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A Body in the Bathhouse
Lindsey Davis
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A Body in the Bathhouse (Marcus Didius Falco #13)

4.05  ·  Rating details ·  2,181 Ratings  ·  70 Reviews
With his entire family in tow, including wife, two children, and a sister whose spurned lover's plans for revenge have put her life in danger, Marcus Didius Falco, the Roman Emperor Vespasian's smart-aleck PI, follows two unsavory building contractors suspected of murder to a barbarous, uncivilized outpost of the Empire--the south coast of Britain, where its Great King, hi ...more
Published (first published August 28th 2001)
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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!!
May 17, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
No suelo abandonar un libro. Pero cierto es que hay una relación proporcional entre mi edad y el número de libros abandonados. Cuando era más joven no sentía que leer un libro que no me gustara era perder el tiempo. Ahora que soy menos joven, sí. Quizá sea porque el espectro de libros que me esperan ha aumentado considerablemente.

Hace unos años leí La plata de Britania, la primera de veinte dedicada a las pesquisas del detective romano Didio Falco y ya entonces tuve problemas. Me despistaba. No
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, that’s 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 accomm ...more
Rachel Burton
The one at Fishbourne Palace with the dodgy workmen and the irritating nanny.
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.
Jul 26, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Another good read by this author. The only question I have is when is Falco going to marry the girl. He now has 2 daughters, and is in the middle rank, so nothing stands in his way.
Georgiana 1792
Marco Didio Falco, l’investigatore romano che opera nell’epoca dei Flavi, questa volta è in trasferta nella sua Inghilterra. Sua perché è lì che ha conosciuto Elena Giustina, la figlia di un senatore romano che ha sposato e che gli ha appena dato la sua seconda figlia, Favonia. Sua perché Falco si muove nell’isola di Albione con una certa dimestichezza, spiegata anche dal fatto che il nostro investigatore, affiancato dal fedele amico Petronio Longo, ha prestato servizio militare nella legione II ...more
M.G. 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 ch
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 stinki ...more
Jul 29, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Those interested in Rome, who dunnits, and/or Lindsey Davis, work.
I really wanted to give this book a higher rating mostly because I have enjoyed the "Falco" series so much over the years. This, the 13th in the series, doesn't quite measure up to the previous offerings.

The story opens with Falco uncovering a decaying body in the bathhouse he is having built at his new family residence in Rome. He believes that the bathhouse builders are the perpetrators and have run off to Britain, a place Falco hates. Fortunately or unfortunately the Emperor Vespasian asks h
Oct 26, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime
The Falcos return to Britain, this time as a couple and avoiding the Mendips and mines in favour of a building site where it seems an Imperial project is well over budget, there is a disturbing number of deaths on site and the whole project seems to be out of control. Not that Falco is all that interested in accepting the Emperor’s commission – but it also seems that two dodgy builders he believes responsible for the corpse under his bathroom floor may also be in the vicinity. So off the go – Ma ...more
Jamie Collins
2.5 stars. I always enjoy reading about Marcus Didius Falco and his family, but this isn't one of my favorites in this series, and it's not a particularly intriguing murder mystery. I find that I usually prefer the Falco adventures which take place in Rome.

After Falco discovers the titular body in his new bathhouse, he accepts an assignment from the emperor to investigate corruption at a huge building site in Britain. Falco suspects that his wretched bathhouse contractors might have absconded th
Simon Binning
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 mis ...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 boo
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 fo
Rosanne Lortz
May 31, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Britain–the 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
Oct 15, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011
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 n
Lizzie Robinson
Jan 24, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a wonderful evocation of Roman Britain through the eyes of the reluctant Anglophile Falco. LD must have been project managing her own Roman inspired self-build, such is the understanding of the Roman building industry (perhaps more than a little of the current ones too). It is Falco's wry & worldly approach to the task at hand that lifts this novel above the others in this genre. One of Helena's brothers is drawn in to this episode with some interesting results. We meet some old frie ...more
Falco and Helena are back in Britain, along with assorted family members (including Helena's two brothers), on a new assignment for the Emperor Vespasian, this time auditing a building site. But it's not just any building site. It's the "Great King's" new palace, a gift from Vespasian to the local chieftain for his loyalty to Rome. We know it today as Fishbourne Palace, an amazing Roman ruin in West Sussex, England, bigger than Buckingham Palace. The book has everything one wants from a Falco ca ...more
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
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 o
Jun 12, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
I like this whole series. It combines two of my favorite things: Classical civilizations and the classic detective story.

Set in ancient Rome and other classical locals, this book and the rest in the series follows Marcus Didius Falco as he accidentally solves murders, blackmails, scandals and robberies while trying to manage his household and his business.

Fun, light, not badly written, and right up my ally. Maybe yours, too. Who knows. There's no harm in reading something new.
I couldn't figure out how the character's had gone from poverty level to the middle class so quickly between books. Until I went back over the list and discovered that I had skipped two books in the series. The series moves well, I do recommend that you brush up on you Latin and get a map of the Roman Empire during that time. Struggling with the geography and trying to place current names with the older ones.
Jul 11, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Marcus Didius Falco discovers that rank bring problems, the most gruesome of which is a corpse buried under the tiles of his new bath house. The contractors have fled to Britain where, as the Fates have it, Falco is ordered. A local chief and ally of the Romans is having a Palace built by the Emperor Vespasian. However, the project is running late, and fatal accidents keep happening. Falco, troubleshooting for the Emperor, is without an ally and now next on the list for assassination....
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.

I usually love books set in Roman Britain and I adore Falco but this adventure was far from a favorite. I found the local color lacking, the family turmoil confusing and the mystery only so-so. While there was a map of the palace that is the main setting there was no map of the surroundings which would have been helpful.
May 15, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The wise-cracking character of Marcus Falco has been established early in the series and does not falter here. The most interesting part is that this is set during the building of the Roman palace at Fishbourne, near Chichester, UK. Having visited here, the story of murder and conniving during the construction is particularly interesting.
Jun 27, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I usually miss the fun of the family when the story takes place outside of Rome, but this time so many came along I didn't have to miss them. There was a brief start in Rome were not one but two cases take the Falco entourage off to Britain. The one personal case resolved in a rather pat way but the imperial one was interesting.
Mar 28, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This is a bookclub selection for this month. Sounds like a very different type of mystery.
Set in about 70 AD, a Roman investigator travels to Britain to find a murderer and also suss out any financial wrongdoing with a large construction site. He takes his family with him. This man is very cynical and flippant. Don't think I like the writing that well.
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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...

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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