One Virgin Too Many

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9780099799719: One Virgin Too Many

Marcus Didius Falco, the cynical, hard-boiled investigator from the rough end of Rome, is back from a difficult mission in North Africa. As a result of his hard work, Emperor Vespasian awards Falco with the title of Procurator of Poultry for the Senate & People of Rome, or keeper of the city's sacred geese. Not much of a salary, of course, but the title does give him a better standing with his in-laws. Now, all Falco wants is to spend time relaxing at home with his family. But there is no rest for Falco as he finds himself drawn into the world of the Roman religious cults...& the murder of a member of the Sacred Brotherhoods. And then there's the disappearance of the most likely new candidate for the Order of Vestal Virgins. Falco soon uncovers a sinister cover-up & is too deeply involved to back away from the truth.

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Review:

Marcus Didius Falco is back in another lively first-century historical mystery. The Roman investigator, informer, and imperial spy's snappy patter, romantic leanings, strong sense of irony, and penchant for getting into interesting situations have won Lindsey Davis a growing number of fans. Flush with his earnings from an African adventure (Two for the Lions), Falco's just been rewarded for his service to the empire with an unusual bit of political patronage: he's been appointed to the largely ceremonial position of Procurator of the Sacred Poultry, meaning he's in charge of the care and feeding of a gaggle of sacred geese. This un-Falco-like upward mobility is an opportunity for Marcus to move his patrician wife, Helena Justina, and their toddler out of a tenement and into a home of their own. As much as Marcus scoffs at middle-class pretensions, he's not above leaving his seedy surroundings and providing his family with some of the finer things, if only to show his in-laws that he can. But when Helena's brother falls over a corpse that disappears before it can be identified, Falco tosses the geese some food and gets busy finding the connection between the dead man and a 6-year-old girl who's in line to be chosen as the new vestal virgin. That leads him into intrigue, danger, and a confrontation with a former vestal virgin that almost costs him his life. Well paced, with good dialogue, excellent plotting, and a cast of terrific characters surrounding Falco and Helena, including some familiar from earlier stories, One Virgin Too Many shows Davis in top form. Falco the family man is better company than ever. --Jane Adams

About the Author:

Lindsey Davis is the author of the acclaimed historical novels The Course of Honor and Rebels and Traitors. Her internationally bestselling novels featuring Marcus Didius Falco have earned her the Crime Writers' Association Ellis Peters Historical Dagger Award. She lives in London.

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