Scandal Takes a Holiday (Marcus Didius Falco, #16)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

Scandal Takes a Holiday (Marcus Didius Falco #16)

3.95 of 5 stars 3.95  ·  rating details  ·  1,073 ratings  ·  38 reviews

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 co...more
Paperback, 368 pages
Published June 2nd 2005 by Arrow (first published 2004)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Scandal Takes a Holiday, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Scandal Takes a Holiday

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,624)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Rosanne Lortz
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
Stuart Langridge

As an “informer”—a private detective—Marcus Didius Falco has an insider’s knowledge of the Empire’s less than glorious side. He’s also been in the middle of its most dangerous secrets more than once. So when he’s hired to find notorious gossip “scribe” Infamia, Marcus figures the missing muckraker is either taking advantage of a vacation bribe from some wealthy wife—or resting up from injuries inflicted by some senator’s henchmen. But instead of earning an easy fee, Marcus soon finds him

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
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.
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
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
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
Jaideep Krishnan
a bit of a damp squib; the primary case is mostly sidelined, but on the upside, we do finally get to meet Falco's third uncle (the one nobody talks about)...
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...more
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!
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...more
Harry Addington
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Special Guest
Good fun, if slightly implausible at times. The Falco books are always a joy to read, with wonderfully realised characters that mean that it doesn't matter if you've read just one or a dozen of the books, you always feel that there is a whole vibrant world inhabited by Falco, his friends and family.

This isn't the best Falco novel, but it is an enjoyable romp and a pleasing mystery.
Lexie Conyngham
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.
Lizzie Robinson
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Rachel Hawes
The one with the missing gossip columnist, the pirates (that don't exist of course), the mysterious Illyrian (who may or may not be from Illyria) and the blast from the past (but shhhhh....)
This is a fun Falco mystery. His family is back with all of their usual problems and secrets. As always, Davis does a great job of mixing history with an entertaining mystery.
Not Davis at her best; the plot is rather dull in comparison to some of her better Falco stories, and there seem to be numerous tangents rather than one central focus.
Another good historical whodunnit set in Ancient Rome. Still full of period detail, but lacking something from her earlier books.
Crazy to think about daily, everyday life in Ancient Rome. Interesting to learn about it thru a detective novel.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 54 55 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The Triumph of Caesar (Roma Sub Rosa, #12)
  • SPQR XI: Under Vesuvius (SPQR, #11)
  • Ovid (Marcus Corvinus, #1)
  • Persona Non Grata (Gaius Petreius Ruso, #3)
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...
The Silver Pigs (Marcus Didius Falco, #1) Shadows in Bronze (Marcus Didius Falco, #2) The Iron Hand of Mars (Marcus Didius Falco, #4) Venus in Copper (Marcus Didius Falco, #3) Poseidon's Gold (Marcus Didius Falco, #5)

Share This Book