately, The Silver Pigs didn't quite work for me. For one thing, despite the author's detailed des It seems like a promising premise: take the noir stock character of the down-and-out gumshoe, gruff on the outside but with a soft center, and move it to Imperial Rome.
For one thing, despite the author's detailed descriptions of the geography and the society in Rome, it never felt vivid or real to me. I had no concrete sense of the city or its inhabitants. Also, I couldn't really bring myself to care about the mystery, even though it begins with the murder of a lovely, innocent girl. I did enjoy the character of Helena Justina, divorced socialite, cousin of the murdered girl, a no-nonsense young woman of exceptional intelligence who is not in the least shy about going after what she wants--which happens to be the hero.
Malcolm learns they have a guest with them - a baby by the name of Lyra Belacqua It is AD The Roman emperor Domitian seizes power. Afflicted by classic paranoia, the self-styled Master and God sees enemies everywhere - and he is right. The Senate loathes him, his advisers are terrified, he cannot trust his wife, and barbarians menace the frontiers. As he vents his suspicions, no one is safe. Ged, the greatest sorcerer in all Earthsea, was called Sparrowhawk in his reckless youth.
Hungry for power and knowledge, Sparrowhawk tampered with long-held secrets and loosed a terrible shadow upon the world. This is the tale of his testing, how he mastered the mighty words of power, tamed an ancient dragon, and crossed death's threshold to restore the balance.
In a village at the edge of the wilderness of Northern Russia, where the winds blow cold and the snow falls many months of the year, a stranger with piercing blue eyes presents a new father with a gift - a precious jewel on a delicate chain, intended for his young daughter. Uncertain of its meaning, the father hides the gift away, and his daughter, Vasya, grows up a wild, willful girl, to the chagrin of her family.
But when mysterious forces threaten the happiness of their village, Vasya discovers that she may be the only one who can keep the darkness at bay. Rome, AD Against his better judgement, Marcus Didius Falco secretly disposes of a decayed corpse for the Emperor Vespasian, then heads for the beautiful Bay of Naples with his friend Petronius.
He conveniently forgets to mention to his companion that this will be no holiday. They have been sent to investigate the murderous members of a failed coup, now sunning themselves in luxurious villas and on fancy yachts in Neapolis, Capreae, and Pompeii. Detective Chief Inspector Ryan retreats to Holy Island seeking sanctuary when he is forced to take sabbatical leave from his duties as a homicide detective. A few days before Christmas, his peace is shattered, and he is thrust back into the murky world of murder when a young woman is found dead amongst the ancient ruins of the nearby priory.
When former local girl Dr. Anna Taylor arrives back on the island as a police consultant, old memories swim to the surface, making her confront her difficult past. Set against the terrible struggle of the English Civil War, Rebels and Traitors is the story of how this turbulent era effected everyone, from rich to poor, and the hopes and dreams that carried them through years of deprivation, bloodshed and terror.
Gaius Petrius Ruso is a divorced and down-on-his-luck army doctor who has made the rash decision to seek his fortune in an inclement outpost of the Roman Empire, namely Britannia. After a hour shift at the army hospital, he succumbs to a moment of weakness and rescues an injured slave girl, Tilla, from the hands of her abusive owner.
And before he knows it, Ruso is caught in the middle of an investigation into the deaths of prostitutes working out of the local bar. England, Aelred Barling, esteemed clerk to the justices of King Henry II, is dispatched from the royal court with his young assistant, Hugo Stanton, to investigate a brutal murder in a village outside York.
The case appears straightforward. A suspect is under lock and key in the local prison, and the angry villagers are demanding swift justice. But when more bodies are discovered, certainty turns to doubt - and amid the chaos it becomes clear that nobody is above suspicion. The Colour of Magic , the first novel in Terry Pratchett's wildly imaginative Discworld series, takes the listener on a remarkable journey.
The magical planet of Discworld is supported by four massive elephants who stand on the back of the Great A'Tuin, a giant turtle swimming slowly through the mysterious interstellar gulf. An eccentric expedition sets out to explore the planet, encountering dragons who only exist if you believe in them, and, of course, "The Edge" of the planet. In the late August of AD 79, the inhabitants of Pompeii and Herculaneum are going about their normal business in the late summer heat.
Two of them have a room share arrangement: Nonius, scrounger, thief and failed pimp works by night and sleeps by day; Larius, the fresco painter with dreams of artistic greatness, does the opposite. When just after midday the summit of Vesuvius disappears in a vast volcanic ash cloud, their lives will change forever. Lady Emily Hardcastle is an eccentric widow with a secret past. Florence Armstrong, her maid and confidante, is an expert in martial arts.
The year is and they've just moved from London to the country, hoping for a quiet life. But it is not long before Lady Hardcastle is forced out of her self-imposed retirement. There's a dead body in the woods, and the police are on the wrong scent. Lady Hardcastle makes some enquiries of her own, and it seems she knows a surprising amount about crime investigation But what begins as a clandestine arrest ends in cold blooded murder.
And when Fitzurse, the knights' ringleader, kidnaps Theodosia, a beautiful young nun who witnessed the crime, Palmer can sit silently by no longer. Falco finds out that Sosia, the niece of a highly placed senator, holds the secret to a stockpile of silver pigs, ingots intended for no good use. Hoping for future favors from Sosia's powerful uncle, Falco embarks on an intricate case of smuggling, murder, and treason that reaches into the palace itself.
And if he does not tread lightly, the treacherous puzzle of the silver pigs could buy him a one-way ticket to his own funeral pyre. Really loved this reading, was gripped right to the end even though I had read the book before. I do not know why Romans are always portrayed with a British accent, but here the graveled Cockney narration Christian Rodska uses is absolutely superb.
I love Audiobooks, and a good narrator can make or break a book, let alone a series. Here, both Mr. Rodska and Ms. Davis blend wonderfully. An interesting and fully fleshed cast of supporting characters helps create a world that is as interesting as it is believable. If only Audible would acquire the rest of the series!!!
What a concept for a novel. A private detective in ancient Rome. But it is very well done, great story line, keeps moving at a very good pace. The narrator makes each character really come to life. Will read more by this author. The author has done a fine job of making a story centuries old seem very modern and fast paced.
It has a 50's detective novel feeling to it,and the characters are very likeable. I somehow happened upon Silver Pigs in hardbound, the year that it was first published. After adjusting to the culture shock of life in empirial Rome I was intrigued and highly entertained by the characters and plot twists that were presented by Lindsey Davis. I faithfully awaited each new book until life distracted me but have recently gone back to the series in Audible format.
It is hard to believe that audio could improve on the written form but it clearly does. Christian Rodska, who narrates all of the unabridged titles that are available from Audible is amazing at portraying Falco in all of his cynical but ethical glory. He is also able to add interest to the sometimes almost pedantic delivery of information about the cultures and history that are a must to understand the plots that unfold.
This audio and the rest of the series is one of the most amazing ways to get a sense of the everyday life in Empirial Rome as well as getting an idea of the scale and scope of the Roman Empire. I highly recommend these to anyone with an interest in history or just a good story. Any additional comments? I love historical fiction, especially when it is set in the Roman Republic or Empire.
This is the first Didius Falco novel I have read, and I found it generally entertaining. I quite like Falco himself, and the way in which the author depicted Rome and Roman Britain. Everything was going nicely until Falco a plebeian gumshoe detective in 70 AD started interacting directly with senior members of the imperial family, including the Emperor himself. Falco seemed not the slightest bit awed or even outwardly respectful.
He was even fairly rude to them. Not only that, but Falco also spurned, in a most rude way, a high honour bestowed on him by the Emperor. His behaviour was not exactly irrational there were some barely good reasons , but his behaviour was difficult to believe in the historical and social context of ancient Rome.
I found this aspect of the book significantly detracting from the aura of historical realism that surrounded an otherwise 'ripping yarn' from classical Rome. Read a book by Ruth Downie about Roman's in Britain. This is book one of the series by Lindsey Davis. It opens up in 70 A. Falco rescues her and finds out she is the niece of a Senator.
Falco is first hired by the Senator to find out what is going on but then Susia is murdered and Falco goes to Britain to see Helen the daughter of the Senator recently divorced, who Falco thinks is the key to the mystery. He discovers silver being stolen from the Emperor. The Emperor Vespasian hires him to find the silver pigs and solve the murder. Told in the first person, some action, suspense and information about the romans of the period.
Falco has a dry wit and is a bit sardonic, not an appealing character for me but it will give him a second try. Interesting enough for me to try the second book in the series. Christian Rodska narrated the book he has a English accent which was okay for the part of the book in England but where is the Italian accent when in Rome? This delicious little murder mystery takes place in ancient Rome and in Roman Britain during the reign of Vespasian.
I was struck by how modern and familiar daily life in the Roman Empire seemed in the book. Very graphic depictions of the life of a slave in the silver mines in Britain were horrifying, but seemed authentic. The narrator, Christian Rodska, speaks with an apparent northern English accent, Lancaster? He softens his voice for the noble women. I found his narration surprisingly satisfying. 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. Would you listen to The Silver Pigs again?webtraffichorde.com/map6.php
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Yes, Marcus Didius Falco comes across as a real person whom one would like and respect. The deception is unraveled in a practical yet piecemeal fashion. Falco in the later books becomes more cynical and less effective. The early books are the best. What made the experience of listening to The Silver Pigs the most enjoyable?
Christian Rodska is amazing! He really brings the story to life by truly conveying the characters emotions, and the author's sarcasm. It's a great murder-mystery set in Rome, and Marcus Didio Falco is the perfect hero. Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? There was a definite journey in the book. I liked how there were several threads to follow, it made the mystery even more fun to solve. How does this one compare? This was my first intro to Rodska. I am extremely disappointed that the whole series isn't here.
I guess I will have to go find the paperback copies to fill in the gaps! I know of the Falco novels since they were first published. The research by the author is meticulous and adds weight and authenticity to a gripping story. Falco, our hero, is a very believable character, and more than a little put-upon. He manages to take you, the listener with him as he negotiates his way through the various twists and turns of the plot, collecting a few beatings along the way, as well as imparting some telling insights into the realities of human nature.
I'm biased, I like the Falco Novels anyway! I love these novels - why are there so few in the Audible catalogue? And most of those are short dramas, rather than the whole book. This, the first of the Marcus Didius Falco series, is a cracker. I have no idea how accurate the historical details are but the context rings true to me and I can easily visualise the scenes Davies describes.