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The Graveyard of the Hesperides by Lindsey…
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The Graveyard of the Hesperides

by Lindsey Davis

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Flavia Albia (4)

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Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
Tiberius is starting in on his new career as a builder, which takes him to a bar called The Garden of the Hesperides, where he and his men find six skeletons buried in the courtyard in back. Flavia takes on the job of figuring out who the dead ones might have been and why they were killed. At the same time, wedding prep is going on and Flavia is only too happy to have something else to do to keep wedding jitters at bay--not that she isn't sure of her Tiberius and he of her, but . . . The usual romp. **** ( )
  sibyx | May 22, 2018 |
While her husband-to-be is renovating a bar, Flavia Albia spots some human bones being removed in the rubble. Six bodies are uncovered in the courtyard. Who were they? Who killed them? Can Albia and Tiberius find out before their wedding in six days time?

There were times I felt the story wasn't really going anywhere, it was just an excuse to look around one of Rome's less salubrious districts. ( )
  Robertgreaves | Dec 15, 2017 |
The first Flavia Albia novel, The Ides of April, was disappointing. I didn't enjoy it as much as the Marcus Didius Falco mysteries. The second and third books, Enemies at home and Deadly election, were each an improvement. With The Graveyard of the Hesperides, Ms. Davis has gotten it right. I did enjoy it every bit as much as the adventures of Flavia Albia's parents. Speaking of Falco and Helena, they're BOTH in this one!! Granted, their younger daughters, Julia and Favonia, have more scenes (and a delightful pair of teens they are -- see their descriptions early in chapter XIV). I'm glad to see Falco and Helena at all.

The action takes place from 25 - 31 August , 89 A.D. Flavia Albia is getting married to her plebeian aedile, Tiberius Manlius Faustus, on the 31st. In the meantime, Faustus has bought a building company and taken over the renovation of the Garden of the Hesperides, a mediocre bar in a seedy neighborhood. This gives Ms. Davis leave to inform us about ancient Roman bars, construction methods, and wedding customs.

Faustus is a conscientious renovator, the kind home and business owners hope they're hiring. Flavia Albia is going to continue to be a public informer. She happens to be having an on-work site lunch with her man when his laborers discover that the rumor about a barmaid being buried in the bar is true. Faustus is very busy preparing for some public games and renovating what will be their new home as well as the bar job. Isn't he fortunate to be able to leave the investigating up to Flavia Albia?

Our heroine wasn't planning on a wedding. Her parents never bothered. Ancient Rome didn't require one in order for a couple to be lawfully man and wife. Faustus is the one who wants a showy wedding. He is ably abetted by his enthusiastic wedding planners, Julia and Favonia.

It's been ten years since the Garden of the Hesperides' waitress/barmaid, Rufia, disappeared. It makes for a cold trail, but Flavia Albia perseveres. While she's at it, she hires four men to handle the sacrifice at her wedding, helps a young prostitute, and meets some of the inhabitants of an even seedier neighborhood with the unpleasant name of Mucky Mule Mews. Faustus would really like for his bride to complete the investigation before the wedding. Can she do it?

Chapter notes:

Chapter 3: If you want more details than the summary of Albia's early life given here, see The Jupiter Myth, book 14 in the Marcus Didius Falco series. The saddest part is in chapter XLV.

Chapter 14: For the birth of Julia Junilla Laeitana, see Falco book 8, A Dying Light in Corduba.

Chapter 15: Look here for an amusing description of Morellus' wife and children. The incident when Falco first brought Albia to the Fourth Cohort Vigiles is in

Chapter 17 has some family background for Faustus.

Chapter 31: The information about Postumus' disgrace might be referring to the action in Ms. Davis' novella, The Spook Who Spoke Again, which I have not had the good fortune to read., but there's a partial summary at her website.

Chapter 36: Albia talks about her paternal grandmother, Junilla Tacita, here.

Chapter 43: Flavia mentions that she had rickets when she was young and her bones are still soft. This is also the chapter where she calls her sisters 'Toodles' and 'Floodles'.

Chapter 59:

a. Heron of Alexandria, the inventor, is mentioned. He appears in chapter 55 of Falco book 19, Alexandria.

b. See chapter 7 of Falco Book 20, Nemesis, for the bad ending to Flavia's crush on Camillus Aelianus.

It's really nice to see Flavia Albia have a working partnership with Faustus. Not only did I enjoy the investigation, but the wedding chapters at the end were the best part. I've reread them twice. Among other things, It was fun seeing that Falco's vision for the bad chef Genius in chapter XII of his book 15, The Accusers, had come true.

There are plenty of cameos of relatives of the bride whom we know from the Falco series. Faustus' family is much smaller, but just as difficult, especially his jerk of a brother-in-law and his three whiny nephews. I do hope that his sister, Fania Faustina, takes Flavia's Aunt Maia's advice. I'm looking forward to book five. ( )
  JalenV | Aug 14, 2017 |
Apparently, there are people who aren’t quite sure about Lindsey Davis’s not-so-new-any-more (now we’re on Book4!) series following the cases of Flavia Albia, daughter of Falco - who starred in Davis’ previous series. I hope that they will get over their doubts - Albia is a worthy successor to her father.

Albia, like her father, is a private investigator in Rome, but her viewpoint is distinctly different.
Her different perspective means that we get to see different parts of Roman society, or the same parts from a different angle. Not least, we get to see the heroic and dedicated Falco and the noble Helena Justina in the role of slightly crazy parents. (Helena Justina is exactly the kind of mother I thought she would be: sensible, calm, and perfectly willing to let her offspring get on with whatever they want provided they hold down the noise and property damage to reasonable minimum.)

In Graveyard of the Hesperides, Albia’s soon-to-be-husband has taken up gainful employment as a building contractor. Unlike every other building contractor in Rome, he is keen to do a good job, so is on site - as is Albia - when his workmen try to discreetly get rid of some human bones…

Albia is determined to find out the identities of both the corpses and killer(s). Tiberius Manlius Faustus is determined to marry Albia. Albia’s two little sisters - sixteen-year-old Julia and fourteen-year-old Favonia - are determined to plan a huge, splashy wedding for them both. And Lindsey Davis (in her role as goddess of the in-book universe) is determined to have fun at her characters’ expense - very like a lot of other Roman gods and goddesses.

The plot skips along with the usual Davis verve, and we get to see a different side of Rome. Falco often ended up in far-flung exotic locales, or investigating political crimes - Albia’s cases are much more low-key: in this case, the murder of a barmaid. And others. We therefore see life at the bottom end of the social scale: who does what for whom, and how the local community functions. We also see it from Albia’s perspective: not only is she a woman, so her life is decidedly different to that of Falco, but she’s also not Roman by birth. She comes from the soggy island of Britannia, so she appreciates even winter sunshine!

For me, it’s Albia’s voice that makes these books - she’s so delightfully snarky, in a slightly darker way than Falco. I wonder how much of it is because Falco had the blithe confidence of a man in a man’s world - Albia doesn’t have that advantage, so she’s not only more cautious, but also more cynical about Roman society. However, there’s also the trademark Davis humour, in amongst the death and destruction - not only Albia’s snark, but also the family relationships and Davis’ idea of how to end a wedding party with a bang. ( )
  T_K_Elliott | Mar 12, 2017 |
I look forward to each of the books in this series with great anticipation. I did find the ending of this one a little overdone, and I was a little disappointed that the mystery wound up going more or less no where, but I did still enjoy the book. ( )
  duchessjlh | Oct 23, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (1 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Davis, Lindseyprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Feathers, SarahNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mulcahey, StephenCover photossecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Noone, FegusAuthor photosecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rotstein, David BaldeosinghCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Everyone knew a dead barmaid was buried in the courtyard.
Quotations
[Flavia Albia talking about her adoptive parents]

As a mother, she was a fine example, as our father often pointed out. That was his idea of imposing discipline. 'Be like your mother, you rascals, or you can leave home.' (chapter III)
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Book description
Haiku summary
Human remains are
found: Flavia Albia
makes enquiries.
(passion4reading)

No descriptions found.

"In first century Rome, Flavia Albia, the daughter of Marcus Didius Falco, has taken up her father's former profession as an informer. On a typical day, it's small cases cheating spouses, employees dipping into the till but this isn't a typical day. Her beloved, the plebeian Manlius Faustus, has recently moved in and decided that they should get married in a big, showy ceremony as part of beginning a proper domestic life together. Also, his contracting firm has been renovating a rundown dive bar called The Garden of the Hesperides, only to uncover human remains buried in the backyard. There have been rumors for years that the previous owner of the bar, now deceased, killed a bar maid and these are presumably her remains. In the choice between planning a wedding and looking into a crime from long ago, Albia would much rather investigate a possible murder. Or murders, as more and more remains are uncovered, revealing that something truly horrible has been going on at the Hesperides.As she gets closer to the truth behind the bodies in the backyard, Albia's investigation has put her in the cross-hairs which might be the only way she'll get out of the wedding and away from all her relatives who are desperate to 'help.'"--… (more)

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