A BODY IN THE BATH HOUSE
by Lindsey Davis
Century (Random House UK Ltd) - June 2001
ISBN 071268039X - Hardback / Paperback (Nov. 2001)
Historical Whodunit - Rome / Britain 1st Century
Reviewed by Rachel A
Buy a UK Copy
Falco is back for his thirteenth outing and this time he is revisiting the scene of the first - Britain. Accompanied by his wife, two daughters and two brothers-in-law (to name a few) he is investigating mysterious deaths that began at his own bath house and seem also to be occurring on the building site of King Togidubnus' new palace at what is now Fishbourse, Chichester. Accidents are happening, money and materials disappearing.and the emperor wants to know why and whodunit.
This is basically the plot and this book does for building sites and their associated trades what Ode to a Banker (the previous book) did for bankers and publishers. It satirises them and shows the reader that there is nothing new under the sun. Diehard fans will find much to amuse them I am sure but personally I would have preferred a more exciting story for this book is like a stick of holiday rock in that it is the same all the way through. The research is sound enough although Davis continues to prefer to point out the ways in which the Romans were similar to us and ignores the ways in that they were two thousand years behind us. The reader is there on that damp building site amongst the machinations and petty fiddles of the surly craftsmen and the (to the Romans) comical antics of the Ancient Britons. So the place comes to life but as for the actual life.could be livelier. In the earlier books they actually used to have adventures but these are books with a vast following so if you like them you are sure to love this one.
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