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Scandal Takes a Holiday (Marcus Didius Falco, #16)
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Scandal Takes a Holiday (Marcus Didius Falco #16)

3.99  ·  Rating Details ·  1,453 Ratings  ·  48 Reviews
Ancient Rome's organized crime syndicates have never been more dangerous or more conning than in this latest adventure featuring First Century sleuth Marcus Didius Falco.
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published September 23rd 2004 by Mysterious Press (first published 2004)
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Nicholas Whyte[return][return]Of course we know right from the start that the journalist Falco is sent to Ostia to trace is probably dead, but there's an entertaining chase through various other aspects of criminality in the environs of first-century Rome and some impressive misdirection of the reader by the author in her helpful maps and charts at the front of the book. Back on form, I think.
May 26, 2008 Rose added it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2008
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Wisecracking, Latin gumshoe continues his investigations in the ancient Roman empire, this time searching for a missing gossip columnist in Ostia. Pirates, vigiles, and quirky extended family members complicate matters. One scene is held in a communal latrine that I remember seeing in the ruins of Ostia Antica.
Nov 07, 2009 Mandy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I am listening to the unabridged Chivers audio book read by Jamie Glover.
Thoroughly enjoying this story so far. I'm on side six at present. This version is on audio tape and there are twenty sides. I can recommend Jamie Glover as a reader - an interesting voice to listen to.
Mar 16, 2010 Maura rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
a fairly recent Marcus Didius Falco mystery. if you're not familiar with the series, Falco is an informer and ex-soldier in ancient Rome. he's got the funny/cynical attitude that i love in my detectives. and the historical details are plentiful but not overwhelming. a very good read as usual.
Jun 07, 2010 Scot rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sixteenth in the series. This installment is set in Rome's first century port Ostia. As in some earlier books in the series, here we get some understanding of the complexities of international trade and its regulation in this period, but this time around we have the added benefit of encounters with dashing and dangerous pirates, mysterious Eastern religious sects, and a great-uncle of Falco's (on his mother's side) always referenced a bit cryptically in earlier volumes. Our hero's oldest daughte ...more
Emmanuel Gustin
This adventure in the Falco series is set in Ostia, and it probably adds something if you actually have visited the place. (Ostia Antica is easily reached by train from Rome. Try to go on a quiet morning when there are few people around, and you can wander in silence among the enigmatic remains.) As always, Lindsey Davis tries to reconstruct the location from the archeological and historical evidence to create a setting for the detective plot.

This particular plot contains a few highly unlikely t
Apr 23, 2011 Deb rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011-books-read
Marcus Didius Falco and family (just about everyone related to him) are in Ostia, Rome's busy port city. Falco is searching for the missing scribe, Diocles, who happens to write the gossip column for one of Rome's "newspapers." He of course, eventually finds the missing scribe, but not before encountering Rome's nonexistent pirates, imposter vigiles, and his long-lost Uncle Fluvius. Along the way, Falco takes a swim in the ocean, is imprisoned in a tomb, and experiences part of the initiation ri ...more
May 31, 2011 Cynthiaj rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Another baffling case for Marcus and Helena. And that includes the appearance of Uncle Favonius, the one no one talks about...I thought this one was very good. It wasn't really a question of "Who done it?" but rather, could Marcus find the evidence. A nice change of pace.
Rosanne Lortz
Jun 28, 2011 Rosanne Lortz rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Scandal Takes a Holiday, the next book in the Falco series, follows our intrepid hero to the port of Ostia where he is trying to ascertain the whereabouts of a missing scribe. This is not just any scribe, however–it is Infamia, the celebrated writer of the scandal column in Rome’s official newspaper. In the process, Falco discovers a corrupt builders’ guild, a kidnapping racket, and the unsettling information that Cilician pirates (the ones that Pompey wiped out a hundred years ago) might be ply ...more
What a relief after slogging through the last several in the series. In this one, Falco with his family is in Rome's squalid port town of Ostia, where he is investigating the disappearance of an imperial scribe who writes the scandal sheet for Rome's popular daily newspaper, underwritten by the Emperor. It's not the strongest showing, but it has what I had come to think of as Davis' characteristically good writing, like this: A sleepy seaside afternoon, when the noon sun has baked the morning's ...more
I skipped many book ahead in the series and read Scandal Takes a Holiday. Suddenly Falco has 2 children... a bit of a surprise, but otherwise there was really nothing to else to prevent me from following the storyline.

This one takes place in Ostia > Rome's port to the rest of the world. The search for the missing scribe was a bit dull, but the case of characters and strange info discovered through this search was interesting.

The plot dragged some, but the writing of Lindsey Davis is superb. W
Another good historical whodunnit set in Ancient Rome. Still full of period detail, but lacking something from her earlier books.
Dec 03, 2012 Nancy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a good story, with the same cynical Falco ostensibly on vacation in Ostia with his family and friend. The story deals with a building guild that has too much power, a corrupt naval officer, pirates! Naturally, I had a map of Ostia up on the computer (the one in the book was too small) checking out the places mentioned. Davis obviously has done a lot of research for her books.
Jan 26, 2013 Ruth rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime-historical
c2004: Ostia, gossip, scribes, piracy, uncle. I have seen some comments about this series that indicated that some readers felt that the books had become formulaic and, sadly, that is probably the reason why I love these books. I have quite a bit invested in the characters now and the various relationships on the go and I usually can't wait to get the next in the series. There is no unknown factor and reading one of them is more relaxing than yoga. "It depends on how you look at it. Let us land ...more
Lizzie Robinson
Jan 24, 2013 Lizzie Robinson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not much of a holiday for Falco or Petro in this investigation. Especially when we realise that Pompey didn't rid Italy of all the pirates. Plenty of action and some surprises along they way (Ma's family are certainly flamboyant and unconventional, but great fun). Even Falco's Dad gets in on the act. Whilst Helena's tribe try to keep up appearances.
Lexie Conyngham
Feb 21, 2013 Lexie Conyngham rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the first of these I have read for a while, but the quality hasn't deteriorated. They are action-packed and full of easy-going historicla detail, with pleasantly complex plots and, with a cocky first person narrative, lots of tongue-in-cheek humour. The over-arching plotline of the hero's dysfunctional family background is frequently hilarious and often endearing.
Aug 04, 2013 Julia rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Crazy to think about daily, everyday life in Ancient Rome. Interesting to learn about it thru a detective novel.
Harry Rutherford
I've powered through 16 of these Falco books, because they are great binge reading: lots of them, well-written enough, page-turnery.Personally I find the Roman setting much more interesting than the crime/detective aspect of them.
Mark Wilson
Another solid entry in the Falco series takes us to the bustling, and dangerous, port of Ostia. The author's intimate knowledge of the time, the place, and the people once again drives the plot forward, and our hero (and heroine) once again find their way through, but as always, the trip is neither smooth nor safe. Well done, Lindsey Davis!
Mar 08, 2014 Mariagabriella rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I thoroughly enjoyed this one... Falco on a vacation? Think again...he is after a disappeared scandal column writer and manages to see most of his family (especially his father) involved in his adventures. A must read once again!
Apr 29, 2014 Susan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Falco travels to the Rome's port Ostia with all his family to find the gossip scribe Infamia also known as Diocles. It doesn't take long before he discovers a ring of pirates preying on the wealthy merchants and corrupt builders.
Harry Addington
Jun 24, 2014 Harry Addington rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent account of kidnapping and privacy at Rome's port, Ostia. The whole cast is there. I am approaching the end of the series with regret.
The whole family shows up for this book from both sides with some special visitors too. Taking place mainly in Ostia lots of visitors could pop in and out for the best family drama on offer. The case of the missing gossip columnist takes a turn into piracy. Highly entertaining and lots of snark about bureaucrats.
Dec 11, 2015 Vipula rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I didn't read the last 20 pages. I was that disengaged. The plot wasn't that bad. The writing was unbearable.
Dec 30, 2015 Readsandeats rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I got to page 100 and decided that this book was not for me.
I found the plot too slow and just couldn't get into it.
May 28, 2016 Kaye rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
As usual, a thoroughly researched trip into the past of the Roman empire, including many details of the customs of the time. Falco, as always, is a fascinating detective, both tough and tender. I enjoyed the dénouement of having the villains defeat each other.
Steve Clark
Falco goes to Ostia to look for a missing journalist. The setting was interesting, but I had trouble keeping the all the Cilicians and Illyrians straight. Good thing Lindsey provides a cast of characters at the front.
Apr 27, 2016 Lois rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Falco is commissioned to find a missing scribe who writes mostly about scandals in Rome for the tabloid. In his quest, he becomes embroiled in a pirate trade which is supposed to have been dispatched and also kidnapping of rich women for ransom. With multiple strands, the pieces braid together but it was hard to follow all the characters listening to an audio book. His long lost uncle appears to add to the ever growing cast of family characters. Even more so than in some of the other books, the ...more
May 31, 2016 Anna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Although the writing of the Falco books is sometimes a bit sketchy, the novels are fun and engaging. This one takes place in the Roman port of Ostia, and we get to spend more time with Falco's large family.
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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)
  • Shadows in Bronze (Marcus Didius Falco, #2)
  • 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)

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