stormhawk's Reviews > The Silver Pigs

The Silver Pigs by Lindsey Davis
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's review
Apr 26, 11

Recommended to stormhawk by: found on the mailroom table in my apartment building
Read from April 18 to 26, 2011

It's a detective novel, set in AD 70(ish), Rome.

It's got all the hallmarks of the hardboiled detective novel … snappy patter, shady histories, and smart, attractive dames.

It's got all the hallmarks of Ancient Rome … togas, plots, and reeking vats of urine.

Unfortunately, the two don't work as well together, at least in this first of the Marcus Didius Falco mysteries. I've read other mysteries in olden times sorts of books, but there's something that's not ringing quite right for me … the sense I get is rather like the Centurian goes to the Renaissance Faire. It's not entirely Roman, and not entirely hardboiled detective.

And the plot takes a bit to get going.

And the inevitable Roman romance seems added in to the plot, almost as though a publisher or best friend was saying, “Well, it's some. Somebody has to have sex with somebody, might as well be them ...”

The occasional historical tidbit and Roman slice of life is fun, but does little to further the plot. Like the sex, it feels added in to serve a need of the author, rather than the reader. The book suffers from cliches, the least of which is chapters headed in Roman numerals.


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Reading Progress

04/18/2011 "Found abandoned on the mailroom table."
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