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A Body In The Bath House: (Falco 13)
 
 

A Body In The Bath House: (Falco 13) [Kindle Edition]

Lindsey Davis
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Amazon.co.uk Review

It's a close-run thing. Two authors have made a speciality of brilliantly researched and highly atmospheric thrillers set in ancient Rome. Lindsey Davis is currently ahead on points, and the latest Falco thriller, A Body in the Bath House, is quite the most diverting entry in the series yet. Steven Saylor's Gordianus the Finder series will have to scrabble to maintain this level. The highly impressive sleight-of-hand that Davis is so adept at is just as much in evidence here as in such previous entries in the series as Ode to a Banker: while the sights, sound and smells of ancient Rome are conjured up with a truly pungent verisimilitude, Falco's modern sensibility never jars, and this Philip Marlowe of the ancient world remains a perfect conduit for the reader.

Cleverly extrapolating current fads, Davis demonstrates that even in AD 75 a passion for home improvement has gripped the Roman Empire. Falco is losing patience dealing with two cowboy builders who have been wreaking havoc on his bath house, but after the contract is finished, Falco and his father investigate hideous smells and find grisly human remains on the site. Simultaneously, in the primitive outpost of the Empire that is Britain, King Togidubnus is creating a spectacular new palace, but murderous accidents and corruption are bedevilling the project. Rome's Emperor Vespasian sends Falco to sort out the trouble, and this gives Falco a chance to escape from his dangerous feud with a Roman spy. Needless to say, as he penetrates to the heart of the mystery in Britain, his own life is (as usual) soon on the line with an implacable killer on his trail.

One would have thought that the law of diminishing returns would have kicked in by now, but this series goes from strength to strength. Taking up a Falco novel is an entrée into a world that is always colourful, always fascinating and always dangerous. --Barry Forshaw

Amazon Review

It's a close-run thing. Two authors have made a speciality of brilliantly researched and highly atmospheric thrillers set in ancient Rome. Lindsey Davis is currently ahead on points, and the latest Falco thriller, A Body in the Bath House, is quite the most diverting entry in the series yet. Steven Saylor's Gordianus the Finder series will have to scrabble to maintain this level. The highly impressive sleight-of-hand that Davis is so adept at is just as much in evidence here as in such previous entries in the series as Ode to a Banker: while the sights, sound and smells of ancient Rome are conjured up with a truly pungent verisimilitude, Falco's modern sensibility never jars, and this Philip Marlowe of the ancient world remains a perfect conduit for the reader.

Cleverly extrapolating current fads, Davis demonstrates that even in AD 75 a passion for home improvement has gripped the Roman Empire. Falco is losing patience dealing with two cowboy builders who have been wreaking havoc on his bath house, but after the contract is finished, Falco and his father investigate hideous smells and find grisly human remains on the site. Simultaneously, in the primitive outpost of the Empire that is Britain, King Togidubnus is creating a spectacular new palace, but murderous accidents and corruption are bedevilling the project. Rome's Emperor Vespasian sends Falco to sort out the trouble, and this gives Falco a chance to escape from his dangerous feud with a Roman spy. Needless to say, as he penetrates to the heart of the mystery in Britain, his own life is (as usual) soon on the line with an implacable killer on his trail.

One would have thought that the law of diminishing returns would have kicked in by now, but this series goes from strength to strength. Taking up a Falco novel is an entrée into a world that is always colourful, always fascinating and always dangerous. --Barry Forshaw


Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 574 KB
  • Print Length: 388 pages
  • Publisher: Cornerstone Digital (30 April 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004URRYEY
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #20,773 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Lindsey Davis has written nineteen novels, beginning 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. 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 has won the CWA Ellis Peters Historical Dagger, the Dagger in the Library, and a Sherlock award for Falco as Best Comic Detective. She was born in Birmingham but now lives in London.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
38 of 39 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
I have read all of Lindesy Davis' books, and while I thought the early ones were genuinely entertaining, well researched and engrossing (detailed plot-lines and characters that are really appealing), I did find the 3 prior to "Body in the Bathhouse" disappointing. The charm and energy of the earlier ones was not there, and instead there was a feeling that she was almost going through the motions. Over-complicated plot, Falco and Helena's affair verging on the staid and uninteresting... This book, however, gripped me from the start. The characters are as believable (and incredible!) as ever, and taking the story to Britain works. Helena's brothers are in the limelight (the reader is,as usual, ready to kill Aelianus) and corruption flourishes. I can thoroughly recommend this book to anyone who enjoyed "The Silver Pigs".
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
Perhaps not the best of the Falco stories, but one in which the characters come more and more alive. Petro, despite only appearing for a few pages, is more appealing than ever, and the will-he-won't-he story with Maia is just one of many captivating sidelines to the main story. What starts out as a simple body in the bath house becomes much more when Falco makes his way to Britain to investigate wrongdoings at Fishbourne Palace. As ever, meticulously researched with locations that really bring the period to life. At the centre of it all, Falco and Helena always trying to make sense of everything around them. OK, so maybe not the best, but I still had to read it all in one sitting. Highly recommended. I only hope that one day Anacrites really gets what's coming to him.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not as good as previous novels in the series 25 Mar 2002
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
I had been waiting for the next Falco book for what seemed ages, but although I enjoyed The Body in the Bath House, for me it didn't really come to up the author's previous high standards. In particular, I felt that the ending gave the impression that the requisite number of words had been written and a solution to the problem of the body in the title had better be found quickly! In spite of this it was good to meet Falco and his family again, and to see that he was aging along with the rest of us.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars All action Falco serves up blood and justice 18 Nov 2008
Format:Paperback
This was my initiation into the Roman world of informer Marcus Didius Falco, a first-century detective whose employer is the Emperor Vespasian. Falco narrates the tale, and what a fun-packed roller-coaster it is.

As his eclectic family in Rome goes about its necessarily complex life, Falco and his father Geminus investigate a rather unpleasant odour emanating from beneath the freshly laid mosaic floor of Pa's new bath house, by reluctantly digging it up, only to uncover the brutally murdered body of, well, who knows. But one thing is clear, this explains the sudden disappearance of the bath house builders.

Meanwhile, Vespasian is anxious about reports from his trusted friend Julius Frontinus of a "monumental cock-up on a rather public project" and he wants Falco to sort it out. The problem is it's in Britain, and Falco has been there once and is not keen to repeat the experience.

Falco's failing attempts to find the suspect builders take a turn when it transpires they might have transported themselves to work in Britain. Somewhat belatedly, therefore, Falco accedes to Vespasian's request and packs himself, his wife and children off to the empire's western reaches.

They all arrive on the south coast and Falco finds himself pitched into the fray at a royal building site, grossly behind schedule, rife with corruption, with not a working relationship to its name and a few too many fatal work accidents on the dodgy books, all being overseen by Pomponius, the world's most hated project manager.

Davis's novel brings us the earthy reality of life in the first century, the selfish and conspiring goings-on at home and work, and all with wry humour and non-stop action.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Another Ancient Detective? 26 Jun 2007
Format:Paperback
I picked this up in my local library and read it with little expectation. I've read several "ancient detective" books including "Pompeii" by Robert Harris and a few of the "Gordianus the Finder" books by Steven Saylor and found them mildly entertaining - though not worth the effort of writing a review.

Lindsey Davis, however, is a bit different. She has a quirky way of writing that takes a bit of getting used to - sentences that are somewhat uneven and disjointed. After a while, however, I began to enjoy the style and found myself warming to her main character, Marcus Didius Falco. She seems to have done her homework and describes building sites and the men that work on them rather well. I'm sure that if a modern labourer were to find himself on a Roman building site he'd recognise it immediately, despite the lack of modern machines, and feel at home there.

But, more importantly, I liked her characterisation of the people in it. They are quirky, cranky and thoroughly believable. Falco, bemoaming his relatives and cynical of those who employ him (in this case a well-drawn and convincing Vespasian), is also impatient with the "cowboy" builders he encounters. As one who has had the misfortune to have had building work done, I know exactly what he means!

The Roman background to the story works for me. It has the easy familiarity of something written by some one who's done their homework and researched the area in which they write.

Put quite simply - I liked it.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
another good Falco.
Published 8 days ago by pete1000
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant book
Lovers of Falco will really enjoy this book,set in Britain st the building of Fishbourne palace. A very good book.
Published 3 months ago by Mrs Patricia Twigg
5.0 out of 5 stars DIRTY WORK IN THE HOT ROOM
At first I thought this was going to be a rare four star because I am not much into building sites, but Falco's wisecracking charm and the familiar delights of home territory... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Kindle Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Another first class Falco mystery!
This book is part 13 of the excellent Marcus Didius Falco series and the series remains exciting as ever. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Anastatius
5.0 out of 5 stars I love it
Lindsey Davis brings the Roman world to life with her Falco series. This is a very well researched and well written book. Read more
Published 7 months ago by John P
5.0 out of 5 stars Best historical detective series of books
Great book along with all Lindsay Davis's other novels. Well written & thought out, it seems to have everything, intrigue, excitement & some humour along the way. Read more
Published 8 months ago by lee neale
5.0 out of 5 stars Rate this book
Not as good as some of the rest, a bit boring not enough of the falco humour and laughs to the book
Published 9 months ago by J Logan
5.0 out of 5 stars Super
Lindsay Davis has got the Falco books characters well formed and the whole book is just so easy to read and enjoy.
Published 10 months ago by S F Canfield
5.0 out of 5 stars A body in the bath house
I love the Falco stories and the blend of the macabre and the humerous is always a joy to read.
Published 11 months ago by A. Daly
4.0 out of 5 stars 3.5 stars really
This was OK, by now Falco is middleclass, married and beset by the problems of fatherhood, which is fine but it does feel like some of the fun has gone out of the series. Read more
Published 18 months ago by Jo Brookes
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