Another Review at MyShelf.Com

See Delphi and Die

by Lindsey Davis

      Falco is back for the seventeenth time, and as in Scandal Takes a Holiday (also reviewed on this site) he is on vacation. With him is his long-suffering wife, two nephews, Albia, his trainer's son Glaucus, and of course Nux the scruffy dog. Ostensibly Falco is looking for his errant brother-in-law who is supposed to be training for law in Greece, but this is no pleasure trip. They are also looking for the murderer of two young women -one three years ago, and the other very recently on a tour that is still going on. As Falco closes in on Seven Sights Travel (who are not pleased to discover that the Olympics are not being held this year), it looks as though things are going to get a lot worse before the crime is solved.

In past books Lindsey Davis has satirized banking, antiques, the building industry and many other trades, drawing parallels between Ancient Rome and life today. Now she is turning her spotlight on the world of dodgy travel agents, and package tours in particular. I always enjoy her books more when they are set outside Rome, and I thought this was one of her best for some time. The pace was brisker than usual and, as well as all the wise-cracking and jokey references to those days being rather like today, there was a good strong plot and some genuine humor, tragedy and sharp character sketches. There are some convincing portrayals of various places, descriptions of the very real-seeming perils of travel in the ancient world and a fascinating look at what the Olympics used to be like. I certainly didn't guess whodunit, and the twists and turns had me turning those pages and enthralled. Lindsey Davis at her best, I think.

The Book

Century (Random House UK)
June 2005
Historical Crime [AD 76, Achaea (Modern Greece)]
More at US || UK

The Reviewer

Rachel A Hyde
Reviewed 2005
© 2005