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A Body in the Bathhouse by Lindsey Davis

A Body in the Bathhouse (original 2001; edition 2003)

by Lindsey Davis (Author)

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7361812,684 (3.79)19
Title:A Body in the Bathhouse
Authors:Lindsey Davis (Author)
Info:Mysterious Press (2003), 368 pages
Collections:Read but unowned

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A Body in the Bath House by Lindsey Davis (2001)



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Marcus Didius Falco is an "informer" in Ancient Rome. His Caesar has asked him to go to the wilds of Britain to investigate the building of the native king's palace which is taking longer and costing more than it should. Falco takes most of his family with him.

I had high expectations of this. I mean, it had high praise from Ellis Peters for crying out loud! The back cover says it won a "Best Comic Detective" award. I should love it. But I don't. I couldn't finish it.

I found the narrative to be stilted, unnatural and Falco is spiteful, not funny. It is difficult to follow the timing of events, but that settles down once they get to Britain. However, all the modern slang grates on my ears and throws me right out of the story. "A man croaked," and so forth. I'm sure the Roman's had slang, I'm equally sure that I could not read this in Latin, however, there has to be somewhere in between. If you take away a few of the notable props like togas and other vocabulary words, this might well be set in modern times. It didn't work for me, but I am obviously in the minority here, so don't let me stop you from trying it! ( )
  MrsLee | Apr 2, 2017 |
Marcus and his father break through the cheap mosaic flooring of the bathhouse to discover the source of a nasty smell. The body they discover leads Marcus back to Britain where a palace is being built in Noviomagus Reginorum (present day Chichester.) The Falco series is set during the times of Vespasian's reign (70s AD), and Lindsey Davies researched quit a bit in developing the stories. This time she looks at the architecture and building practices of Ancient Rome. This is not my favorite in the series, so far: There'a a gap of time glossed over between books #12 and #13 (a full year in which the social and family structure of Falco has changed dramatically!); the resolution felt a bit too conveniently; and while not exactly ending on a cliff-hanger, the ending is somewhat unsatisfactory. This book is "paired" with the next book in the series, 'The Jupiter Myth' - so maybe my perspective will change once I've read that one as well. ( )
  Tanya-dogearedcopy | Aug 21, 2016 |
Falco gets sent to Britannia to investigate the holdup on a major construction site.
Davis gets to comment on labour relations and ethnic tensions, as well as introducing the usual murder and family problems into the blend . ( )
  quiBee | Jan 21, 2016 |
Marcus Didius Falco, now middle class with a small country house, finds a body buried on his property, apparently left behind by the two contractors. This leads him to accept a task in Britain for Emperor Vespasian. As always, I am awed by Lindsey Davis' incredible research skills and her way of imparting information about street life in first century Rome. Falco's wisecracking humor is a big plus and solving the mystery, as always, is full of twists and turns. But at least he has his wife and now two children beside him as well as his sister, the target...and that's the word to use...of the ire of Vespasian's treacherous chief spy and her ex-boyfriend, Anacrites. Good reading. ( )
  NickHowes | Sep 20, 2015 |
Both the story and the narration were OK. Nothing special, but not too bad, either. The narrator was quite stiff and my mom commented that he sounded as though he was reading the news, with which she is probably right. ( )
  Zurpel | Sep 22, 2013 |
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But for Rhea Favonia, we might have lived with it.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0099298309, Paperback)

paperback, fine (as new)

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:17:34 -0400)

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Ancient Roman investigator Marcus Didius Falco finds trouble on the site of a new palace being built by the king of the Atrebates tribe in distant Britain.

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