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The Ides of April

(Flavia Albia Mystery #1)

3.81  ·  Rating details ·  2,852 ratings  ·  430 reviews
First of a new series of crime novels set in Ancient Rome and featuring Flavia Albia, the adopted daughter of much-loved Marcus Didius Falco.

Based on real historical events: mysterious poisonings, in which victims died, often unaware they had been attacked. Albia is now 28 and an established female investigator. Her personal history and her British birth enable her to view
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published June 11th 2013 by Minotaur Books (first published April 11th 2013)
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Average rating 3.81  · 
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 ·  2,852 ratings  ·  430 reviews

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Hilari Bell
Jul 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I have always loved Davis’ Marcus Didius Falco books, and was deeply saddened when she stopped writing them. As a writer, I can see that after 20 book the series might be wearing a bit thin for her, but as a reader I wanted MORE! So I was delighted to see her starting a new series, in which Flavia Albia takes over her father’s old P.I. business. It not only brings back a wise-cracking P.I. who’s also an ancient Roman—female!—but it lets us get glimpses of the other characters we love through Fla ...more
Michelle L
Even a truly superlative author can disappoint sometimes, though it's taken Lindsey Davis decades to do so. The first couple of chapters in this new series were enjoyable, with the crisply sarcastic voice of Flavia Albia, the now-adult British (Albion, hence Albia) adoptee daughter of Lindsey Davis' wonderful Roman informer, Marcus Didius Falco and his noble wife Helena Justina. But pretty soon that voice seems to take over, endlessly, interrupting story flow. She sachets this way and that with ...more
Nancy McKibben
Nov 20, 2013 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: readers who like well-done historical mysteries
The Ides of April
By Lindsey Davis

A new Marcus Didius Falco novel by Lindsey Davis! Quick, grab it off the library shelf! But what’s this? The subtitle: A Flavia Albia Mystery. What?!

Such were my emotions on discovering this novel. A faithful fan of the wisecracking Falco, detective of ancient Rome, through twenty other novels (although I’ve evidently missed the last, Nemesis), I was expecting more of the same. Instead, I find that Flavia Albia, Falco and Helena’s adopted daughter (a plot twist t
Rachel Hartman
Dec 25, 2013 rated it really liked it
I'll just give you a moment to adjust to the fact that I read an actual adult novel. I do that sometimes. It's probably more shocking that I read a mystery novel. Mysteries don't interest me that much, generally, but I've always liked Lindsey Davis's Falco books. They're sharp, funny, and well-researched. I'm in it for classical Rome and Helena Justina; the mystery is beside the point. I can't even tell you if they're good mysteries or not. They're fun books, and that's enough.

This one wasn't as
I've been on an ancient history kick recently and a mystery series featuring Flavia Albia sounded up my alley. The beginning was promising but I found myself kind of bored around midway through. The characters were interesting but didn't have much growth and the plot felt slow and plodding. I also guessed who was the killer almost from the beginning and I'm usually not good at guessing. I technically finished it but only by skimming most of the second half. ...more
Dec 30, 2020 rated it really liked it
This is a fantastic ancient historical mystery that I'm teetering on the edge of calling a cozy because I got so into the world of ancient Rome the way Lindsey Davis paints it that I more than occasionally forgot people were dead.

Flavia Albia is actually the daughter of another Lindsey Davis character who is following in her father's footsteps as an "informer" or private detective. Obviously this is a difficult job for a woman, not to mention a single woman still nursing a broken heart for a lo
A bit too "British" per the narrator for my tastes and additionally that not much in the clue trail was happening in the first two discs.


Full disclosure: I won this in a GoodReads giveaway.

I have to admit that although I’d heard of author Lindsey Davis before, I had never got round to picking up any of her renowned Marcus Didius Falco mystery novels. The Ides of April is the first novel in Falco: The Next Generation, following the adventures of Falco’s adopted daughter Flavia Albia as she too becomes an investigator of mysteries. Therefore I jumped into this series not knowing what to expect. Generally I tend to prefer straight h
Flavia Albia is female Informer (private investigator) in ancient Rome during the reign of Emperor Domitian. This means that she often has to take on cases that her male counterparts turn down. When the death of her latest unsavory client leads Albia to suspect that a serial killer is on the loose, she soon finds herself in the middle of the intrigue.

I ended up liking this book in spite of the fact that there were several reasons why I shouldn't. First of all, it's not written using the speech p
Feb 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Flavia Albia, a young widow, has been an informer (private investigator) for several years, following in her adopted father’s footsteps. Rome in the first century AD is brought vividly to life in this fast paced and amusing story which does have its darker side. Those who have read this author’s Falco series will immediately recognise Flavia Albia. She is independent, intelligent and observant – ideal qualities for an informer to have. But it seems some people in high places don’t want her to fi ...more
Dec 28, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: audiobook
Maybe even lower. Very weak, and disappointing given my memory of enjoying the Falco books, though I haven't read them all, and haven't read any in a long time. It didn't help that our bold heroine kept going on about how she'd been taught by the best, before behaving extremely stupidly. Basically, if a guy was good-looking and seems to like her she'll believe every word he says. Without checking, or even wondering for a split second if it might be a good idea to get any other perspective. Infur ...more
Alessandra Trindle
May 26, 2013 rated it it was ok
As much as I loved the Falco series by Lindsey Davis, I had high expectations for "The Ides of April", which is essentially "Falco, Second Generation." The reboot features Flavia Albia, Falco's adopted daughter. She's smart. She's tough. She's resourceful. She's Rome's version of V.I. Warshawski.

The problem with Davis's reboot is that it is surgical and completely cuts out the familiar and lovable Falco and his wife, Helena. There would have been nothing wrong with her easing Falco out and Albia
Kind of sad. Falco and Helena have taken a back seat to their adopted daughter, Flavia Alba, who they rescued from brutal conditions in Britannia and brought back and raised in Rome. She's all grown up now and working on her own as an informer. The focus has clearly shifted to her: Falco and Helena have become shadowy figures, relegated to their roles as Flavia's parents. Flavia, who lives alone in Falco's old apartment building in Fountain Court, visits them a few times in the book, but author ...more
Soumya Shah
Feb 02, 2017 rated it did not like it
This is the first book I've read from this author based on its reviews and I was very disappointed. I found her writing style inelegant and the plot really weak. I don't understand why it has so many good reviews. I had to force myself to finish it in case it got better. It didn't. ...more
Alex in Spades
3,5 Stars

I fell in love with Falco since book one of his adventures, and though I'm not yet finished with his series, I've decided to pick up this book. Flavia Albia is Falco and Helena's adoptive daughter. She's smart, resourceful and funny. Her sarcastic voice reminded me a lot of her father's, and no surprise that she would end up as a private investigator in ancient Rome, cultivating family traditions.

For me this story felt a bit more brutal. The Rome of Caesars was definitely harsher for w
Kate Vane
Jun 01, 2016 rated it really liked it
This is the first in a series featuring Flavia Albia, Roman informer and daughter of the famous Falco, Davis’s much loved series character. The inconvenient death of Albia’s client (before she has paid her fee) means she stumbles on a possible murder case. Soon she is hunting for a serial killer.

I liked this book despite a major flaw. You have to believe that Albia fails to see something which is blindingly obvious to the reader from early on – and indeed is heavily and repeatedly telegraphed by
The Library Lady
Mar 23, 2013 rated it really liked it
DON'T read this book if you have not yet read the 20-odd books Lindsey Davis has written about Marcus Didius Falco, informer (private investigator) to us in Rome during the reign of Emperor Vespasian.

Instead, go and find The Silver Pigs, and start at the beginning. Savor all the books that follow, culminating in Nemesis:. You might even want to read Falco: The Official Companion, chock full of interesting tidbits.

Then, and only then, read this book and you will appreciate what Lindsey Davis has
Kiri Salazar
Jul 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystery
I tremendously enjoy the author's facility with words. The colorful way she captures the flavor of ancient Rome had me eating olives and crusty loaves of bread along with the main character as she solved the problem of mysterious deaths that no one was reporting. (Literally, by the way, I had to get up and attack a plate of Kalamata olives and French bread just to satisfy my visceral needs as well as intellectual ones.)

I haven't made an effort to cross check for accuracy, but Lindsey Davis writ
Richard Howard
Feb 10, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: read-2019
For a historical mystery to work, you must believe that what happens is credible given the time in which it is set. This fails that test. There are so many glaring anachronisms: algebra calculus (not for centuries); mad cat ladies (not a thing in ancient Rome); serial killers (the term is only decades old.) But, more crucially, you have to suspend a lot of disbelief to accept that a young woman could act the way that Alba does in this book. It was just not possible and so the whole sorry mess be ...more
I really wanted to like this book much more than I did. Based on the description of the book, I was hoping for a spirited, assertive independent, intelligent, female protagonist. Unfortunately, I was instead disappointed by this character.

Yes, Flavia was intelligent but she was also abrasive, aggressive, cynical, and sarcastic. I found her fairly unlikeable. In fact, except for the care that she had for the foxes, I might have thought her not much different than the psychopath she chased, unfeel
Leanne Smith
Feb 07, 2014 rated it liked it
Very witty and sharp - enjoyable romp through Rome but with a very modern view. Having read many in the Falco series it was good to see Rome from a female perspective.
Simon Binning
Mar 06, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lindsey Davis put an end to her popular Falco series after twenty books. Perhaps a brave decision; perhaps the right one. After all, everything comes to an end eventually. But it is possibly even braver to take one of the characters from that series as the lead in a new one.
Flavia Albia is the adopted daughter of Falco and Helena Justina. Rescued from the streets of Londinium as a child, she features in many of the Falco books, but almost in passing until the last few, where we see her - still b
Nathan Albright
Jan 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: challenge-2019
Because I decided to take up a challenge in Goodreads that involved reading mystery novels, I thought I would try to find some historical mystery novels that I had not already read to add to my background in the genre, and I found the eight-novel Flavia Albia series to be worthy of note on a bit of a whim.  As far as whims go, it was a good one, although it did give me plenty of disturbing material to think about when it came to the similarities between the readers and the protagonists of such f ...more
Laura Spira
Dec 20, 2017 rated it liked it
Not quite as good as the Falco books but Albia is sparky and the plot was sufficiently complex to keep me interested. The gap between the end of the Falco series and the start of this story is briefly sketched in but not entirely satisfactorily. Somehow I wasn't convinced by her earlier marriage or her attraction to the villain here. Maybe she'll grow on me but I miss her father. ...more
Ian  Cann
Nov 19, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Taut, terse and thrilling, Davis nails the hard boiled detective novel here and captures the feel of first century AD Rome perfectly at the same time, with some nice touches of humour and anachronisms to weave the whole thing together - Flavia Albia feels both out of and in her own time perfectly. Will definitely be diving into this series.
Diane McKenzie
Oct 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: future
Lindsey Davis did an incredible job with her Marcus and Helena characters about ancient Rome and the ups and downs of being a private investigator. Now their daughter Albia follows in their footsteps with a bit of loving support and guidance from her parents. Albia possesses positive qualities from both parents. Very engaging and entertaining. Looking forward to the next mystery.
Tory Wagner
Jun 05, 2020 rated it liked it
Flavia Alvia, a female investigator, lives in Ancient Rome. As a young widow, she is able to move within society easily and is a well known figure. The mystery was interesting, but moved a little slowly.
abandoned... don't care enough about either the case or the characters. ...more
Oct 16, 2018 rated it liked it
2.5 stars
Sep 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing
It had been awhile since I'd read one of Lindsey Davis' Falco mysteries, so I was surprised and delighted to see her new novel The Ides of April, featuring Flavia Alba, Falco's adopted daughter. Flavia has moved into Falco's old digs and taken over his career as an investigator while he, Helena and the rest of the family settle down to a less adventurous domesticity.

Often whilst reading the earlier books, I thought about how it is to write from a male perspective. Women are much more used to doi
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Falco and Associates: The Ides of April by Lindsey Davis 1 17 Jul 26, 2013 05:20PM  

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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

Other books in the series

Flavia Albia Mystery (9 books)
  • Enemies at Home (Flavia Albia Mystery, #2)
  • Deadly Election (Flavia Albia Mystery, #3)
  • The Graveyard of the Hesperides (Flavia Albia Mystery, #4)
  • The Third Nero (Flavia Albia Mystery #5)
  • Pandora's Boy (Flavia Albia Mystery #6)
  • A Capitol Death (Flavia Albia Mystery #7)
  • The Grove of the Caesars (Flavia Albia Mystery #8)
  • A Comedy of Terrors (Flavia Albia Mystery #9)

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