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Shadows in Bronze (Marcus Didius Falco #2)

4.01 of 5 stars 4.01  ·  rating details  ·  3,082 ratings  ·  118 reviews
It’s the first century A.D. and Marcus Didius Falco, Ancient Rome’s favorite son and sometime palace spy, has just been dealt a lousy blow from the gods: The beautiful, high-born Helena Justina has left him in the dust. So when the Emperor Vespasian calls upon him to investigate an act of treason, Falco is more than ready for a distraction. Disguised as an idle vacationer ...more
Paperback, 403 pages
Published 1991 by Pan Books Ltd (first published 1990)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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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
Sep 10, 2012 Terence rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  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
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
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
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!
Alison C
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
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.
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 4 of 5 stars  ·  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
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
"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
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
Marcus Didius Falco ist Privatdetektiv und steht im Dienste des römischen Kaisers Vespasian, einem umstrittenen, geizigen Kaiser, der nicht zuletzt beim Gehalt seines Privatdetektives spart.
Kein Wunder, dass Marcus also den Auftrag erhält, den Kaiser vor den üblen Machenschaften einer Verschwörergruppe zu beschützen. Dieser Auftrag führt ihn bis nach Pompeji, wo sich zwei der Verräter versteckt haben sollen.
Doch das einzige, was Marcus Didius Falcos schlechtem Verdienst vorauseilt, ist se
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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 4 of 5 stars  ·  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
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
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
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
This audiobook is a BBC full cast recording - I don't know why they switched to this format! It's difficult to hear all the dialogue sometimes because of background noises (marketplace, animals, etc.) and the book takes on a different tone because its no longer being narrated in Didius Falco's voice.

This book picks up a few days after the end of the last book, with Falco trying to wrap up the loose ends of the Silver Pigs case. We get to know some of the characters from the previous book a bit
Jeff Dickison
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 listened to the BBC dramatization of the book. It was abridged. I have not read the book in a while, but I feel like there was a fair amount of story missing. I will have to re-read to find out. I love the series, but will not listen to another abridged version.
Shadows in Bronze is a direct continuation of the first book in this series, Silver Pigs. I read them close to a year a part and that is probably a mistake. So much of book 1 is carried into book 2. Unfortunately, I liked Silver Pigs much better. I bought ahead several books later in the series... so crossing my fingers they get better.

This one was a bit slow at times and evolved into too much romance between our hero Falco and a certain Senator's daughter. But I do love Falco. Great character w
actually didn't finish the book. Had trouble keeping track of characters and continuation of plot from the first book (Silver Pigs). Can't imagine if had not read that. And I got tired of his continuing whining about Helena. Plus I figured out plot twist way at beginning seemed no pt in reading whole thing.
This is a longer and more involved book than her first book. I could wish that her protagonist was not so very dense and insecure about relationship issues. Still, well worth a read.
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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)
The Silver Pigs (Marcus Didius Falco, #1) The Iron Hand of Mars (Marcus Didius Falco, #4) Venus in Copper (Marcus Didius Falco, #3) Poseidon's Gold (Marcus Didius Falco, #5) Last Act in Palmyra (Marcus Didius Falco, #6)

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