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Silver Pigs: A Detective Novel in Ancient…
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Silver Pigs: A Detective Novel in Ancient Rome (original 1989; edition 1991)

by Lindsey Davis

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,652514,361 (3.92)123
Member:bragan
Title:Silver Pigs: A Detective Novel in Ancient Rome
Authors:Lindsey Davis
Info:Fawcett (1991), Mass Market Paperback, 241 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:***1/2
Tags:fiction, paperback, read in 2012

Work details

The Silver Pigs by Lindsey Davis (1989)

  1. 30
    Medicus by Ruth Downie (ianturton)
    ianturton: If you like roman detective stories like this one you'll love this one too.
  2. 10
    The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner (electronicmemory)
    electronicmemory: Although one is Greece-esque fantasy and the other is a Roman-era mystery, both share scrappy, compelling characters in the form of Gen and Marcus Didius Falco.
  3. 00
    Ovid by David Wishart (ryn_books)
    ryn_books: Book one of the Marcus Covinus mysteries, which are also set in Rome and also first person private eye noir,
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Showing 1-5 of 49 (next | show all)
The Silver Pigs is the first book in the Marcus Didius Falco series by Lindsey Davis. Falco is an “informer” which is the 70 A. D. version of a private detective. One morning he's practically run over by a young girl, fleeing a group of scary looking pursuers. He rescues her and takes her to hide out in his apartment. She confesses they are after her because there's something hidden in her bank box and she's the only one who has the combination. When Falco opens up the box, he discovers an iron pig, which is a valuable bar of silver. Falco follows the trail of silver from Rome to the deadly silver mines of Britannia. Along the way, he connects the silver to a list of names that reveals a secret worth killing to protect.

I really enjoy this time period in history. I thought the story had plenty of humor and intrigue. I liked Falco who seemed like a regular sort of guy who has a huge family that are constantly criticizing him. He has street smarts and is quite honorable. I learned some interesting things about ancient Rome and the mining business. Overall it was a good book but not a great book. Often that's the case with a first in series book so I'm going to give Falco another chance to wow me in Shadows in Bronze. ( )
  Olivermagnus | Feb 9, 2016 |
I've read all the books in this series and enjoyed most of them thoroughly. An enjoyable hero, interesting setting. Humour, adventure and romance. ( )
  quiBee | Jan 21, 2016 |
I thought this series rocked the first time I read it years ago and upon second reading, I still think so.

Didius Falco is one of the most interesting and likable lead characters in any mystery series, and his dry, self-deprecating voice makes him one of my favorite characters of all time. Davis' depiction of the Roman Empire circa 74 AD is meticulously researched and the plot of this story, involving a murder, corruption in the silver mining industry of the Roman Empire and the rise to power of a new imperial family, keeps the reader engaged until the end.

Davis also makes interesting observations on the class system in which Falco works and lives and which complicates his own life in many ways.

I look forward to reading more about Falco and peers. ( )
  cjazzlee | Nov 13, 2015 |
Silver Pigs is the first in a now 20 book detective fiction series. This one is set in Rome and Roman Britain in 70-71 A.D. The blurb on the back says "Sam Spade in a Toga" and the story is now about 25 years old having been published in 1989. For a first published novel it is remarkably good and caught my interest from the first page. Sam Spade in a Toga is in fact a bit of what it is about but the attention to detail and a romantic element that powers much of the latter part of the story really make this more than simply a detective novel set in early Rome and Britain.

Silver Pigs refer to ingots mined and produced in Britain that are made of silver and lead ore. There is a bunch of intrigue (and murder) concerning the manufacture and transport of this resource. Frankly, I found the stories of the characters and family relationships (and there are quite a few) much more intriguing. Our detective (known as an "informer" in Roman times) is Marcus Didius Falco. He's a rather hardened guy with a good heart. There are a few bits in here to reward the careful reader that I can't spoil by mentioning. I really enjoyed the romance side of the story as it was rather unexpected even if obvious in hindsight. There is some good verbal sparring between Marcus and others, friends and foe. Altogether just a very enjoyable read and I will be reading more in this series. ( )
1 vote RBeffa | Apr 20, 2015 |
A PI novel set in ancient Rome. It does not reinvent the genre of PI novels, but does come with a bunch of very pleasant surprises. It's a historic novel, but there is no graphically described male-on-female-rape! Or too much gratuitous sexual violence! And even though the main character is male, there is an abundance of complex female characters with their own plot and motivation. All in all a very entertaining Finished. ( )
  Mothwing | Jan 4, 2015 |
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» Add other authors (26 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Lindsey Davisprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Edwards, MarkCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
González Trejo, HoracioTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
González Trejo, HoracioTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gonzez Trejo, HoracioTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rodska, ChristianNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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When the girl came rushing up the steps, I decided she was wearing far too many clothes.
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I took all of my sisters and a dozen small children to watch Vespasian's Triumph. For that alone my soul deserves quiet rest in Elysian fields.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 031235777X, Mass Market Paperback)

When Marcus Didius Falco, a Roman "informer" who has a nose for trouble that's sharper than most, encounters Sosia Camillina in the Forum, he senses immediately all is not right with the pretty girl. She confesses to him that she is fleeing for her life, and Falco makes the rash decision to rescue her--a decision he will come to regret. For Sosia bears a heavy burden: as heavy as a pile of stolen Imperial ingots, in fact. Matters just get more complicated when Falco meets Helena Justina, a Senator's daughter who is connected to the very same traitors he has sworn to expose. Soon Falco finds himself swept from the perilous back alleys of Ancient Rome to the silver mines of distant Britain--and up against a cabal of traitors with blood on their hands and no compunction whatsoever to do away with a snooping plebe like Falco….

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:26:18 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

"The Silver Pigs" is the classic novel which introduced readers around the world to Marcus Didius Falco, a private informer with a knack for trouble, a tendency for bad luck, and a frequently incovenient drive for justice. When Marcus Didius Falco encounters the young and very pretty Sosia Camillina in the Forum, he senses immediately that there is something amiss. When she confesses that she is fleeing for her life, Falco offers to help her and, in doing so, he gets himself mixed up in a deadly plot involving stolen ingots, dangerous and dark political machinations, and, most hazardous of all, one Helena Justina, a brash, indominable senator's daughter connected to the very traitors that Falco has sworn to expose.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 6 descriptions

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