FOR THE LIONS
Marcus Didius Falco Mystery Novel
By Lindsey Davis
Mysterious Press – December 1999
ISBN: 0892966939 – Hardcover
Mystery / Historical
Reviewed by: Brenda Weeaks, MyShelf.Com
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Marcus Didius Falco's mystery series takes place in Ancient Rome. Lindsey Davis is a highly intelligent writer, so when you pick up TWO FOR THE LIONS expect to be entertained to the fullest. I found the mystery remarkable and matchless. The characters are distinctive, their personalities are well formed, and their appearances are successfully painted by the author's pen. I found the written atmosphere of Rome dramatic and complete. As usual, I found Falco's good nature and wit amusing, and Helena to be an impressive mate and saint.
Falco is assigned to investigate tax fraud (hmmm, the world's first IRS man?). This leads him to a man who provides lions for executions and entertainment. When an unusual death occurs, Falco becomes sidetracked and finds assistance in his dearest, Helena, who helps him resolve the mystery. Helena finds her brother in trouble and takes care of Falco when he comes down sick (Does he take it like a man?). As usual, people, situations, and the political subterfuge of Rome will be Falco's obstacles in solving this one.
I found it to be a substantial read that took a lot of concentration. Ms. Lindsey's knowledge of Rome and its citizens is so comprehensive that at points I felt overwhelmed and needed a break. To her fans, I'm sure, the greater size and more detailed the book, the better. They soak up the atmosphere and dialect with no complaints, and I have none either, but it may be a while before I'm ready to pick up another.