Ode to a Banker In the long hot Roman summer of AD74, Marcus Didius Falco, private informer and spare time poet, gives a reading for his family and friends. Things get out of hand as usual. The event is taken over by Aurelius Chrysippus, a wealthy Greek banker and patron to a group of struggling writers, who offers to publish Falco's work - a golden opportunity that rapidly palls. A visit to the Chrysippus scriptorium implicates him in a gruesome literary murder so when Petronius Longus, the over-worked vigiles enquiry chief, commissions him to investigate, Falco is forced to accept.
He and Helena Justina are in trouble at home too: while she continues her feud with the bath-house contractors, Falco's rascally father suffers a devastating personal blow; his widowed sister Maia is besieged by Anacrites, the dangerous Chief Spy; his mother is the subject of some scandalous gossip; and Nux, his dog, is expecting pups any day.
Lindsey Davis' twelfth Falco novel wittily explores Roman publishing and banking, two fields with striking contemporary resonance and rich sources of satire. The trail leads from the jealousies of authorship and the mire of patronage, to the darker financial world, where default can have fatal consequences... Praise for Lindsey Davis:
She brings Imperial Rome to life Ellis Peters
One of the best of the current writers in this field Donna Leon, Sunday Times
Wonderful, great fun all round Daily Telegraph
Paperback - Arrow (1999)
Falco on his Metal From the winner of the CWA Ellis Peters Historical Dagger Award
Omnibus containing: Venus in Copper
AD 71: Even a short spell in the horrific rat-infested Lautumiae Prison can't prepare Falco for the rent racketeers, female contortionists, leather-clad bodyguard, hunting dogs and fatal poisonings he suddenly finds himself up against. The Iron Hand of Mars
AD 71: Rome. Helena Justina, Falco's girlfriend, is being hotly pursued by Titus Caesar when Falco is called away to Germania Liberia. In this barbaric and bloodthirsty land Imperial Agent Falco searches for an absconding legion commander whose loyalty is deeply suspect. Poseidon's Gold
AD 72: Faced with a flat full of squatters and an increasing number of debts and threats, Falco becomes the prime suspect in a murder case. Meanwhile his mother hires him to clear the family name.
Paperback - Arrow (2000)
First British Edition Century (1999)
One Virgin Too Many See Review by
Her new Falco bestseller
Falco returns home to Rome for his eleventh appearance in this highly
popular and successful series. As a reward for his Census work Falco has at last been made an equestrian. Yet imperial favour, coupled with his new duties as Procurator of the Sacred Poultry of the Senate and People of Rome, brings its own complications. Not only is
he now ensconced in all the trappings of the Establishment and state religion but Falco also has a troublesome new partner, Aelianus, to deal with.
Private and public business merge as he is sent to investigate the disappearance of a young girl selected to be a Vestal Virgin. Closely watched by his ex-partner Petronius and the vigiles who are just waiting for him to slip up, Falco is sorely determined to solve
this mystery. Meanwhile Aelianus is nagging him for advice about a corpse he stumbled over in the Sacred Grove of the Arval Brothers - an event which may be strangely linked to the missing girl. 'Davis adroitly pulls off the trick of ensuring that her detective's anachronistically modern sensibility does not seem out of place in ancient Rome. The politics are, as usual, remarkably well handled and the sight, sound and smell of Rome is captured with even greater pungency than usual.' Publishing News
'Falco's lively narration of his adventure combines humour with sharp observation, making this one of the most entertaining books of the year' Susanna Yager, Sunday Telegraph
'One of the best of the current writers in this field' Sunday Times
'Wonderful, great fun all round' Daily Telegraph
First British Edition Century (1998)
Two for the Lions Lumbered with working alongside reptilian Chief Spy Anacrites, Falco has hit upon the perfect plan - offering his services to Vespasian and Titus in conducting the 'great Census' of AD 73 as a tax collector with draconian powers. If he does well, his fee will finally allow him to join the middle ranks and wed long-suffering companion Helena Justina. Meanwhile, Falco is needed to trace a relative who has eloped, and has a crazy plan for finding an extinct herb.
Distracted by the apparent murder of a star man-eating lion, Falco uncovers a bitter rivalry between the gladiators' trainers. When a star gladiator also ends up dead Falco is forced to investigate. The trail leads to north Africa, with Helena Justina and little Julia in tow
Two for the Lions is Lindsey Davis' tenth book in the bestselling Falco series. 'Witty and literate... Two for the Lions is the tenth Falco novel; he's showing no signs of flagging.' The Times
'If only all bestsellers were this satisfying' Time Out
'Surely the best historical detective in the business' Mike Ripley, Daily Telegraph
Paperback - Arrow
Three Hands in the Fountain See Review by
This is Lindsey Davis' 9th Falco novel and it continues the intriguing life of Roman detective and super-sleuth Marcus Didius Falco through the streets of Rome in his hunt to track down villains and unsavoury members of society.
Lindsey Davis never fails to come up with the goods and here we find Falco back from Spain and in partnership with his old friend Petronius. Together they are on the hunt for a killer who strikes during festivals. They are desperately combing the city for clues while the next festival approaches. 'Wonderful, great fun all round' Daily Telegraph
'Uniquely entertaining' Time Out
'Bizarre, funny and satisfying' Michael Painter, Irish Times
'One of the best of the current writers in this field' Donna Leon, Sunday Times
'As always, Davis wears her research lightly, bringing Ancient Rome to vivid life in a series of delicious vignettes' Val McDermid, Manchester Evening News
'Rich with Roman skulduggery' Scotland on Sunday
'Best of soap opera, violent thrills, pathos, bathos, exquisite scene-setting and humour' The Mail on Sunday
'As always, Davis is brilliant at conscripting famous stories of classical literature into her own tale, and at the same time turning them upside down. It's no wonder that she's the professional classicists' own favourite' The Independent
About The Author In Her Own Words
2000 sees the publication of Ode to a Banker, twelfth in the Marcus Didius Falco series of detective novels set in Imperial Rome.
In September, Random House will also be publishing new editions of the first two books in the series, The Silver Pigs and Shadows in Bronze. This is the first time the whole series has been together with one publisher, and is to be marked by a dramatic new look for the jacket.
In 1999 there has been great excitement as Two for the Lions, now published in paperback, was announced as the first winner of the CWA Ellis Peters Historical Dagger, a brand new award for historical crime.
I was born and brought up in Birmingham, read English at Oxford, then joined the civil service. After thirteen years, a novel I had written to cheer myself up was runner-up for the Georgette Heyer Historical Novel Prize, which encouraged me to leave my job and try to become a writer. I was accepted for the government's Enterprise Allowance Scheme, and thereafter classified as a Small Business, although it took years of struggle to achieve success. I had romantic serials commissioned for Woman's Realm, then changed to writing about the Romans with The Course of Honour, the remarkable true love story of the Emperor Vespasian and his mistress Antonia Caenis. My research into imperial Rome then inspired The Silver Pigs, the first in the Falco series about a Roman informer in the AD70s, which has now attracted a devoted readership. The Silver Pigs won the Authors' Club Best First Novel for 1989, and I was awarded the CWA Dagger in the Library (for the author "whose work has given most pleasure") in 1995. An unusual thrill for a crime novelist came when I was invited to be Honorary President of the UK Classical Association in 1997/8, as a result of which Falco achieved the rare distinction of appearing in a Times Leader column!
My books are published in the UK and US, and translated into many other languages. I write occasional short stories and articles, and I review books for The Good Book Guide. Last year my short story The party may yet be living appeared in the Ellis Peters Memorial Anthology, Past Poisons (published by Headline) and I introduced Green for Danger by Christianna Brand in the Pan Classic Crime series. I am a committee member of the UK Crimewriters Association. Lindsey Davis was recently voted as one of the top 50 authors in the Waterstones Reading Survey and received the 1999 Sherlock Award for Best Comic Detective for her creation, Marcus Didius Falco.
Bibliography N.B. dates and publishers in dark red indicate British First Editions. Dates and publishers in black indicate recent reprints.