Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Alexandria - Book #87

Title Alexandria
Author Lindsey Davis
Genre Mystery
Pages 338
Publisher Minotaur
Copyright 2009

Synopsis (from web-site)
Falco, Helena and their immediate family, including Aulus, go to Roman Egypt to see more of the Seven Wonders of the World. Uncle Fulvius and Cassius, later joined by Pa, are up to some pensioners' scam, getting in the way, while Falco looks into high academic culture at the Great Library. This is home to all the knowledge of the world - though when the corpses start appearing in the customary odd circumstances, it takes more than great minds to understand Who Did It. The academic world festers while management dithers, diplomats dose, undertakers fib and businessmen diddle. The Pharos is shrouded in mist and the Pyramids lost in a sandstorm. A sinister wind blows up out of the desert, adding to the hot air even before the arsonist sets things alight. Fortunately a mad inventor is on hand – and Falco just happens to know how his most useful invention works...

This is the one with the crocodile.

Why I read It
This is book 19 in the Falco series. Marcus Didius Falco is a private informer (Investigator) in Ancient Rome and these books take him through the cases that seem to find him. Originally read book 1, The Silver Pigs, because it was a mystery book by an English woman author.

The Good
Funny as always, Falco builds his case though luck, wisdom, and just plain stubbornness. Falco is self depreciating, somewhat street wise, and a really likeable character. In fact, all the characters are interesting and the books bring them to life.

The Bad
It is book 19; some things are a little predictable. Even so I still look forward to each new book in the series and the mysteries are usually pretty well grounded in the realities of human nature. By that I mean these are the sort of crimes you could find in any city today.

The Ugly (my opinion)
A good solid book with great characters. While the myteries are straight forward, they are well written. But more then anything, these stories are character driven and would recommend you start at the beginning.

The Truth? (other reviews)

Mormon Mentions

Author Biography
I was born and brought up in Birmingham, read English at Oxford, then joined the civil service, which I left in 1985.

My first published fiction was romantic serials in Woman's Realm. I started writing about the Romans with The Course of Honour, the remarkable true love story of the Emperor Vespasian and his mistress Antonia Caenis. My research into First Century Rome inspired The Silver Pigs, the first outing for Falco and Helena, which was published in 1989. Starting as a spoof using a Roman 'informer' as a classic, metropolitan private eye, the series has developed into a set of adventures in various styles which take place throughout the Roman world. Its devoted readers follow the friends and family of my hero (and his dog, Nux) as avidly as they devour the mysteries he investigates; we have lively interaction via my website.

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