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Shadows in Bronze: A Marcus Didius Falco…

Shadows in Bronze: A Marcus Didius Falco Novel (Marcus Didius Falco… (original 1990; edition 2011)

by Lindsey Davis

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Title:Shadows in Bronze: A Marcus Didius Falco Novel (Marcus Didius Falco Mysteries)
Authors:Lindsey Davis
Info:Minotaur Books (2011), Paperback, 464 pages
Collections:Your library, Ebook
Tags:Fiction, Mystery, Falco, Ancient Rome

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Shadows in Bronze by Lindsey Davis (1990)

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Roman private informer Marcus Didius Falco has lost out with Helena Justina so Emperor Vespasian dispatches him on a trip that takes him to Pompeii on the trail of a conspiracy. There, to his delight, he reunites with Helena Justina. Not so delightful is his battle with the conspirators. Great story as usual. Davis's habit of tossing out a sentence or even a long paragraph of description of vendors on a street, food served at a plebian's meal, or furnishings in a room, continues to impress me. Painless way to visualize what Roman street life must've been like under power-crazy aristocrats, especially emperors...although Vespasian is presented as a decent sort. ( )
  NickHowes | May 7, 2015 |
In Shadows In Bronze, by Lindsey Davis, private detective Didius Falco is given the task of completing the round-up of conspirators who plotted to kill and replace Roman Emperor Vespasian; he finds himself hunting down several Senators, and being hunted himself in turn. His job takes him to the Bay of Naples, and the marvelous sea-side towns located there; to provide himself with a cover, he travels with his friend Petronius Longus and his young family, along with Falco's adolescent nephew, and he is happy to discover that Helena Justina, the daughter of a Senator and the love of Falco's life, has also traveled to this holiday resort area. But the people he is hunting are not easy to capture, and those hunting him are not easy to shake off, and before too long Falco is fighting for his life.... This is the second Falco novel, and it's a direct sequel to the first book of the series, The Silver Pigs, although you don't need to have read that book to understand this one. We get to know Falco better and to meet more members of his family, and the romance between Falco and Helena proceeds apace, but really the best part of the book is the setting - the various seaside towns by the Bay, and the doomed city of Pompeii (depicted here 8 years before its fate) are quite vividly rendered and tend to make the reader want to hop the next plane to Italy to see them for oneself. However, I'm not as enamoured of this series as I'd hoped I would be; I find Falco a bit annoying, frankly, and I've never been fond of slow-burning romances that take forever to be sorted out. Nice for the travelogue aspect, and interesting for the historical setting of the Roman Empire, but I felt that I rather plodded through it rather than being carried along with the story. ( )
  thefirstalicat | Nov 13, 2013 |
Read 2013 ( )
  Becchanalia | May 22, 2013 |
This closes the conspiracy case Falco was assigned by Vespasian in the first book. The mystery is obvious and not really the strength of the book. It's the characters that make you happy. Falco's and Helena's dance around each other and their almost modern way of dealing with the problems and tragedy. I especially liked Falco's nephew in this. His family is as important as the mystery and in this book even more. The case is closed but Falco makes himself a dangerous enemy that will haunt the next few books. Even as a reread it's pretty good. ( )
  writerlibrarian | Apr 4, 2013 |
I previously read The Silver Pigs and enjoyed it. Now I finished Shadows in Bronze and enjoyed it very much. It has been quite a while since I read the first book and while it might be a good idea to read both books together, because the second picks up right where the first left off, I didn't have any difficulties in getting back into the story. It all comes back whenever something specific of the previous novel is mentioned.

After he had previously discovered and put a stop to a conspiracy against Emperor Vespasian, Falco now has the task to tie up some loose ends. People are dying and mysterious people following other people. In order to contact different senators on the emperor's behalf, Falco even has the task to travel to the seaside, where he meets with ghosts and confident young women (read: Helena Justina).

Lindsey Davis manages to paint a vivid image of ancient Rome in her books. Shadows in Bronze had a great plot and I loved to follow Falco in his adventures and with him it certainly never gets boring. It is actually quite difficult to guess what is going to happen next (although it would probably be a safe bet to say that something will go wrong exactly when our hero thinks that finally he has managed to set everything to rights).
I love the writing style (humour on every page) and I love the characters. I even found the romance woven into the main plote quite sweet (not too much but enough to convey Falco's and Helena Justina's feelings).

This is a wonderful humorous historical mystery. ( )
  Zurpel | Dec 21, 2012 |
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By the end of the alley the fine hairs in my nostrils were starting to twitch.
We had come to meet a man. As usual in these circumstances we suspected he would lead us a merry dance then rob us blind. Since he was a plumber, it was a virtual certainty.
The plumber plodded along in silence, like a man who has learned to be polite to lunatics through dealing with civil engineers.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0345374266, Mass Market Paperback)

"I haven't read historical fiction this good since I, CLAUDIUS by Robert Graves and PERSIAN BOY by Mary Renault--and this is a lot funnier."
He's Rome's favorite son, and of late, Emperor Vespasian's favorite palace spy, charged with finding the culprits who are plotting his imperial demise. In the meanwhile, Marcus Didius Falco has unfinished business with one citizen, Helen Justina, a high-born beauty he has given his heart to. And at these wages, his heart is all he can afford to render unto her--which causes its own problems.
The second in Lindsey Davis' Ancient Rome detective series.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:16:14 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

Roman citizen Marcus Didius Falco welcomes an investigation commissioned by the emperor into treason after Helena Justina, a beauty of privilege, breaks his heart, but finds more trouble than expected.

(summary from another edition)

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