Melissa Proffitt's Reviews > Venus in Copper

Venus in Copper by Lindsey Davis
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's review
Jul 10, 12

bookshelves: mystery, own, detective-stories, romance, historical-fiction
Read in July, 2012

I think this volume of the Marcus Didius Falco mysteries was where I really got hooked by the series. It's hard for me to classify: is it a mystery with an historical setting, or historical fiction with a mystery-based plot? Venus in Copper is a good mystery story about a "black widow" who may have killed three husbands and gotten away with it, and is now engaged to marry a fourth...or is she trying to protect him from someone else who wants him dead? There are a lot of suspects, a lot of motives, and any number of red herrings as more bodies surface. I especially liked the minor characters, who were distinctive despite there being many more of them than usual. Falco's relationship with Helena continues to develop, though the ultimate question of whether it can be official is still deferred, and it doesn't help that Titus Caesar (another of my favorites) has started sniffing around Helena. This story makes me wonder just how man-of-the-people Titus really was; could he, for example, truly been comfortable in a rickety sixth-floor apartment, sitting on the floor and eating turbot parboiled in an old shield? I'd really like to believe so.
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