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Scandal Takes a Holiday by Lindsey Davis
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Scandal Takes a Holiday

by Lindsey Davis

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Marcus Didius Falco (16)

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Showing 1-5 of 9 (next | show all)
This is the first of these I have read for a while, but the quality hasn't deteriorated. They are action-packed and full of easy-going historicla detail, with pleasantly complex plots and, with a cocky first person narrative, lots of tongue-in-cheek humour. The over-arching plotline of the hero's dysfunctional family background is frequently hilarious and often endearing.
  lexieconyngham | Feb 21, 2013 |
The upper class in Rome get their news from the Daily Gazette. It's mostly boring - events of the Emperor, some lies, but with a load of gossip. Except that gossip has gotten thin lately as the Diocles, the gossip writer, has taken an extended vacation. So extended, in fact, that his fellow writers hire Marcus Didius Falco to find him. Diocles said he was going to visit an aunt in Ostia, but he never returned - and the only thing he leaves behind him are some personal effects and a trail of several odd clues.

Falco’s investigation takes him to the coastal town of Ostia, some twenty miles from Rome. He moves his whole family into a small apartment - partner and colleague, Helena, their two young daughters, and a foster child Albia who takes care of the babies. While trying to solve the case, Falco has to deal with his often fractious young children, his wife, Albia (an orphan who is settling into their family after being brought back from Briton after their last adventures), his wife's family, and his own eccentric relatives. As usual, his family proves more troublesome - and maybe more dangerous - than the criminals he encounters.

Of course, with Falco, nothing is ever as simple as it initially appears, and quite soon he finds himself up to his neck in various nefarious doings. While pursuing leads on the scribe's whereabouts, Falco discovers that one of the last people to see Diocles is a reclusive old sea merchant. Despite rumours to the contrary, he claims to have never been a pirate ... piracy being one of the things that, officially, no longer exists. The pirates seem to have some sort of kidnapping scam going in the region, so Falco assists the vigiles (and his old friend Petronius) to round up those gangs. Along the way, he meets an uncle who is never spoken about by the rest of the family, and also learns some very interesting things about his dodgy father.

This is I think the sixteenth book in the series – and they never pall. Lindsey Davis makes the reader feel as if they have landed back to Ancient Rome because her descriptions of day to day living are so vivid and visual. The ancient port city is so vividly described that you can smell the salt air and hear the gulls cry. Falco is one of my all-time favourite detectives – and this adventure reveals a lot more about all the old crew. ( )
  Jawin | Oct 6, 2011 |
Falco is hired to investigate the disappearance of the gossip columnist for the Acta Diurna in Ostia. Two sometimes rival, sometimes allied gangs of pirates and Falco's Uncle Fulvius (the one nobody ever talks about) get involved.

More information about Falco's peculiar extended family is always good for a laugh, and the pirate's funeral was hilarious. I did feel though that Falco's rescue from certain death out at sea strained credulity. ( )
  Robertgreaves | Sep 20, 2010 |
I adore Falco, but this one is not my favorite. As ever, it is amusing, and the reader learns things that he or she (probably) didn't know. In this novel, however, the plot kept slipping away from me, as characters appeared and disappeared at the speed of -- boiling asparagus. ( )
  annbury | Sep 9, 2010 |
A very enjoyable romp through Ostia, the port of Rome, as Falco searches for the missing gossip columnist for the Roman daily newspaper. Throw in a few dodgy pirates, and anything might happen! ( )
  notmyrealname | Jul 9, 2010 |
Showing 1-5 of 9 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (1 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Lindsey Davisprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Glover, JamieNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Who are you, sirs? From what port have you sailed over the highways of the sea? Is yours a trading venture, or are you cruising the main on chance, like roving pirates, who risk their lives to ruin other people?—Homer, The Odyssey, tenth century B.C.
Piracy, like crime on terra firma, has its great syndicates and its petty criminals. On the high seas, neither is an easy catch ... No one, apart from ship owners, their crews and insurers, appears to notice that pirates are assaulting ships at a rate unprecedented since the glorious days when pirates were "privateers" protected by their national governments ... Piracy is a historical problem ... It is rooted in these societies ... Despite all the information now available on piratical attacks, there are hardly any cases where these attackers are arrested and brought to trial. Piracy is a high-profit, low-risk activity.—Charles Glass, The New Piracy, A.D. 2003
Dedication
In Memory of Sara Ann Freed
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"If he chucks a stone, he's done for," muttered Petronius.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0312940408, Mass Market Paperback)

As an "informer"--a private detective--Marcus Didius Falco has an insider's knowledge of the Empire's less than glorious side. He's also been in the middle of its most dangerous secrets more than once. So when he's hired to find notorious gossip "scribe" Infamia, Marcus figures the missing muckraker is either taking advantage of a vacation bribe from some wealthy wife--or resting up from injuries inflicted by some senator's henchmen. But instead of earning an easy fee, Marcus soon finds himself at odds against a sinister ring of pirates preying on the wealthy; a ruthlessly-vulgar construction magnate...and several of his own less-than-reputable family members. And what he uncovers will lead him through the dark byways and underground of the Empire's busiest seaport…where a cold-blooded killer with nothing to lose waits to bury one cynical informer for good...

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:29:10 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

When the scribe of ancient Rome's daily scandal column goes missing in seaside Ostia, investigator Marcus Didius Falco learns that the scribe was working on a story about an underworld kidnapping racket involving pirates.

» see all 5 descriptions

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