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Alexandria (Marcus Didius Falco, #19)
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Alexandria (Marcus Didius Falco #19)

3.93 of 5 stars 3.93  ·  rating details  ·  1,290 ratings  ·  137 reviews
The new Falco novel finds Lindsey Davis’s First Century detective Marcus Didius Falco and his partner Helena Justina investigating crime in the famous city of Alexandria.

For Marcus Didius Falco, agent to the Emperor Vespasian, Alexandria holds fascination and a hint of fear. Beautiful, historic and famously unruly, the great cosmopolitan city wears Roman rule lightly. Whil
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Hardcover, 288 pages
Published March 2nd 2009 by Century (first published January 1st 2009)
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Faith Justice
Lindsey Davis is well known for her Marcus Didius Falco historical mysteries and this one is number nineteen in the series. From the back cover:

"In A. D. 77 Marcus Didius Falco, private “informer” and stalwart Roman citizen, undertakes one of the most fearsome tasks known to man—he goes on vacation with his somewhat pregnant wife, Helena Justina, and their family. They travel to Alexandria, Egypt, and they aren’t there long before the Librarian of the great library is found dead under suspicious
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Ele Munjeli
Something different. It has been awhile since I read a mystery, but I have always enjoyed them, working my way through Agatha Christie and Arthur Conan Doyle when I was still a child. I was lured to read the work of Lindsey Davis by a review at Barnes and Noble. Her work is set in ancient Rome, and well researched. I am always game for exotic locales and history. The gumshoe of her novels is Marcus Didius Falco, a Roman citizen and informer for the emperor. Set in A.D. 77 there are a few discrep ...more
Eileen Thornton
Jun 13, 2009 Eileen Thornton rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Eileen by: I was sent an advance copy for review purposes
Alexandria
by Lindsey Davis (Century)

Set in Roman times the story tells how Marcus Didius Falco, the Emperor’s fixer, and his wife Helena Justina, who is expecting their next child, visit Falco’s Uncle in Alexandria. Helena is anxious to see two of the Seven Wonders of the World. However, almost as soon as they arrive, there is a suspicious death in the Great Library and Falco is asked investigate. During the investigation another body is found.

I found this to be a very exciting ‘who dunnit’. Li
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Dorothy
It is always a pleasure to go traipsing about the ancient Roman Empire with Marcus Didius Falco and his partner in life and detection, Helena Justina. This time, we're all in Alexandria because Helena Justina wants to see the Great Pyramid of Giza before she gives birth to their third child.

Of course, where Falco goes, mysterious deaths seem to follow and so it is in Alexandria, even in the halls of the Great Library. In fact, the first one to die is the librarian - but not the last. There seems
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Ann
Probably just me, but I found book 19 a trifle bit tired compared to earlier books in the series. Or maybe I'm ready, like Falco, to get back to Rome and the familiar faces there.

Still a great read, especially for those of us who work in libraries and can get vicarious laughs at the all too familiar trials and tribulations of librarians working at the Library of Alexandria. And yes, like one of the previous reviewers, I was definitely getting Hitchcockian vibes when Falco pursues one suspect to
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Peter Auber
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sorcha
In first century A.D. Rome, during the reign of Vespasian, Marcus Didius Falco works as a private “informer,” often for the emperor, ferreting out hidden truths and bringing villains to ground. But even informers take vacations with their wives, so in A.D. 77, Falco and his wife, Helena Justina, with others in tow, travel to Alexandria, Egypt. But they aren’t there long before Falco finds himself in the midst of nefarious doings—when the Librarian of the great library is found dead, under suspic ...more
David Peters
Why I read It
This is book 19 in the Falco series. Marcus Didius Falco is a private informer (Investigator) in Ancient Rome and these books take him through the cases that seem to find him. Originally read book 1, The Silver Pigs, because it was a mystery book by an English woman author.

The Good
Funny as always, Falco builds his case though luck, wisdom, and just plain stubbornness. Falco is self depreciating, somewhat street wise, and a really likeable character. In fact, all the characters are i
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Joe
This in a novel that takes place at one of the seven wonders of the World. The Lighthouse and the famous Library of Alexandria. The hero Marcus Didio Falco an investigator of propery and accounts for the Roman emporer, Vespesian in 77 AD takes his family on a vaction to Egypt where the will reside for their vacation in Alexandria. His welcome is mixed as Egyptians in larger numbers hate their Romans rulers and Marcus is greeted tongue in cheeck.

Marcus carries the protection of the Emporer so tha
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Julie Johnson
Oh, how I love a good Lindsey Davis Falco mystery!

I have read almost every book in this series and have generally loved them all. Falco is so witty, the plots are clever, the details of Ancient Rome never dull, and oh-so colourful. Rome and the ancient world literally comes alive in all its bawdiness, glory, rich in political shenanigans etc. Davis is also such a good writer, it never comes across as a history lesson or dry description. And Falco is such a fantastic character, surely one of the
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Julie
An interesting combo of historic fiction and mystery. The protagonist is Marcus Didius Falco who is traveling to Alexandria to visit some of the Egyptian sites with his family. On his 'must see' list are the usual wonders of the ancient world (Lighthouse at Alexandria and the Pyramids at Giza)as well as the library of Alexandria. But Falco's vacation plans take a drastic change when the head librarian is found dead. As Falco starts investigating the death, other minor characters start dropping l ...more
Rose
Let me use this post here to extol the many virtues of Lindsey Davis's mystery series featuring Marcus Didius Falco. Our lead detective, Falco, is in fact an "informer" in ancient Rome during the reign of Vespasian (1st Century AD), making these mysteries really unique in their setting. Well-researched and historically accurate, they have been my window into the customs and rituals of ancient Rome. Like so many books, they've helped me fill a gap in my education and introduce me to a period in h ...more
Jon
OK, my last book on Goodreads was Durrell's Alexandria Quartet, arguably one of the 100 best literary works of the 20th century, so comparison isn't fair. I picked this one up because I knew Lindsey Davis is pretty careful about the historical detail she chooses to emphasize in her murder mysteries, and I wanted to know what ancient Alexandria might have looked like. Her descriptions didn't help much, but there was a (largely conjectural) map. The story itself was just OK, but I have to give her ...more
Monica
Oh joy, to read another Falco mystery. Oh sad, to have to wait until way next year to get the next one. This one takes us to the scandal-ridden Great Library of Alexandria, once glorious, now incompetently led by nasty infighting bureaucrats. Deaths and possible murders happen. Falco is there on vacation, but is drawn into the investigation. Illegal autopsies occur. Enormous crocodiles chomp. Heart-pounding excitement ensues at the Great Lighthouse. Odd characters delight, awful relatives annoy, ...more
Zinggy
i realized that this book is not exactly a mystery novel,,as it was advertised in my area.
overall,,the narration was from a male point of view,so it lacks focus and this annoys me very much. the character would go wondering off telling you about the history and facts of the monuments nearby,tell you about how disadvantaged he was by not having a father to introduce him to a better job, and how he got to alexandria for an innocent sight seeing and landed in unnecessary,,all this during a possibly
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Scot
Nineteenth in this series, and this time around our first century Roman informer (detective)Falco is on a family vacation visiting Uncle Fulvius in Alexandria when there is an unusual death of a high ranking official at the legendary Great Library. As the intrigue deepens, Falco and wife Helena and brother-in-law Aelianus are called upon to help solve the mystery, which includes a power struggle for library philosophy on what to include in its holdings, an international smuggling ring with possi ...more
sabisteb
Eigentlich wollte Marcus Didius Falco nur Urlaub machen. Helena Justina ist im 5ten Monat schwanger und wenn sie die Pyramiden von Gize nicht jetzt besuchen, sitzen sie wieder 3 Jahre in Rom fest, bis Kind Nr. 3 aus dem gröbsten raus ist. Also ziehen Marcus, Helene, ihre Adoptivtochter Albia, deren Bruder Aulus und die zwei jüngsten Sprösslinge bei Marcus Onkel ein, der zurfällig in Alexandria lebt. Marcus Onkel Fulvius lebt mit seinem Lebenspartner in einem großen Haus und verdient sein Geld mi ...more
Bettynz
Well, I'm pleased to have finally finished this one. I thought it seemed sooo appealing, being set in Alexandria, with recounting of stories about the Pharos and other entertainments. However, I have to say it was a real grind. Not helped by the attraction of Charlaine Harris's books mounting up at the library waiting for me!
So, the best bit, for me, was in the last 10 pages, where we are introduced to a new character, which strikes me as moderately bizarre. Tis Hero of course - seems like Ms D
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Candy Wood
Even though by this time he's happily married, a paterfamilias with two little daughters, Marcus Didius Falco still reminds me of Rex Stout's Archie Goodwin in his breezy narrative tone. This time he and the whole family, including adopted teenage daughter Albia, are sightseeing in Alexandria, home of the famous library and the Pharos, both scenes of suspicious or violent death. As usual in this series, we have action, humor, and the everyday life of the first-century Roman empire. The familiar ...more
Debbie Hall
I am a fan of ancient history and have read many books in this series. I would recommend reading them in order all thought it is not necessary. Didius marries a smart upper class woman at the beginning, so you see his family grow over time. His wife is his partner in solving crimes and maybe better at some aspects than he is. Reading a Didius Falco mystery is like going on vacation in interesting places all over the Roman empire. I love the details about what life was like, how and what they ate ...more
Alison Dellit
I tend to save books for holidays that I want to savour, and often reading a book, I wish I had put it off till I had a less tired brain to soak it all up. This was the rare book that made me feel the opposite - Davis' sharp evocation of the atmosphere of a research library made me wish i had read it during a normal work week, so as to appreciate her wit a little more. I think all librarians like novels about the great Alexandrian library - it makes us feel like members of a grand tradition, and ...more
Elizabeth
I listened to this Marcus Didius Falco mystery as I drove to Tennessee to see friends. It was a good reminder that there's not much new under the sun. Set in 77 AD, the novel discusses tourists and the tourist trade, as it unfolds a mystery at the library of Alexandria. The novel made me want to visit Alexandria when life in Egypt is a bit safer.
Marfita
Apr 17, 2010 Marfita rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of Falco
I've always loved Falco. I may have liked him better before he got married - you know how it is. Family stuff is icky. This mystery was interesting, in that it visited the great library and environs, but I couldn't quite get into it. Falco just seemed to be wandering around a lot. Murder by crocodile seemed a bit chance-y and I always thought they just dragged their prey down into the water and stuffed them somewhere safe until they'd rotted sufficiently for their meat to tear off easily. That h ...more
Al
I picked this up based on a list of "best" historical mysteries in a recent Wall Street Journal. Yes, there is quite a bit of interesting historical information here, but it's pretty fragmentary -- if you're really interested in learning something about ancient Alexandria, read the excellent "The Rise and Fall of Alexandria". If you're interested in a good detective story, look elsewhere. This is a silly compilation of lame deaths and murders, supposedly unified around the pending nomination of ...more
Emmanuel Gustin
Lindsey Davis has sent Falco travelling around the world in several books of the Falco series, and often she makes the detective plot subordinate to an imaginative but informed reconstruction of the place and period. In this book, she may have gone too far. The plot is an unsatisfactory tangle with numerous characters who fail to come alive, and struggles to reach completion in the last few pages. The reconstruction of the great lighthouse and the famous library work better, but especially the w ...more
Amber
Couldn't finish it, too many anachronisms that basic research would have cleared up. For example, having your characters romp on "satin sheets" is all very well for character development, but satin was not invented until the Middle Ages. Sloppy.
Rob
One of the better Falco books I have read to date. A murder mystery vacation in Egypt centering on the great library and its collection of scrolls.

I miss Petro in this book and it seems Falco's father was forced into the story. Otherwise, Falco is his usual sarcastic self and Helena is there to off-set him.

I like that Lindsey Davis takes us away from Rome and into Alexandria to see how the great city was run in Roman times... a good mix of Roman, Greek, and Egyptian peoples.
Amy
When I picked up this book about the murder of the head librarian at the library in Alexandria, I had no idea it was one of a long running series for the main character. (although looking at the title now, with the #19 clearly labeled, maybe I could have taken a wild guess.) Considering that, it was enjoyable being transported back to 77 AD, even though the book took until about halfway before it really started moving. Perhaps it was because I was missing out on all the little "insider" comments ...more
Ashland Mystery Oregon
It's been years since I've read one of Lindsey Davis's Marcus Didius Falco mysteries. In this one, Falco takes his family on vacation to Alexandria, intending to spend the time exploring the famous Egyptian city with side trips to see the great pyramids and sphinx. Murder and intrigue among the scholars of the Museion complex of course draw the attention and require the skills of the Emperor's informant, Falco. Alexandria was a good read, with lots of action in the library and also the lighthous ...more
Barbara
Reliable read from the life of Falco. Characters not as colorful as in some of his previous cases. His (Falco's) head is still a fun place to visit for a while.
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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...
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)

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