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The Silver Pigs: (Falco 1) [Paperback]

Lindsey Davis
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (83 customer reviews)
RRP: 8.99
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Book Description

7 Feb 2008 Falco (Book 1)

Discover one of the world's favourite detectives, as his first case leads him into conspiracy, murder and adventure ...

In 1989 THE SILVER PIGS introduced the world to laid-back first-century detective Marcus Didius Falco, his partner Helena Justina, his law and order pal Petronius, and his indomitable Mother - who became some of the most celebrated characters in historical fiction.

Now reissued in a special new edition to celebrate publication of Falco's twentieth investigation, THE SILVER PIGS sees Falco cynically eyeing up the new Roman emperor, Vespasian. Our hero, a private informer, rescues a young girl in trouble and is catapulted into a dangerous game involving stolen imperial ingots, a dark political plot and, most hazardous of all, a senator's daughter connected to the traitors Falco has sworn to expose ...

Frequently Bought Together

The Silver Pigs: (Falco 1) + Shadows In Bronze: (Falco 2) + Venus In Copper: (Falco 3)
Price For All Three: 18.82

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Product details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Arrow (7 Feb 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099515059
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099515050
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 19.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (83 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 15,023 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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.

Product Description



Every book in this series is a delight . fans will snap it up, highly recommended

Library Journal

" (Library Journal)

"Davis is a prolific and popular writer . Her research has been assiduous and detailed, her commitment to the subject is impressive, and the background detail is often eye-opening" (Hilary Mantel Observer)

"One of the best of the current writers in this field" (Donna Leon The Times)

"Surely the best historical detective in the business" (Mike Ripley Daily Telegraph)

"The whole thing is splendid. It has everything: mystery, pace wit, fascinating scholarship . she brings imperial Rome to life" (Ellis Peters)

Book Description

One of the Roman novels from the bestselling historical fiction Falco series

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
61 of 62 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Introducing Falco 22 July 2007
By Marshall Lord TOP 500 REVIEWER
This is the first of a series of detective stories set in Vespasian's Roman Empire and featuring the informer Marcus Didius Falco.

I tried this historical detective story because I had enjoyed Ellis Peter's "Brother Cadfael" detective stories. They were excellent but this is brilliant, as is the rest of the series.

Funny, exciting, and based on a painstaking effort to re-create the world of 70 AD.

By chance, Falco rescues a 16-year old girl called Sosia Camillina from a gang of thugs. She turns out to be the illegitimate niece of a senator, who suspects that an illegal trade is going on in silver pigs (ingots) from a godforsaken remote corner of the empire - Britain. To Falco's disgust he has to return to this barbaric spot where he had once served with the legions ...

The events of this story vary from the tragic to the hilarious, and are often completely unexpected. It includes a mystery and the start of a charming ongoing love story.

If you have met and enjoyed the Cadfael series, this is even better.

It isn't absolutely essential to read these stories in sequence, as the mysteries Falco is trying to solve are all self-contained stories and each can stand on its own. Having said that, there is considerable ongoing development of characters and relationships and I think reading them in the right order does improve the experience.

The full Falco series, in chronological order, consists at the moment of:

This book, "The Silver Pigs"
Shadows In Bronze: (Falco 2)
... Read more ›
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36 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A darker novel, but with life and humour 12 Jun 2001
By A Customer
This first 'Falco' novel from Lindsey Davis has a more sombre quality than her subsequent novels but with no less humour and attention to characterisation. This remains my favourite of the series, partly because it defines the relationships between the principal characters. It also tells the events that form the haunting memories of some of Davies' later novels. Like any good read it expands beyond the confines of the pages and grabs the imagination. The smells of the ancient Roman empire, both fragrant and foul, infuse the pages.
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33 of 35 people found the following review helpful
Based in ancient Rome in the time of the emperor Vespasian, The Silver Pigs finds itself deep in the intrigue and deception of the roman administrators, right to the top. In his search for the truth it takes Falco, (the main character), to near death in the distant, and freezing, (the Romans didn't have underwear), province of Britannia. Of course, he saves the day but only by weaving his way through the rich and twisting tapestry of everyday life as a roman citizen.
The book is based on a strong plot and a very likable character, but is highly detailed about roman politics and everyday roman life. Anyone can read and enjoy this, you don't have to know anything about ancient Rome but it will appeal more to those who like the roman period. The best thing about the book is that it is the first in a string of Falco novels (thirteen so far, I have them all), so once you are hooked you can follow your hero all over the roman empire as he eaks out an existence doing his bit for Rome and tries to inch his way up the greasy pole to a better life.
I would give this book 10/10, one of the most enjoyable books I have ever read.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An excellent beginning 9 July 2010
This book felt like the best possible combination of an exciting mystery and a really interesting history lesson. Lindsey Davis has obviously spent a great deal of time and effort researching Rome, the empire and everyday life at the time and it shows. The setting of the book is rich, believable and exactly how I imagine ancient Rome would have been. She also has an useful device of making more knowledgeable characters explain things to less knowledgeable ones, so that details which the reader might not know or understand (such as the process of casting silver pigs) are fully explained without it seeming contrived or out of place. The book managed to walk the delicate line of being educational without being didactic.

I also enjoyed how the author turned all the detective stereotypes around and created a really original character in Falco. Detectives usually have no family: Falco is at the centre of a huge Italian family of chattering women, complete with overbearing mother. They usually have troubled pasts: Falco has a slightly embarrassing one that he'd rather no one mentioned. The list of his interesting characteristics goes on, and his wry observations made him a perfect first person narrator. The other characters in the book are equally well thought out: bold, brash and full of life. I look forward to meeting them again in subsequent books, as I'll definitely be reading more of this series.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Start of a Wonderful Series 7 Mar 2007
By J. Chippindale TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Audio Cassette
This is the first novel in the mystery series featuring Marcus Didius Falco, an informer and sleuth. A series of books that have become hugely popular, so much so that the author is now at the forefront of historical mystery writers. It was probably a stroke of genius on the part of the author to have novels that are extremely well researched and contain all the elements that would be and should be found in Rome in AD70, but to have a lead character who has the vocabulary of a present day New York cop.

Falco has done his time in the legions in that god forsaken place called Britain and it is the last place on earth that he would return to through choice but he has been told by the powers that be that he will go back to Britain and no, there is no choice.

When he arrives the weather is even worse than he remembered and the natives are still as unfriendly as ever. He just wants to complete his mission, find the missing silver and get the hell out of it, that is until he meets the lovely Helena Justina and if he thought he was having a hard time before he met her, he was in for an almighty shock.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Good read but could be better
Good light reading which seems to be fairly accurate in showing how the poor majority lived in Rome but a not very credible plot. Read more
Published 8 days ago by giromondo
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
excellent a great story and a really engaging reader , a voice that really suits the main character
Published 16 days ago by ROBERT EDEN
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
Excellent and absorbing.
Published 28 days ago by JohnH
4.0 out of 5 stars Roman detective
This is really part 1 and should be read in conjunction with book 2 "Shadows in Bronze". Well researched,light read.
Published 1 month ago by Chris D.
5.0 out of 5 stars My reading of "The Silver Pigs"
Heard of Lindsey Davis on Woman's Hour and decided to begin on the Falco series. Enjoyed the first book very much and look forward to working on the others.
Thank you.
Published 2 months ago by J.E.Allison
4.0 out of 5 stars A good read
A little slow at the start and I found it quite disjointed, but I will be getting more in the series.
Published 2 months ago by Big T
5.0 out of 5 stars First of a very entertaining series
Lindsey Davies never disappoints- she just gets better! Having read all the Falco novels I decided to retread them in order this time. Glad I did.
Published 2 months ago by barbara
5.0 out of 5 stars The first of the falco series.
A well thought out book that surprised me with its carefully worked plot. Set in Vespasian's Rome. A delightful book to read. I loved it.
Published 3 months ago by Mrs. Elizabeth M. Roberts
5.0 out of 5 stars Gone back to the beginning
Having read a number of random Falco books I had forgotten them till someone recommended them so decided to start at the beginning and just as good as I remembered
Published 3 months ago by Jo B
4.0 out of 5 stars Different
I.m new to Falco books, this is the second I've had. Intruiging.It is very different from the usual crime stories.
Published 3 months ago by H. M. Powell
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