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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars He ain't Heavy, He's my Brother
This is the fifth novel in the mystery series featuring Marcus Didius Falco, an informer and sleuth in Rome at the time of Vespasian. 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 her part to have novels that are extremely well researched and...
Published on 26 Sep 2006 by J. Chippindale

versus
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Convincing physicality enhances character-driven yarn
Thoroughly enjoyable for its affable "smartass" hero/anti-hero and his tangled sleuthing, met for the first time by this reader in mid-series. Am longing for on-line hotlinks to maps of Falco's Rome and other places, as well as some links to reader-friendly historical info--any chance of Amazon providing further connections to L. Davis-related sites? Over...
Published on 21 Dec 1998


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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars He ain't Heavy, He's my Brother, 26 Sep 2006
By 
J. Chippindale (England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Poseidon's Gold (Paperback)
This is the fifth novel in the mystery series featuring Marcus Didius Falco, an informer and sleuth in Rome at the time of Vespasian. 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 her part to have novels that are extremely well researched and contain all the elements that would be and should be found in the Roman world of circa AD70, but to have a lead character who has the vocabulary of a present day New York cop. In this the fifth novel Falco and Helena Justina seem like old friends.

Falco is eager to get back to the hustle and bustle of Rome after what has seemed like an endless journey from Germania where his last adventure took him. Falco and Helena are shocked to find the apartment in Rome has been ransacked and used by squatters. Falco has been talked into staying with his mother until he finds out that she already has a lodger, an ex-legionary friend of Festus, Falco's brother and this so called "friend" is demanding money he says he is owed to him by Festus from a business venture.

The next day the ex-legionary is found stabbed to death and the chief suspect is guess who? Falco has his work cut out to prove that he is innocent, find the real killer and also prove that his brother is innocent of the crime too. The last part won't be easy because it is just the sort of crude justice that Festus would employ. As if that wasn't bad enough Falco may have to call on someone else for help. The last person he wants to be indebted to . . . Geminus, formerly Marcus Didius Favonius, Falco's father. If his mother finds out his life won't be worth living.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hugely enjoyable !, 23 July 2009
By 
Champollion (Shropshire) - See all my reviews
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This Audio CD is a hugely enjoyable experience. It is a BBC full cast dramatisation of the fifth novel by Lindsey Davis in the popular Falco series. Anton Lesser is superb in the title role. Falco, upon his return to Rome, after his adventure in Germania, is greeted by a number of problems which he deals with in his own inimitable way. His one-liners are incredibly wry and very funny as he works his way along to solving the mystery. Recommended.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent addition to the series., 22 July 2009
By 
G. H. Felton (London, England) - See all my reviews
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Poseidon's Gold is an excellent addition to the series. Dry humour assisted by Falco's father and a pervading cynical belief of the locals who cannot believe that Falco is only on holiday visiting family! Of course it doesn't turn out to be ONLY "on holiday".

It's a pity the BBC don't advertise this series more and keep putting it in the ghetto of Women's Hour (which I never listen to) when it's a good historical/comic series as well and would appeal to a wider audience as well. My father and brother both read the books too.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Deceit is an Art, 15 Aug 2011
By 
Damaskcat (UK) - See all my reviews
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Marcus Didius Falco comes face to face with a piece of his late brother's past. Festus was a wheeler dealer as well as being a soldier and some of his deals have gone bad in a big way. As Falco knows all too well his brother left no assets. When the centurion who comes demanding his money back is found dead Falco is an obvious suspect because they had been engaged in a very public argument just before the soldier's death. Falco's friend Petronius is tasked with arresting him.

But Petronius doesn't believe his old friend is guilty so he allows him some time to try and find the real killer. In order to unravel the mystery Falco must work with his estranged father, Geminus and try and clear his brother's name at his mother's request. A complex web of shady business dealings is soon uncovered and Falco and Geminus frequently wonder whether they will escape with their lives and their money intact.

I really enjoyed this book especially the characters of Falco and his high born girlfriend Helena Justina. I thought the way Falco is forced to accept his father as an ally was well done. They do not fall into each other's arms crying `Let bygones be bygones' which would be too trite but they do manage to cobble together some sort of working relationship which may or may not lead to better things.

Some of the scenes are really funny - especially the ones involving sculptures in the second half of the book. I like the way the relationship between Helena and Falco is developing as well. Even the minor characters are well drawn and believable.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cracking story, crackingly written, 9 Sep 2010
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This review is from: Poseidon's Gold: (Falco 5) (Paperback)
If you like the others in the series then you will love this. I came to the Falco series late, and what a joy it has been to find someone who writes with such skill, and is so very funny, too. Yes, these books are set in ancient Rome, and maybe you don't think you're a fan of 'crime fiction' - I'm not - but I defy you not to be charmed by these books and want to read more.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Falco series, 5 Aug 2009
By 
peter colloby - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Poseidon's Gold: (Falco 5) (Paperback)
Having listened to a serialisation of this book on Radio 4 I have now read 5 books in this series including Poseidon's Gold. For anyone who likes mystery books and especially ones set in this period these make an excellent read and although slightly more light hearted bear comparison with the Gordianus series.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Another Case for Falco, 16 Feb 2008
By 
J. Chippindale (England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Poseidon's Gold (Hardcover)
This is the fifth novel in the mystery series featuring Marcus Didius Falco, an informer and sleuth in Rome at the time of Vespasian. 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 her part to have novels that are extremely well researched and contain all the elements that would be and should be found in the Roman world of circa AD70, but to have a lead character who has the vocabulary of a present day New York cop. In this the fifth novel Falco and Helena Justina seem like old friends.

Falco is eager to get back to the hustle and bustle of Rome after what has seemed like an endless journey from Germania where his last adventure took him. Falco and Helena are shocked to find the apartment in Rome has been ransacked and used by squatters. Falco has been talked into staying with his mother until he finds out that she already has a lodger, an ex-legionary friend of Festus, Falco's brother and this so called "friend" is demanding money he says he is owed to him by Festus from a business venture.

The next day the ex-legionary is found stabbed to death and the chief suspect is guess who? Falco has his work cut out to prove that he is innocent, find the real killer and also prove that his brother is innocent of the crime too. The last part won't be easy because it is just the sort of crude justice that Festus would employ. As if that wasn't bad enough Falco may have to call on someone else for help. The last person he wants to be indebted to . . . Geminus, formerly Marcus Didius Favonius, Falco's father. If his mother finds out his life won't be worth living.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Convincing physicality enhances character-driven yarn, 21 Dec 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: Poseidon's Gold (Hardcover)
Thoroughly enjoyable for its affable "smartass" hero/anti-hero and his tangled sleuthing, met for the first time by this reader in mid-series. Am longing for on-line hotlinks to maps of Falco's Rome and other places, as well as some links to reader-friendly historical info--any chance of Amazon providing further connections to L. Davis-related sites? Over the hols, this teacher will devour more Davis works . (Davis fans would surely enjoy Jack Whyte's novels of Roman Britain, another recent happy discovery hereabouts.) How great to have to catch up with past volumes!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Falco Roman detective story number 5: a family affair, 30 May 2008
By 
Marshall Lord (Whitehaven, UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Poseidon's Gold (Hardcover)
This is the fifth in a series of excellent detective stories set in Vespasian's Roman Empire and featuring the informer Marcus Didius Falco. Informers in ancient Rome were something between a private detective and a government spy.

The story begins in March AD 72 when Falco and Helena Justina return to Rome after a six month absence on a mission to barbarian tribes in Germany (a story told in "The Iron Hand Of Mars: (Falco 4)").

Falco finds that squatters have wrecked his flat, and creditors are trying to dun him for money because of a mad scheme cooked up by his late brother Festus, "the national hero". As if that's not bad enough, one of the creditors is murdered with Falco as the prime suspect, and Helena gets arrested as an accomplice, which makes her father the senator and her mother even more doubtful of Falco's merits as a potential husband for her. To clear his name he has to solve the murder and track down his disreputable father - and meanwhile he has to somehow earn 400,000 sesterces to qualify as a member of the Equestrian Order so he can marry Helena. All in a day's work for our resourceful informer ...

I tried this series because I had enjoyed Ellis Peter's "Brother Cadfael" detective stories. Where Cadfael is excellent, Falco is brilliant. Ellis Peters herself (or to use her real name, Edith Pargeter) said of the early books of the series, 'Lindsey Davis continues her exploration of Vespasian's Rome and Marcus Didius Falco's Italy with the same wit and gusto that made "The Silver Pigs" such a dazzling debut and her rueful, self-deprecating hero so irresistibly likeable.'

Funny, exciting, and based on a painstaking effort to re-create the world of the early Roman empire between 70 and 76 AD.

If you have met and enjoyed the Cadfael series, this does for ancient Rome what Ellis Peters did for 12th century monks.

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 some 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 of:

The Silver Pigs: (Falco 1)
Shadows in Bronze
Venus in Copper
The Iron Hand of Mars
Poseidon's Gold
Last Act in Palmyra
Time to Depart
A Dying Light in Corduba
Three Hands in the Fountain
Two for the Lions
One Virgin Too Many
Ode to a Banker
A Body in the Bath house
The Jupiter Myth
The Accusers
Scandal taks a Holiday
See Delphi and Die
Saturnalia
Alexandria
Nemesis

After "Nemesis" Lyndsey Davis appears to have decided she had done enough with the main characters of the original series, so she started a "Next Generation" follow-on for Falco's family in which his adopted daughter, Flavia Albia, picks up the torch. The first story in the successor series is

The Ides of April (Falco: The New Generation).

I have read and can warmly recommend all of these.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 14 July 2014
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excellent a great story and a really engaging reader , a voice that really suits the main character
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Poseidon's Gold: (Falco 5)
Poseidon's Gold: (Falco 5) by Lindsey Davis (Paperback - 7 Aug 2008)
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