In the high summer of 77 AD, Roman informer Marcus Didius Falco is beset by personal problems. Newly bereaved and facing unexpected upheavals in his life, it is a relief for him to consider someone else's misfortunes. A middle-aged couple who supplied statues to his father, Geminus, have disappeared in mysterious circumstances.
Lindsey Davis has written over twenty historical novels, beginning with The Course of Honour. 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. After an English degree at Oxford University Lindsey joined the Civil Service, but became a professional author in 1989. Her books are translated into many languages and have been dramatized on BBC Radio 4. Her many prizes include the Premio Colosseo, awarded by the Mayor of Rome 'for enhancing the image of Rome', the Sherlock award for Falco as Best Comic Detective and the Crimewriters' Association Cartier Diamond Dagger for lifetime achievement. She was born in Birmingham but now lives in Greenwich, London.
"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