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A Dying Light in Corduba (Marcus Didius Falco, #8)
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A Dying Light in Corduba

(Marcus Didius Falco #8)

4.06  ·  Rating details ·  2,582 ratings  ·  81 reviews
Marcus Didius Falco is to make ready new contacts and start a new career, and a dinner for the Society of Olive Oil Producers of Baetica seems like the perfect opportunity. But when two dinner guests are found beaten -- one dead -- Falco knows he cannot rest until he solves at least one more mystery...
Paperback, 434 pages
Published March 1st 1999 by Warner Books (first published 1996)
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4.06  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,582 ratings  ·  81 reviews

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Jamie Collins
Set in 73 AD: Our heroes Falco and Helena, who are shortly expecting their first child, travel to Spain on a mission to track down a murderer and uncover shenanigans in the olive oil market.

Not one of my favorites in this series, but these are consistently amusing. I prefer the ones that are set in the city of Rome, which so far is about every other book. So I'm looking forward to the next one.

The details of the olive oil business were interesting, and I liked the depiction of a wild teenage par
aPriL does feral sometimes
'A Dying Light in Corduba', #8 in the Marcus Didius Falco detective series, is an overcomplicated plot involving Roman and Baetican (Spanish) politicians scheming to monopolize the olive oil market. I was not convinced despite the complexity - it was a Rube Goldberg device from beginning to end. Oh well.

Roman Falco takes his 7-month pregnant girlfriend, Helena Justina, to Spain at her insistence, despite the potential dangers of bad guys and to her pregnancy. She refuses to be left alone in Rome
Assaph Mehr
May 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: roman-detectives
Back on the road, Falco travels to Spain and explores the all-important Olive Oil trade across the Roman empire. (And if you think for a moment that ancient trade was not a global phenomenon on a vast scale, look up Monte Testaccio).

Expect a convoluted plot encompassing politicians and money, as well as agricultural and trade copnsiderations. I personally love the setting (having visited modern Cordoba), but this was a quick and lighter read than the previous volume in the series (Time to Depar
Dec 06, 2009 rated it really liked it
Eighth in the series. The plot grows rather convoluted, working through layers upon layers of misinformation and double dealing as the ruling Roman bureacracy, with myriad counterproductive agencies and factions, confronts the possible formation of an economic cartel to control the increasingly lucrative olive oil trade coming out of first century Spain, now solidly under Roman rule for enough generations to have the language and Roman traditions fairly well established. Finding out who actually ...more
Shayla McBride
Jul 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
Love this series! Falco is warm, funny, sometimes funny, sometimes cybical, always honest. The new series starring his adopted daughter, Flavia Alba, is excellent, too.
The setting is a highly accessible take on Ancient Rome. Here our hero, Marcus Didius Falco, solves convoluted and often political crimes and lives an otherwise gentle domestic life with a great character of a wife called Helena.
I'm scoring it a 3 because it's a relaxing read rather than a page turner but I'm reviewing it at all because it was a real pleasure to coast through, and the author's written A LOT of them - which is very good news indeed.
TheIron Paw
I've been trying to read the Falco series in order, but when you're on holidays in small towns, you take what you can find. Davis has done some excellent historical research for this, as usual, funny and exciting crime novel set in ancient Rome (well, actually in Roman Spain this time) - everything you need to know about the politics surrounding the olive industry.
Lizzie Robinson
Jan 24, 2013 rated it really liked it
This is my favourite novel in the series so far. Falco and Helena are never the conventional couple. As well as a rollicking good adventure we are supplied with a interesting travelogue of S Spain. Anacrites and his henchmen (woman) are a lively addition to the mix. I wonder what Petro is getting up to whilst Falco is out of town?
Mar 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Falco has been invited to a dinner with the Society of Olive Oil Producers of Baetica, along with The Chief Spy Anacrites.
When two members of the party are attacked Falco travels to Baetica in Spain to track down and question witnesses. Along with a very heavily pregnant Helena Justina.
Feb 20, 2014 rated it really liked it
I started to read the Falco series from the beginning and continue to enjoy them enormously. Marcus Didius and his partner, Helena, are well established as a couple and now seem like old friends to me. Roll on the next book.
Mar 22, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoy all of the Marcus Didius Falco "hard-boiled" Roman mysteries. Although anachronistic (?) the humor is irresistable. And I love the the "love story".
Rachel Burton
The one in Spain with the olive oil, the intrepid dancing girl and the birth of Falco's firstborn!
Tom Stallard
Dec 26, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A relatively satisfying Falco mystery, wandering around Spain. The end seemed a little rushed, and it missed out on some of the griminess of Rome, but good none-the-less.
Mar 14, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Oh dear I have a new addiction of the reading kind...
Falco, Falco, Falco - what are you *like*? I fear the man will never have any sort of regular reliable paycheck coming in, but constantly on call to the Emperor, running around what we call Europe at his beck and call. On less than minimum wage and no travel and subsistence payments either.
On this occasion, our hero is invited to a rather obscure dining club event, where he bumps into two of his least favourite people - Anacrites, the chief Sp
Jun 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
I've just learned how careful we have to be when buying olive oil and how we could be scammed no matter how careful we are. Now I've read this book which tells about a potential price cartel in the Spanish olive business in the time of the emperor Vespasian. Plus ca change as they say. There is a dinner for oil producers at the palace and Falco is invited for reasons he can't quite fathom. After the dinner Falco's sometime boss Anacrites the Chief Spy and one of his agents are attacked resulting ...more
Cameron Toney
Oct 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mysteries
I love Falco. Lindsey Davis creates a wonderfully evocative world with her view of ancient Rome, and, this time, Roman Spain.
Falco is in a bit of a bind- the chief spy has been very badly beaten after a dinner of Corduban Olive Oil Merchants, a beautiful and dangerous dancing girl is missing, and his significant other, Helena Justina is going to give birth any moment. What is an informer to do? Well, pack up everything and go to Spain.
I find that the mysteries, while solidly created, are never t
Jul 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
This 8th in the series is set in ancient Rome in 73 A.D. Our hero is Marcus Didius Falco, a private informer (investigator) who is soon to be a father. He still hasn't managed to achieve for himself a position in society where he can actually marry Helena whose father is a Senator. The story is part detective novel and part romantic comedy with lots of historical adventure. These stories are always witty and this one involves a convoluted plot beginning in Rome and then ending in Corduba, Hispan ...more
Dennis Fischman
Aug 03, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction, mystery
Marcus Didius Falco makes terrible decisions and races around talking to people without picking up much evidence, and still he solves the mysteries. How? His deep understanding of how Roman society, bureaucracy and culture work is what makes him a detective, and her ability to share all that with you in an entertaining way is what makes Lindsay Davis a writer. Read this book if in particular you’re interested in knowing how olive oil fueled the Empire...or how Marcus and Helena become parents at ...more
Aug 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: rome
The book was a little slow at the beginning, but by the beginning of Part Two (Chapter 19), the pace picked up, and I was thoroughly hooked. Davis presents wonderfully vivid characters, and she has a fine eye for historical detail. She ties in Falco's past, the events of the first Falco mystery, to add perspective to Falco's career and his relationship with Helena Justina. The ending seemed a bit rushed, but the situation presented in the beginning is neatly wrapped up.
Aug 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: lindsey-davis
It takes me a little while to keep up with all the characters in the story. This story was very good. Following Falco is always entertaining and interesting. The political intrigue and complex thinking is really scary, thinking how and why people then, as well as now, think and act. A very good read.
Sep 12, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Maybe 3 1/2 but these books are a lot of fun to read. Falco is a reprobate - but also the charming hero. Step back into ancient Rome and follow him as he solves crimes for, among others, the emperor Vespasian. If you haven't read these before it's good to start with The Silver Pigs - #1 in the series, but after you know the characters any order is pretty much fine. Fast reads. Enjoyable series.
Gayle Noble
Marcus Didius Falco and the heavily pregnant Helena end up in Hispania, chasing an olive oil cartel and a deadly dancing girl. This one was only ok, something about it just didn't work as well as the others for me. I found it dragged in a few places.
Jenn Phizacklea
This was an enjoyable story, probably my favourite of the travelling stories in this series so far.
The political manoeuvring was well drawn, the characters (as always) were engaging, and of course, there was a good dose of very funny passages.
Pat Morris-jones
May 27, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2017-challenge
Not a classic, no great world shattering, insightful book. But good. I didn't think I would rate it but it was an audiobook that had right author for Book vipers challenge (sad I know). Despite these unhelpful thoughts it was ok. Good story, easy to listen to. Fine.
Regina Roach
Jun 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Love every book in this series

Another entertaining book in Lindsey Davis's charming series about Marcus Didius Falco, a detective in Ancient Rome. This one brings him and his pregnant patrician girlfriend to Spain investigating a murder and suspected cartel.
Dan Hyer
Oct 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
Usual Lindsey Davis fare. Well written, well researched and a good read all round.
Lada Askic
Mar 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Yet another hit by Ms. Davis. looking forward to the rest of the series.
Susan Groves
Feb 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
Usual range of Falco characters plus a journey to Spain together with lots of political intrigue and the Roman equivalent of party politics.
Complex and rapidly fluctuating storyline.
May 21, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting but I prefer the books set in Rome.
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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

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)
  • Three Hands in the Fountain (Marcus Didius Falco, #9)
  • Two for the Lions (Marcus Didius Falco, #10)
  • One Virgin Too Many (Marcus Didius Falco, #11)
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