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The Silver Pigs (Marcus Didius Falco Mysteries) Mass Market Paperback – October 3, 2006

26 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


"Witty and always enjoyable mysteries."
--Washington Post Book World
"Davis makes Rome live."
--Washington Post Book World
"Davis is both a deft storyteller and a scholar…a top drawer series."
"The Rome of Davis' imagination is licentious and entertaining."
--San Jose Mercury News
 "An excellent series."-Library Journal
"Excellent… a cross between I, CLAUDIUS and MYSTERY!"
--Rocky Mountain News
"A pure delight… brilliantly [immerses] us in the marvels of ancient Roman life."
--Good Book Guide on The Accusers
 "An irresistible package of history, mystery, and fast-moving action, all punctuated by a sense of humor that few writers can match."--Cleveland Plain Dealer on Venus in Copper
"Roman history and culture are nice accessories for the more durable tool that Davis employs--hilariously good writing."--Washington Post Book World on Last Act in Palmyra
"Davis's vision of everyday life in the Roman Empire is superb. I haven't read historical fiction this good since I, Claudius by Robert Graves and The Persian Boy by Mary Renault."--Detroit Free Press on Shadows in Bronze
"Lindsey Davis doesn't just bring Rome to life--she brings life to Rome better than anyone else ever has."--Detroit Free Press on The Iron Hand of Mars

From the Back Cover

Readers and critics alike have fallen in love with Lindsey Davis's Marcus Didius Falco mysteries set in Ancient Rome. The Silver Pigs is the first book in this popular series…
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…. 
"Davis makes Rome live."
--Washington Post Book World
"Davis is both a deft storyteller and a scholar…a top drawer series."

Remembering Olympus
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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 329 pages
  • Publisher: Minotaur Books (October 3, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 031235777X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312357771
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1 x 6.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #226,134 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

48 of 49 people found the following review helpful By Marshall Lord TOP 1000 REVIEWER on July 22, 2007
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is the first of a series of detective stories set in Vespasian's Roman Empire and featuring the informer Marcus Didius Falco.

I tried this historical detective story because I had enjoyed Ellis Peter's "Brother Cadfael" detective stories. They were excellent but this is brilliant, as is the rest of the series.

Funny, exciting, and based on a painstaking effort to re-create the world of 70AD.

By chance, Falco rescues a 16-year old girl called Sosia Camillina from a gang of thugs. She turns out to be the illegitimate niece of a senator, who suspects that an illegal trade is going on in silver pigs (ingots) from a godforsaken remote corner of the empire - Britain. To Falco's disgust he has to return to this barbaric spot where he had once served with the legions ...

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 usually-self contained stories. Having said that there is some ongoing development of characters and relationships and I think reading them in chronologial order does marginally improve the experience.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Kelley Heckart on May 5, 2007
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Marcus Didius Falco is a former soldier and now a private informer in ancient Rome. After the brutal death of a young girl named Sosia, he is driven to find her killer even if it means putting his own life in danger.

Helena Justina is the daughter of a senator and Sosia's cousin. She is not afraid to prove her independence and joins up with Falco to try to find Sosia's killer.

In his search to find Sosia's killer, Marcus Didius Falco stumbles upon thievery from the silver mines in Britain. Among the suspects is the young son of Vespasian, the new Emperor of Rome. This puts Falco in more danger then he imagined. There are more suspects and one of them is not only a thief, but also a murderer. This is the one suspect that Falco will go to great lengths to find. From Rome to the dark hills of Britain, Falco and Helena hunt for a killer.

The chemistry between Marcus Didius Falco and Helena Justina was brought to life on these pages with witty dialog that I found refreshing. I had no trouble imagining these two butting heads while longing to kiss one another. The author did a wonderful job of bringing ancient Rome to life and showing the dark side of this ancient society. I would recommend this for readers who enjoy mysteries or historical novels.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Lucy on January 16, 2007
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I picked up this book at random in the bookstore because the title THE SILVER PIGS caught my eye -- I'm so glad it did! I have now read every book in the Falco series and am eagerly awaiting SATURNALIA. I am absolutely hooked -- this is the most enjoyable series I've read for sometime and the romance is as fresh and fun as the main character's struggles with family, friends and people out to get him!

If you like your heroes handsome, irreverent and loyal, this book is for you!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Mark VINE VOICE on November 18, 2007
Format: Mass Market Paperback
My wife talked me into reading Two for the Lions which was NOT a good place to start with this series but she'd already taken the earlier books to our used book exchange when she saw I wasn't interested. It took me a while to get the tempo of what was going on in Two for the Lions, but once I did, I was hooked. I made her go back to the used book exchange and find the earlier books. I tore through Silver Pigs and I'm now in the middle of Shadows in Bronze and I can't put it down.

So far I love this series. See, normally I prefer reading non-fiction books ranging in topic from cosmology to religion to jazz musicians like Miles Davis to weirdos like Frank Zappa and rockers like the Rolling Stones. I did enjoy Tony Hillerman's mysteries based on Southwest Indian reservations because the reader gets to learn something about American Indian culture. That's why my wife thought I'd enjoy the Falco chronicles.

Davis' writing is superb. I really didn't know much about ancient Rome other than the usual Hollywood stuff and Biblical writings. Each book seems to focus on a real life aspect (gladiators, ancient Britain and the silver mines, slavery and freemen) of ancient Rome. The stories are built around the historically true Flavian dynasty (I think that's the correct term, I'm only just learning about this stuff). I have to admit that the series has indeed ignited an interest in ancient Roman history. So much so that, because I work for an airline, I seriously want to take a trip to Rome and Italy to see some of the things Davis describes. When we lived in England we made it a point to explore a lot of ancient ruins and sites. I've actually seen some of the things described in Silver Pigs first-hand so that's pretty cool too.

In summation, I find the characters enjoyable, the writing is witty, very descriptive (the reader can actually visit the scene in the mind's eye) and very educational. If you like that sort of thing in a book, go for it.
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