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Shadows in Bronze: A Marcus Didius Falco Mystery (Marcus Didius Falco Mysteries) Mass Market Paperback – October 2, 2007


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Product Details

  • Series: Marcus Didius Falco Mysteries (Book 3)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Minotaur Books (October 2, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312357761
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312357764
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1.3 x 6.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,364,805 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

No caveats for readers of Davis's second playful, well-plotted mystery featuring imperial agent Marcus Didius Falco and based in first century, C.E., Rome. Nero's successor Vespasian has squelched an early treasonous plot and assigned Falco to take care of loose ends, which include the body of the uncle of the high-born young widow Helena Justina, whom Falco met and courted stormily in Silver Pigs. Disguised as an idle vacationer in the company of his comrade and captain of the Aventine Watch, Petronius Longus and family, Falco travels south to Neapolis, Capreae and Pompeii (eight years before its destruction) where he uncovers and must thwart a new conspiracy involving the shipment of Egyptian grain to Rome and an unwitting Helena. Like a toga-clad McGee or Spenser, Falco has a modern sensibility that wears its ancient trappings comfortably, whether he's sneaking down a narrow Roman street or feasting sumptuously at a sunlit coastal villa. A rousing horserace in the Circus Maximus, balanced with a touching romantic resolution, rounds out this action-packed entertainment, enlivened by Davis's vivid characterization of both major and minor players, and his clear delight in--and easy authority with--the story's time and place.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From School Library Journal

YA-- That rascally Roman detective, Marcus Didius Falco, is back, still pining for the unavailable, upper-class Helen; bumbling through investigations; and dodging his nagging mother. Set in Italy in a.d. 70, the mystery of Helen's "returned-to-life" husband flows smoothly, accompanied by such historical details as descriptions of prostitutes flourishing in Pompeii, salesmen hawking used chariots, and women dying their hair with the newest shade--Egyptian Russet. It's great fun to read of Falco's dubious detecting skills, aided by his sharp eye for noticing and reporting on the world around him. A book that should be required reading for those students who foolishly believe the adage "Latin is a dead language."-- Pam Spencer, Jefferson Sci-Tech, Alexandria,
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

More About the Author

Lindsey Davis' Roman novels begin chronologically with The Course of Honour, the love story of the Emperor Vespasian and Antonia Caenis. Her bestselling mystery series features laid-back First Century detective Marcus Didius Falco and his partner Helena Justina, plus friends, relations, pets and bitter enemy the Chief Spy; there is a reader handboook, 'Falco: the Official Companion'. A new series, featuring Flavia Albia, will begin in 2013. 'Master and God' set in the time of the Emperor Domitian, was published in 2012. She has also written an epic novel of the English Civil War and Commonwelath, 'Rebels and Traitors'. Her books are translated into many languages and serialised on BBC Radio 4. Past Chair of the Crimewriters' Association and a Vice President of the Classical Association, she was Chair of the UK SOciety of Authors (2012) She has won the CWA Ellis Peters Historical Dagger, the Dagger in the Library, and a Sherlock award for Falco as Best Comic Detective. She has also been awarded the Premio Colosseo for enhancing the image of Rome, and the CWA Cartier Diamond Dagger for lifetime achievement as a mystery writer.
She was born in Birmingham but now lives in London.

Customer Reviews

The characters were believable and very entertaining.
bootfloozie
Lindsey Davis has captured the feel of ancient Rome and surrounding countries/seas.
J. Wells
It is the second book in the "Falco" series of books and it is a great sequel.
I am Blind Man

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 30, 1997
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This book is an absolute classic. You can't help but fall in love with Falco, who is an Imperial Informer. There is plot and intrigue aplenty, and of course that amazing humor which pervads all of the Falco series. This book is sent in Roman times when Vespasian secrued the throne, and as such ther are some jokes and digs on the side which would be difficult to get if you didn't know or understand a little about the time period. But even if you know nothing about Ancient Rome, this is a fantastic novel, the humor is quite easy to get and the irreverent nature of the protagonist, Falco, will have you in absolute stiches all the way through. However the book is not all about comedy, Falco must try and secure the affectons of Helena, who seems not at all impressed with him at the current time, while he must also try and save his own life (which is in constant peril) while uncovering a plot against the emperor. What makes the character of Falco so loveable is that he is a Rebublican, the mortal enemies of the Imperial house, and even so he is willing to risk all for the paycheck at the end and because "The old guy isn't so bad", (reffering to Vespasian). My reveiw is not the best, and don;t let it put you off. This is one of the best novels you will read, it has humour, plot, intrigue, suspense and of course a little on the side for Falco, as he said "Another case, another woman".
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By nsn-too on November 25, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I know, I know, the story is much more than Falco and Helena. This is the second book in the Falco series (see Silver Pigs for the beginning) and as usual, there is mystery, wit, humor and irony. The characters are very real and you are drawn into Italy (circa AD 70). The style of writing is so vivid that you can actually picture the streets of Rome, with men in togas, street vendors selling their wares, ex-gladiators hulking in the doorways and of course, Falco, going from one end of the city to the other. Falco takes care of another mission for the emperor and in so doing, Helena and he realize their mutual affinity for each other. Finally. After all those misunderstandings. And therefore, since I am a romantic at heart ... this book is about Falco "getting his girl".
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Jim Allen on November 9, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Lindsey Davis does it again... and better! Didius Falco returns in this second book of the Falco series. Having helped the Emperor solve the plot from SILVER PIGS, Falco is now engaged to do some follow-up work -- disposing of a body or two -- but discovers that things are far from over.
Before he knows it, Falco is off, once again, pulling at the threads of rebellion that threaten to unravel the just-settled state of Roman affairs. --And it not just affairs of state that threaten to unravel.... Didius must carefully negotiate his developing relationship with socialite Helena Justina while at the same time assisting his teen-aged nephew (send along to look after Falco) negotiate love and life.
Davis proved that her first book was no fluke by crafting another intricate, enticing plot filled with characters that come to life with every word. Her dialog is sharp. Her narration (for the most part) witty and well-paced. Top it off with a lot of attention to historical detail mixed with a dash of anachronistic gumshoe-detecting and what you get is this page-turning delight.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Marshall Lord TOP 1000 REVIEWER on May 16, 2008
Format: Paperback
This is the second of a series of detective stories set in Vespasian's Roman Empire and featuring the informer Marcus Didius Falco. Informers in ancient Rome were something between a private detective and a government spy.

I tried this historical detective series because I had enjoyed Ellis Peter's "Brother Cadfael" detective stories. Where Cadfael is excellent, Falco is brilliant. Ellis Peters herself (or to use her real name, Edith Pargeter) said of the early books of the series 'Lindsey Davis continues her exploration of Vespasian's Rome and Marcus Didius Falco's Italy with the same wit and gusto that made "The Silver Pigs" such a dazzling debut and her rueful, self-deprecating hero so irresistibly likeable.'

Funny, exciting, and based on a painstaking effort to re-create the world of 71 AD.

Having foiled an attempted coup with the help of senator's daughter Helena Justina in the first book, Falco is clearing up some of the mess, when it becomes clear that another plot may be afoot. Emperor Vaspasian sends Falco to find out what's going on ...

If you have met and enjoyed either the Cadfael or Thraxas series, this is even better.

It isn't absolutely essential to read these stories in sequence, as the mysteries Falco is trying to solve are all self-contained stories and each can stand on its own. Having said that, there is some ongoing development of characters and relationships and I think reading them in the right order does improve the experience.
Read more ›
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jim Allen on November 14, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Lyndsey Davis does it again -- and better -- by bringing back her gumshoe (sandal!?) hero, Didius Falco.
Having forestalled an attempt to overthrow the empire, Falco continues working for the emperor on projects here and there... This book picks up as Falco is in the process of some (cough, cough) "cleaning up" for the emperor. As he does so, he uncovers some shady goings-on that once again threaten the throne.
Sent to discover what's going on, Falco and friends travel across the Italian countryside to the oceanside resorts in the south. There he searches for a mysterious ex-slave who holds the key to the mystery of murder and mayhem that sent him on his way.
Falco fans will love this one -- and first time readers will marvel at the intricate story, the historical detail, and the likable (or in some cases, not-so-likable) characters who seem to leap of the page. Davis is a master of character and dialog who easily propels her cast (and her readers) through an exciting story of murder, intrique, betrayal, and love...
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