Scandal Takes A Holiday: (Falco 16)

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9780417015309: Scandal Takes A Holiday: (Falco 16)

In the wealthy town of Ostia, our hero Falco appears to be enjoying a relaxing holiday. But when his girlfriend, Helena, arrives carrying a batch of old copies of theDaily Gazette- with the intention of catching up on the latest scandal - Falco is forced to admit to Petronius his real reasons for being there...

'Infamia', the pen name of the scribe who writes the gossip column for theDaily Gazette,has gone missing. His fellow scribes have employed Falco to find him and bring him back from his lazy, drunken truancy. However, Falco suspects that there is more to his absence than might first appear.

Before long, Falco's enquiries lead him into the world of piracy and the discovery of criminal traditions long believed dead. Is this the right path towards finding 'Infamia'? Why would pirates have taken him? And if they have, will he be found alive?

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Review:

The 16th of Lindsey Davis's fluent, funny Roman thrillers, Scandal Takes a Holiday puts official informer Falco to work searching for a missing journalist in the bustle of Rome's port, Ostia. As everyone keeps telling Falco, there are no pirates any more--the emperors put a stop to them for good--and yet somehow the old pirate havens of Illyria and Cilicia are just as prosperous as ever and rich, retired old men from both regions seem to fetch up in Ostia, along with gangsters, kidnappers and assassins.

The usual members of Falco's extended family are along for the investigation--the fact he has had to hire a seaside apartment does not escape those anxious to escape a Roman summer--and as always much of the book's charm comes from Falco's endless romance with his clever, posh wife Helena. This is also the book in which Falco finally meets the one uncle that no-one ever talks about; this is not one of the most profound of the Falco books (which can sometimes add seriousness and poignancy to their other virtues) but it is an entertaining and intelligent puzzle that, as always, tells us things we didn't know about Roman life. --Roz Kaveney

Review:

"Modern, exciting and plausible" ( Sunday Times)

"As always, Davis weaves a plot full of humour, surprises and domestic irony" ( Times Literary Supplement)

"This is the sixteenth Falco novel, and they have built up a large following. It is not hard to see why. They are amiable and unpretentious ... The research that has gone into them allows the externals of Roman life to be presented in an evocative way. Yet the interior life of the characters remains reassuringly modern ... Philip Marlowe in a toga" ( Times Literary Supplement)

"Required holiday reading for all travel within the bounds of the ancient Roman Empire" ( Financial Times)

"This is the sixteenth Falco novel, and they have built up a large following. It is not hard to see why. They are amiable and unpretentious ... Philip Marlowe in a toga" ( Times Literary supplement)

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