Not the best written mystery in this wonderful series, this book is nevertheless a very pleasant read. The characterizations of Falco and his friends and family remain sharp, the settings and historical detail are, as always, impressive, and there are enough unanswered questions about the lead character's personal life to ensure the reader there is more to come. The author continues to provide her readers with the delightful personal history of Marcus Didius Falco (good-hearted family man, hopeless romantic, cynical republican and occasional scoundrel) against the backdrop of ancient Rome. That said, the plot itself is not as satisfying as prior novels in the series as Falco sorts out the too predictable secrets of one of Rome's most powerful religious families. With characters and dialog this wonderful though, questions about the mystery plot seem of minor importance.