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A fantasy P.I. in a fantasy Rome
on 19 June 2007
An amusing novel in a series of books about a private investigator in a fantasy version of ancient Rome called "Turai".
A little like Glen Cook's "Garrett P.I." series, but this reminded me even more strongly of Lindsey Davis's "Falco" novels about an informer in the real Rome.
This is the fourth and most recent to date in a series comprising
Death and Thraxas
Thraxas & the Sorceres
Thraxas & the Dance of Death.
Like Marcus Didius Falco, the hero of this book, Thraxas, is an investigator with a lot of enemies. Like Falco, he has a lovely associate, though instead of a razor-sharp senator's daughter, Makri is a part human, part Elf and part Orc, lethal with a sword, and sometimes wears a chainmail bikini described as "one of the smallest garments ever seen in the civilised world."
Like Garett but unlike Falco, Thraxas lives in a city where sorcery and magic add their dangers to the usual crop of merely human villains.
In this fourth book in the series, Thraxas is hired to recover an extremely important magical jewel which has gone missing. But every time he gets close to the missing item, he finds a collection of dying or recently killed victims instead. Soon everyone from senators to the press is blaming him for a mysterious wave of murders, and the public are making bets with bookmakers on how many people will get killed before Thraxas's latest case has been resolved.
Meanwhile Makri is falsely accused of theft and Thraxas is falsely accused of cowardice. With his licence to investigate suspended, Thraxas is in big trouble - but not nearly as much trouble as the city of Turai will be in if he doesn't find the stolen jewel before certain other people do ...
Entertaining if a little silly. If you have read and enjoyed either the Garett P.I. or Marcus Didius Falco series, and don't object to a little escapist fantasy, you will probably enjoy the Thraxas books.
If you enjoyed this or other books about Thraxas, have not previously heard of Falco, and would like to read an even better series about a similar character in the real world, then I recommend you take a look at the Falco novels, the first of which is, "The Silver Pigs" by Lindsey Davis.