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I was looking through my collection of books the other day looking for something to read and I saw the Falco series by Lindsey Davis that I have and thought to myself I have to finnish the series at some point and then I wondered if there were other books series like them out in the world. If there are I haven't seen them but then I haven't looked so this is try just a random thought lol :).

The books are set in ancient Rome where we follow Falco an ex legionnaire turned private investigator who reluctantly works for the Emperor and who lends the books a quirky humor and a the glass is always half full attitude. They are funny and well written and filled with glimpses into what life was like, the author truly did do a lot of research about that time in history and it shows. So yes it is a classic detective story set in Rome and filled with enough twists and turns and intrigue to keep anyone happy lol, so has anyone read these books or something like them and what did you think of them or the idea of outing something that is a modern idea into an ancient setting?

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I love this series,  Rincewind, and couldn't agree with you more, they are funny, clever, interesting and worthwhile if you like Roman history  and a cracking good detective yarn thrown in.   I have most of them on audible and go back from time to time, but unfortunately I don't think they are still available in this format. 


The way Marcus Didius Falco talks to the reader is so natural,  he  is like some cheeky cockney in many ways.  I also enjoy the contrast between the two families, his own and his wife Helena's, with the plebian chaos and  deserter father,  then the patrician family with the black sheep uncle ( discreetly removed!).  There are some other  well drawn and believable characters, like his Vigile friend, Petro and Helena's  brothers.


I also agree with you that the historical research is accurate, the descriptions gives a very clear picture of the whole social set up, and the feeling of how it would be to actually live in Rome at this time,  without in any way  being boring.    I felt as though I was there at  the festivals, the Circus, the Forum and mixing among tradesmen, solders, senators, and all the Romans of every level.


I enjoyed the early ones in and around  Britain and travelling back to Rome across Europe most of all. Some of the later ones were less good, like The Accusers and Scandal Takes a Holiday  which seemed a bit laboured,  but they did bring in the corruption and manipulation going on - crooked politicians and lobbyists for corporate greed  were there in Rome  alright, nothing new under the sun. :yup:


 I am glad Lindsey Davis has ended the series as it really was time Marcus Didius had a rest. I have The Ides of April,  first of a new series  called Falco: The New Generation, where Flavia  Albia, Marcus and Helena's adopted daughter, starts in the PI/enforcer  business  on her own.  It takes a little getting used to, am not sure how I feel about it yet..  Should be  interesting from a female PI point of view, but  I liked Falco so much it is hard to warm to a new person doing his work.

Glad to find another Falco fan on BGO. :)

Edited by grasshopper
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I didn't know that she had started a new series with his daughter, ha! you learn something new everyday :)! I agree with you it might be hard to put someone else in his place.


I think one of the most enjoyable part of the books is the look into all the intrigues and goings on of the time, and how real and involved the characters are. I think one of the I enjoyed the most was the one were Falco and his father find the statute of Poseidon or whoever lol I bad with remembering my Greek gods :) what is so nice about the books ate the little interesting fast that are hidden in them about Rome.

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I haven't read a Falco book for years, but enjoyed those I did. A Roman Philip Marlowe, although Davis doesn't have Chandler's turn of phrase. Then again, who does?


I know of two other authors, Steven Saylor and David Wishart, who have set detective novels in Roman times, but have never read either so can't comment on the quality of their books. 

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I found that I quite liked Davis writing style, it was relaxed and easy to read but detailed when in counted :) . I wonder how they sound as audio books because I think they would have to get the right kind of voice for Falco or it would just be odd listening to them.

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I found that I quite liked Davis writing style, it was relaxed and easy to read but detailed when in counted :) . I wonder how they sound as audio books because I think they would have to get the right kind of voice for Falco or it would just be odd listening to them.


It seems there are none of the old Falco audio books available anymore which is a great pity. They were read brilliantly by Christian Rodska  who gave Falco exactly the right slightly tough ironic voice you would expect of him, and was the perfect narrator for his character.  There are a couple of dramatisations around but they're dreadful IMO.


 When comparing Falco to a cheeky cockney above I think I may have done him an injustice, definitely not the cheery chappy Tommy Steele kind of cockney (hmm wondering if you have ever heard of TS ,Rincewind? :) )  If you can find any of the original audios through a library I don't think you would be disappointed, I hope they will be re-issued sometime.


Lindsey Davis writes a good webpage here and  you may enjoy some of her other stand alone books set in Rome.  I enjoyed The Course of Honour about the secret love affair of Domitian and his mistress Caenis, that was far more than romance, plenty of  political  intrigue.  Lindsey Davis seems to do quite a bit of touring, with talks and  book signing around UK so that may be of interest as well.




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LOL I have to admit that I have not heard of Christian Rodska or Tommy Steele (although having looked him up I have heard of one of his songs) :P ! I think Falco is Falco! I think I have the Curse of Honor but I don't know for sure and suspect that it is stuck in with the Falco books :). I have looked at her web page before when looking for a list of the Falco books it wasn't bad and I did see that she had written a few other book but didn't take the time to look at them.

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  • 2 weeks later...

This thread seems to be mostly about Falco, so I have edited the title and moved it to the "Crime, Thrillers & Mystery - Authors & Books" Forum.


Presuming that the "And Like Books" aspect of the opening post is inviting a general discussion of Mysteries set in the Ancient World I will start a thread for that in the "Crime Thrillers & Mystery -General Discussion" forum

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This thread seems to be mostly about Falco, so I have edited the title and moved it to the "Crime, Thrillers & Mystery - Authors & Books" Forum.


Presuming that the "And Like Books" aspect of the opening post is inviting a general discussion of Mysteries set in the Ancient World I will start a thread for that in the "Crime Thrillers & Mystery -General Discussion" forum




Thank you for sorting us out and getting us organised again properly, meg. It is good to have you back, but not just for that reason, you were missed. 

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