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A Body In The Bath House:

(Marcus Didius Falco #13)

4.04  ·  Rating details ·  2,577 ratings  ·  97 reviews

'There's nothing wrong with Britain . that is if you leave out the mammoth travelling distance from one's dear Roman heritage!'

AD 75. As a passion for home improvement sweeps through the Roman Empire, Falco struggles to deal with a pair of terrible bath-house contractors who have been causing him misery for months. Far away in Britain, King Togidubnus of the Atrebates

Kindle Edition, 388 pages
Published April 30th 2011 by Cornerstone Digital (first published August 28th 2001)
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Average rating 4.04  · 
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 ·  2,577 ratings  ·  97 reviews

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For all those people, who have hired master craftsmen promising good quality work, quickly completed. Then watched their house being slowly demolished by workers who are never on site when you complain.
This story is for you.
Falco's new house has a body in the bathhouse. And its only the beginning of a murder/mystery for our Roman detective.

image: description

It started with a smell
But for Rhea Favonia, we might have lived with it.
Theres a smell! Theres a horrible smell. Im not going in there!
I didnt need to
Jeff Dickison
Mar 31, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a good entry in the Marcus Didius Falco series. Falco returns to Britain at Vespasian's request to oversee the building of a villa of a Roman friend. As always, there is a lot of humor in the storyline, but this one also has some swordplay in a more serious vein. Recommended to anyone, but especially to Falco fans.
Alex in Spades
As always Falco's cynicism and him being a trouble magnet made for one entertaining story. As much as I adore the ancient Rome setting, I was happy to see this bunch on a adventure in Britain. I adore how Falco despises everything about this place (it always makes me laugh).

In this one the dead bodies were on the heavy side. I was not expecting so many deaths. But where Falco goes the death follows. This was one exciting story and I can't wait to read the next one.
3,5 stars

This is one of my favorite series. The main characters (Marcus Didius Falco and Helena Justina) are in fact, one of my all time favorite couples, so it's always great to read a book that features them.I feel like i know them for more than a decade now. :)
The banter and witty comments that the characters exchange, were as always a pleasure to read.

It would however be a greater pleasure of mine, if this series would once again start being translated to portuguese...oh, how i miss thee!!
Assaph Mehr
May 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: roman-detectives
Falco explores the building and construction trade.

In the first novel in the Falco series set in Britannia, Falco chases a murderer and gets a look at the construction of a new palatial mansion in the countryside (based on the archaeological ruins at Fishbourne).

Expect some emotional dramas as Falco's private life is a constant sub-plot, and some examination of Roman dentistry. The main focus, however, is on the construction industry. From Falco's new home's bath, to the grand palace for a local
In the beginning it was difficult to keep the Latin names straight but Davis almost always iterates their position. It was interesting to see how many crews and people were involved in building Roman "mansions".
I thought Falc0 and Helena vowed to never return to England where they first met, but fate sends them there. This time with their 2 children, Helena's 2 brothers plus Falco's nephew to assist Falco, and Falco's sister, Maia without her children, to keep her safe from Anacrites.
B.R. Stateham
Mar 17, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Always good to go back and re-read a favorite. If you haven't met 'Falco' you should. A genuinely interesting character.
Rachel Burton
The one at Fishbourne Palace with the dodgy workmen and the irritating nanny.
Jan 05, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bookcrossing
The cast of characters at the front was quite intimidating, but this was much easier to follow than the detailed list implied, even if tere were actually a pair of bodies in two widely separated bath houses for Falco to investigate. Good fun: I'll pick up any others from this series that happen to cross my path.
Aug 03, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mysteries
I anjoy period mysteries and I enjoy mysteries with a wry sense of humor. The marcus Didius Falco series meets both of those requirements. This book was fun and had me stopping to pull up a map of Roman Britain so I could see where most of the events were taking place. Now I want to read up more on the Roman period in Britain.
Dec 29, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Marcus Didius Falco, along with Helena Justina and other family members, go to Britain on a mission from Vespasian to look into problems with a mansion being built for a tribal chief friendly to Rome. As always with this series, there is a lot of humor and many complications that add to the interest and entertainment value. The reader does a good job.
Apr 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Falco and his father discover a corpse under the floor of his new bath house. The contractors unfortunately may have fled to Britain, a place that Falco hates. But he is ordered to go to southern Britain to investigate the overly high running costs of a palace being built for Togidubnus, an ally of the Emperor Vespasian.

Dec 20, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"The Decline and Fall of Ancient Rome" was a bit hard going for me. Lindsey Davis's books about ancient Rome are fun because they give an insight into the minutiae of ancient Roman life, within the context of a very engaging story.
Nov 18, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I listened to this audiobook while deer hunting with my husband. I was enchanted with the characters, the humor, the time period (75 A.D.), the locale, the dialog ... everything. So glad this is a series. I'll definitely be reading others.
Anthony Buck
Nov 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A bit of a return to form for the falco series after a few less impressive entries. Read this on holiday which is probably the ideal way. As always lindsey Davis is the master of creating interesting and engaging minor characters, even when they only survive a handful of pages! Good fun.
Michelle Kemp
Nov 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another great adventure
Jun 01, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A corpse is buried under the tiles in the new bathroom of Falco's father and Togidubnus, a british chief and ally to the Roman Empire Vespasian is having a palace build which doesn't seem to work out that great and so Falco (and his loved and not so loved ones) travel to Britain to solve yet another case and don't get killed in the process.

Another glimpse into certain aspects of ancient life which I really liked. The focus in this installement is architecture and construction work. I learned
Dennis Fischman
Sep 10, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, mystery
What if the twins who founded Rome werent raised by wolves but by shaggy dogs? That would explain a lot about this story.

It starts with the titular body in Falcos bathhouse in Rome, proceeds through the discovery of another in Britain (where Falco has taken his whole family, including wife, two small children, two grown brothers-in-law, a nephew, and a dog), and it ends up with the Roman body identified and avenged. Along the way, you learn more about first-century architecture and dentistry
MG Mason
Jan 24, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Book...well I don't know how many in the Falco series of historical crime comedies from one of the UK's best writers in the genre. Finally elevated to Equestrian status (something that happened a few books back), Falco sets to work on building a bathhouse at this still modest home. He may have official title from Vespasian, but Procurator of the Sacred Geese of the Temple of Juno probably doesn't pay that well anyway.

Nothing ever goes swimmingly for our protagonist and at the end of the first
Apr 16, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Marcus Didius Falco is quite exasperated. Not only has he just become a father for the second time, he is also overseeing the renovation of his future home, and on top of that, he is involved in a remake of his father's house. He is especially cross about Gloccus and Cotta, two incredibly unreliable contractors who were supposed to build Didius Senior's bath house but have been AWOL for weeks. More or less by accident, Falco and his father stumble on a secret of theirs, which is literally ...more
Apr 14, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thirteenth of the Marcus Didius Falco mysteries, a fun and simultaneously instructive series penned by Lindsey Davis, which provides interesting background of social, cultural, and political practices of the Roman Empire during the reign of Vespasian, who ruled from 69 to 79 A.D. Our intrepid hero Falco sniffs out (well, thats putting it lightly) a decaying body buried in the caldarium (hot room) of the bathhouse at the mansion he just got from his father, making a move back into Rome to ...more
Simon Binning
Jun 28, 2016 rated it liked it
I am a fan of the Falco series, but I struggled with this volume. I think there are a few reasons for this; firstly, the story itself was rather tame - nefarious goings-on at a building site in Britannia, which Falco is sent to sort out. It is all rather straightforward stuff, without the twists and turns that normally follow Falco. Secondly, there are too many personal strands stretched out around this thin plot; too many of Falco's family end up going with him, and he even comes across the ...more
Here's the dilema of investing time in long-running book cycles - sooner or later they start loosing steam and should be abandoned, but you keep on picking up next book in the series simply out of habit and because the characters have become your friends.

'A Body in the Bathhouse' is a proof to that little theory of mine - the plot is only mildly interesting (although it is better than in last couple of preceding volumes) and if forced to depend on its own merits, it is a rather unremarkable
Rosanne Lortz
May 31, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Britainthe last place on earth that Marcus Didius Falco wants to visit. But when Emperor Vespasian asks him to conduct a cost analysis of a building site on the edge of the empire, our hero can hardly refuse. A Body in the Bathhouse shows the Didius family traveling en masse to the wilds of Britain: Marcus, his helpful wife Helena Justina, and their two little girls; Justinus and Aulus, assistants and brothers-in-law to the intrepid informer; and Maia, Marcus sarcastic sister who needs to flee ...more
Sep 04, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: historical fiction/mystery buffs
Dirty diapers and double dealing.

Really funny, well paced, and historically accurate with great details. Falco, the main character is witty without being overly quippy smarty toga. You have like a 'Man from Rome' who brings his wife, 2 small children, dog, nephews, lusty yet lazy Freedwoman and angry sister on a long trip by ship to the newly Romanized British Isles by order of the current Emperor. He and his wife make an interesting team and their relationship is healthy.

It is refreshing to
Oct 15, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm having a real hard time getting my review up here. Here I go one more time after having two reviews lost to cyberspace.

I followed my friend and favorite detective Falco out of Ancient Rome to a construction site on a job commissioned by the emperor. The project is going no where and is hemorrhaging money. As he tries to unravel the problems of the project in a hostile environment, he uncovers a series of murders and finds himself in the crosshairs of the murderer or murderers.

In each Falco
May 24, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: rome
This was quite an engaging book. Marcus Didius Falco has settled into the complications of parenthood, and he's getting a little old for his job as an informer, but he is still in high demand when the Emperor needs someone to get to the bottom of a situation.

This book combines Davis' interest in home renovation and building contractors with the persistent interest in family and family relationships that have been her hallmark since the second book in the series.

Oh! the first part seems
Dec 07, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2010-books-read
I really enjoy this series! This time Marcus Didius Falco and his entourage have journeyed back to Britain, not exactly his favorite place in the Roman Empire. Vespasian has asked him to help sort out the mismanagement of a major building project. Falco takes his family, plus his sister Maia with him to evade the clutches of a spurned Anacrites. Murder and mayhem ensue as usual, and also as usual, Falco manages to uncover fraud, reveal murderers, and stay in relatively one piece. Aside from the ...more
Apr 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm not reading Lindsey Davis' books in series sequence but they work as stand-alone too. A terrific storyline based on the archaeological dig at Fishbourne. No spoilers given; Falco is working for the Emperor in his usual 'informer' role and as usual, Davis comes through with fantastic down-to-earth details of Roman daily life along with a dash of what the Britons were like (as perceived by Falco) in this true-to-life setting. Complex plot helps too. Can't wait to read another one in this ...more
This murder mystery was a very interesting novel because it takes place during the Roman Empire. It begins when Marcus Didius Falco finds a dead body under his bathhouse floor after it was worked on. He and his entire family went to Britain to investigate the funding of the construction of the British king's palace. he also brings along his sister to protect her from a Roman official whom she rejected as a lover.

I had fun reading this book. I appreciated the list of characters at the beginning
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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 ...more

Other books in the series

Marcus Didius Falco (1 - 10 of 20 books)
  • The Silver Pigs (Marcus Didius Falco, #1)
  • Shadows in Bronze (Marcus Didius Falco, #2)
  • 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)

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