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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

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1,560464,694 (3.92)99
Member:bragan
Title:Silver Pigs: A Detective Novel in Ancient Rome
Authors:Lindsey Davis
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Collections:Your library
Rating:***1/2
Tags:fiction, paperback, read in 2012

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The Silver Pigs by Lindsey Davis (1989)

Recently added byharefoot, haribo002, gumbrils, Ciarda, HertfordLC, alcoldwell, FrauH, private library, TrixiePug
  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 44 (next | show all)
This is the first book in a mystery series set in Ancient Rome, just after the death of Nero. It is an excellent example of a genre series mystery, done with a lovely bit of humor. M. Didius Falco is a memorable fictional character, as is his paramour. If I remember correctly, this series is one of my sister's favorites, and I can see why! ( )
  CandaceVan | Apr 1, 2014 |
In The Silver Pigs, by Lindsey Davis, we are introduced to Marcus Didius Falco, an "informer" (private investigator) in 1st Century AD Rome, during the early part of the reign of Vespasian. Vespasian had come to power following a military life in which he was involved in many victories, but his rule was a bit shaky early on given that he had no ancient lineage, and there are various plots to unseat him. Falco is drawn into one such plot when a young girl, Sosia, crosses his path - literally - in the Forum and he saves her from a couple of disreputable-looking pursuers. It turns out that Sosia is a member of an aristocratic family and trying to protect her lands Falco not only in the midst of this patrician group, but eventually back in Britain where he had previously served as a soldier and which he escaped with great relief, all in pursuit of the missing "silver pigs," bars of silver stolen from a mining operation in what eventually became England.... This is the first of many books in this long-running series; I've known about the Falco series for at least two decades but never tried reading any of the books until now, mainly because my yen for ancient Rome-based detective stories was satisfied by a series of novels by Steven Saylor. Since his series has wound down, I found myself missing the period and decided to give Davis a try, and I'm moderately pleased that I did. Falco is an engaging creature and Helena Justina, who becomes his wife, is even more so, but this first book felt quite slight to me. I will read more in the series, no doubt (in part because I initially bought the first three in e-book form), and I will enjoy them, but I suspect that I will have forgotten all but the major characters shortly after reading each book. So, a modest recommendation, something to enjoy on a rainy or snowy day perhaps. ( )
  thefirstalicat | Oct 28, 2013 |
Falco is the typical world-weary, cynical, sex-crazed but chivalric detective noir protagonist. The twist? He lives in Rome, during the time of Vespasian. While I didn't find the writing style or characters engrossing--they're pretty straightforward and sometimes the dialogue turns into historical exposition-- the characters are fun, the world feels realistic, and it is quite meticulously researched. Unlike the Medicus books, where the main character is quite low in society and comes nowhere near the big political movers and shakers, Falco lives in Rome and actually runs into Vespasian and company.
( )
1 vote page.fault | Sep 21, 2013 |
My first Falco Book, pretty true to my version of history. I like the device of the auctioneer father, it sets up chats about artefacts that are otherwise unlikely. So I read some more of them. ( )
  DinadansFriend | Sep 10, 2013 |
If I tell you that M Didius Falco is a Marlowe-esque detective in ancient Rome, there's a high risk that I'll put you off from the start, and that would be a shame.

Drawing strongly on, and gently, affectionately, sending up, the hard-boiled detective genre, The Silver Pigs is a standalone novel that draws you intimately and irresistibly into Falco's world. From the very first words it paints a vivid picture of Rome even to someone like me with little historical knowledge, yet does so without patronising a more informed reader.

This book is beautifully written, tender, amused and perfectly spellbinding.

It even has a sex scene that doesn't make me cringe. ( )
1 vote AlexBrightsmith | Jun 6, 2013 |
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» Add other authors (14 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Lindsey Davisprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Edwards, MarkCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rodska, ChristianNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For Richard
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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 Mon, 30 Sep 2013 14:06:40 -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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