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Shadows in Bronze: A Marcus Didius Falco Mystery (Marcus Didius Falco #2)

4.03  ·  Rating Details ·  3,622 Ratings  ·  138 Reviews
"Some men are born lucky, others are called Didius Falco."

It's the first century CE in Rome and informer and occasional imperial agent Marcus Didius Falco is miserable. The high-born woman he fell in love with, Helena Justina, has broken off their stormy, impossible affair. So when Emperor Vespasian assigns Falco a task that will take him out of Rome, he can't wait. Disgui
Paperback, 452 pages
Published October 11th 2011 by Minotaur Books (first published 1990)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Sep 10, 2012 Terence rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of historical fiction & mysteries
The second book in Davis's series about Marcus Didius Falco, an informer in the Rome of the Flavian emperors, picks up immediately after the events of the first novel, The Silver Pigs. Falco is helping to track down the remnants of the conspiracy he uncovered and confounded and finds himself tracked by and tracking Barnabas - the freedman of Atius Pertinax, now deceased conspirator and ex-husband of Helena, Falco's socially unobtainable lover.

There are a few plot twists - nothing is quite what i
Melissa McShane
This sequel to The Silver Pigs picks up only days after the first ended; I like the continuity, though I think if you go a long time between reading them, it might be harder to pick up the thread of the story. You can look at this volume as sort of wrapping up the first, as the conspirators who were exiled start getting bumped off by a mysterious man who's always a couple of steps ahead of Falco. His task (a thankless one, so of course Vespasian picked him for the job) to find and warn the remai ...more
May 28, 2015 Helen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
See Naples and die they say. M. Didius Falco almost managed it before actually seeing Neapolis. This book follows the Silver Pigs in that the plotters have to be swept up and settled or disposed of. It seems that the plot is still alive but relocating to the Bay of Naples where the ships bringing grain from Egypt to Rome will appear and where the Roman fleet is based.
So why not go on holiday to the beach? Marcus and Petronius gather up Marcus' 14 year old nephew and Petronius' wife and daughter
Have you ever been to a movie that had one or two twists too many? Have you ever thought, “This chase scene was placed here either to extend the running length of the film or to provide something recognizable for the video game?” That’s the way I feel about Shadows in Bronze. Don’t get me wrong. I don’t intend to stop reading Lindsey Davis’ delightful stories about Marcus Didius Falco, “informer” for the Emperor Vespasian. Most of them that I’ve read have been delightfully paced while juggling t ...more
Rosanne Lortz
Mar 08, 2011 Rosanne Lortz rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In Shadows in Bronze, the second book of the Marcus Didius Falco series by Lindsey Davis, Marcus goes undercover to find out more about the conspirators whom he thwarted in the previous novel. As they explore the towns of the Italian countryside, Marcus and his nephew Larius become door-to-door salesmen, offering lead pipes at a cheap deal and tax free.

"Every householder knows the hazard; a man and a boy at the door selling something you don’t want. Unless you feel strong, these whey-faced inade
Jamie Collins
Very enjoyable, if not quite as good as the first one. I'm looking forward to the next book. I liked Petro's family, and overall the characterizations are very good.

I like the short chapters, but the paragraph breaks are still a little odd. They tend to disrupt the flow of Falco and Helena's conversations.
Jeff Dickison
Aug 20, 2015 Jeff Dickison rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This series is rapidly becoming one of my favorites. I liked this better than The Silver Pigs because it was funnier and more intricately plotted. Falco is an amazing, if not always competent, informer who generally manages to muddle through his cases. Highly recommended.
I enjoyed this second installment of the Marcus Didius Falco series just as much as the first one. The plot was well-thought through and offered suspense again and again, despite some slow sections. The best parts, however, were again the dry humour of Falco's internal monologue and the likeable characters of his family and friends. " Shadows in Bronze" made me laugh out loud frequently and made me sympathize with Falco and the other characters. Definitely another series I've become addicted to!
Elaine Tomasso
Apr 26, 2016 Elaine Tomasso rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am almost new to this series - I bought the first 10 in the deals a month ago so I have now read the first two and another one I can't identify about 20 years ago when I was too immature to appreciate it. Shadows In Bronze takes up where The Silver Pigs finishes with Falco charged by the emperor Vespasian with cleaning up after the failed plot against him. However we are in Ancient Rome where politics is king (or should that be emperor?) so while cleaning up involves disposing of a dead body a ...more
Alison C
Mar 17, 2015 Alison C rated it it was ok
In Shadows In Bronze, by Lindsey Davis, private detective Didius Falco is given the task of completing the round-up of conspirators who plotted to kill and replace Roman Emperor Vespasian; he finds himself hunting down several Senators, and being hunted himself in turn. His job takes him to the Bay of Naples, and the marvelous sea-side towns located there; to provide himself with a cover, he travels with his friend Petronius Longus and his young family, along with Falco's adolescent nephew, and ...more
Jul 25, 2016 Marfita rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: period-mystery
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 29, 2014 Jeanne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Falco gets the girl

Falco gets the girl

Actually, Falco gets the guy too. it just takes a while. In the meantime, there is a lot of travelling around Italy. A rousing romp, as usual. I cannot wait to start the next chapter in the series.
Jun 08, 2014 James rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
I came to Falco by listening to a serialisation on BBC 4Extra. I can't remember exactly which story it was (not this or the first book, that much I can work out), so kind of feel I am coming to this fresh.

Lindsay Davis is a lovely writer, working through the plot by revealing then misleading the reader. The mystery here is not typical as in the reader is not guessing whodunit more howdoesit, and the reader would definitely benefit from reading The Silver Pigs first.

What drew me to Falco in the f
Vick Knight
Sep 17, 2014 Vick Knight rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I would think more of this book if I didn't know that racism didn't exist in Ancient Rome. (Racism, as everyone educated knows, is a social construct invented in the 14th or 16th century.) You could feel the slight xenophobia of the author coming through, projecting it onto her main character (Falco). So there was bits like this:
- "Beneath the beard, his oriental face was handsome..."
- "The Fourteenth District had been part of Rome since my grandparents' day, but there were enough swarthy immigr
Did not enjoy this as much as the first one (which was excellent). Took a while for the story to get going and the "twists" were predictable Still it was enjoyable enough to want to read the next book
The series was brought to my attention by a friend who is usually spot on with book suggestions. This series takes place in Rome a few years before Mount Vesuvius erupts. It's a time of strife and intrigue, Rome is going through many changes and corruption is everywhere. The series is proving to be a reading challenge. My Latin is very rusty, and the way the character's speak makes it for slow going for parts of the book. The characters don't get together right away which can be frustrating and ...more
May 06, 2015 HBalikov rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Thanks to my own elusive father, I was acting head of our family. Here was I, meddling with high politics, scouring the coast for a renegade, dodging a murderer, booted into oblivion by the woman I had set my heart on --- yet, I had also promised my sister that sometime during this trip I would enlighten her boy on whichever facts of life he had failed to pick up already from his dreadful friends at school..."

This book is in turns:
A mystery
A thriller
A romance
A primer on the Roman Empire's polit
Sep 24, 2016 dOnnabud rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
an entertaining and educational excursion through ancient rome (ad 71) with marcus didius falco, a witty, competent gumshoe whose freelance work frequently involves complex missions for the emperor vespasian. lindsey davis cleverly fuses historical accuracy, humor, romance and intrigue into this second adventure of a memorable and compelling character.

some favorite passages:
describing the little temple of hercules: "It was a pitiful shrine ... There were two worn steps where pigeons stopped to g
Mary DeMauro
Jan 28, 2016 Mary DeMauro rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sort
This book was a combination of "very good" and "just okay." For one thing, I'm no history expert but the setting and time period seemed extensively researched and was very enjoyable to read about. Those who enjoy mysteries would definitely enjoy this. However, some portions of the story I feel could have been explained better. Also, this isn't really the writer's fault, more an issue with the editor--there were several spelling mistakes and typos. A very small issue that will not interfere with ...more
Jun 08, 2013 Dyana rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed #2 in the Marcus Didius Falco series, but it was slow reading - hence the three stars. And why can't two people in love just talk to each other instead of always misunderstanding and storming off... The story is a continuation of #1 (Silver Pigs) and begins only days later. Falco, an ancient Roman gumshoe, is still working for Emperor Vespasian, receives low pay, and does the "dirty" jobs like disposing of an inconvenient corpse. After the failed plot against the emperor, Marcus and hi ...more
M.G. Mason
This is the second in the “Falco” series.

Following the revelation of the silver pigs, Falco is once again roped into working for Emperor Vespasian to dispose of the body of a man who was quietly executed on imperial orders. Following this, Falco is sent to investigate a fire at a nearby temple. There he discovers that a man en route to meet the Emperor has been killed in the fire. Meanwhile, his friend Anacrites reports that he has been unable to locate Barnabas, a mysterious man who has apparen
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 15, 2009 Scot rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Second in this rambunctious and riveting series about Falco, a detective (well, the correct term then was "private informer") for Emperor Vespasian in first century Rome. At 452 pages, it might take a while to get through this, but Davis delivers the best type of escapism one can find in historical detective fiction: it is well researched, offering a wide range of adventures and settings, characters you'll come to know and care for, and an overarching excellent sense of wit on the part of our na ...more
I previously read The Silver Pigs and enjoyed it. Now I finished Shadows in Bronze and enjoyed it very much. It has been quite a while since I read the first book and while it might be a good idea to read both books together, because the second picks up right where the first left off, I didn't have any difficulties in getting back into the story. It all comes back whenever something specific of the previous novel is mentioned.

After he had previously discovered and put a stop to a conspiracy agai
Alexander Case
Sep 10, 2013 Alexander Case rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of mystery novels.
Recommended to Alexander by: Gwyn Case
Shelves: mystery
The Marcus Didus Falco series really should be an HBO TV series. It's a highly engrossing mystery series, with incredibly interesting characters, and Lindsey Davis makes the Roman Empire really come alive. This book, the second in the series, is really no exception. Davis makes Pompeii and Herculanium (where the majority of the action takes place) feel like living, breathing cities.

If I had one complaint about the book, it has to do with (view spoiler)
Julie Davis
Apr 22, 2014 Julie Davis rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read a lot of this series when they were coming out, to the point that I'd order new volumes from England rather than wait for them to be published in America (ah, the old rich days before paying for kids' college educations...).

Some of the books I have reread numerous times (Silver Pigs, Three Hands in the Fountain, the one about Germany whose name I can't recall right now). Anyway, I don't recall rereading this one and it's been a long time since I've picked up a Falco book in general. I'm e
Matt Littlewood
I quite enjoyed this book. The writing style is quite unique. Witty and clever with lots of historical details to savour. My only real complaint was the pacing. It moves along at quite a pace but somehow never breathes. The main character Falco just seems to get into one fix after another without pause and after a while it's a little tiring. Other than that it's a good read. A good mystery with plenty of atmosphere.
Feb 25, 2010 Deb rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2010-books-read
Shadows in Bronze is the second book in the Marcus Didius Falco series, and it's a wild romp through Rome, Pompeii, Hercanuleum, and the coastline of southern Italy. Falco is working as Vespasian's informer, trying to earn enough money to purchase a higher rank. Vespasian gives him all the "dirty" jobs however, like ridding Rome of inconvenient corpses and mopping up a failed anti-Vespasian conspiracy. Helena Justina is back in the picture, despite Falco's resolve to forget her, and their relati ...more
Dec 03, 2014 Argum rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Second entry in the series was a great book to me. I learned more about the main characters and their relationships. I also got a good bit of the primary side characters in terms of more about them and them being useful to the plot. I really like these characters

My bookseller tells me that many of the middle is out of print, but not to worry as the stories are pretty self contained. I am not sure if this changes after the first few or what, but that is not borne out by my reading of this book. T
Dec 21, 2015 Mysteryfan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mysteries
After enjoying some of the later mysteries, I thought I'd go back and read some of the earlier ones. Falco is working for the Emperor Vespasian. He heads south to investigate some of the participants in the plot in the first book. I enjoyed the relationship between Helena and Falco. The attention to detail was perfect. Even knowing where everything will end was no bar to my enjoyment.
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Lindsey Davis, historical novelist, was born in Birmingham, England in 1949. Having taken a degree in English literature at Oxford University (Lady Margaret Hall), she became a civil servant. She left the civil service after 13 years, and when a romantic novel she had written was runner up for the 1985 Georgette Heyer Historical Novel Prize, she decided to become a writer, writing at first romanti ...more
More about Lindsey Davis...

Other Books in the Series

Marcus Didius Falco (1 - 10 of 20 books)
  • The Silver Pigs (Marcus Didius Falco, #1)
  • Venus in Copper (Marcus Didius Falco, #3)
  • The Iron Hand of Mars (Marcus Didius Falco, #4)
  • Poseidon's Gold (Marcus Didius Falco, #5)
  • Last Act in Palmyra (Marcus Didius Falco, #6)
  • Time to Depart (Marcus Didius Falco, #7)
  • A Dying Light in Corduba (Marcus Didius Falco, #8)
  • Three Hands in the Fountain (Marcus Didius Falco, #9)
  • Two for the Lions (Marcus Didius Falco, #10)
  • One Virgin Too Many (Marcus Didius Falco, #11)

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