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Pandora's Boy

(Flavia Albia Mystery #6)

4.19  ·  Rating details ·  812 ratings  ·  120 reviews

Flavia Albia is a private investigator, always drawn to an intriguing puzzle - even if it is put to her by her new husband's hostile ex-wife. On the Quirinal Hill, Clodia Volumnia, a very young girl with stars in her eyes, has died, amid suggestions that she was poisoned by a love-potion. It will have been supplied by a local witch, who goes by the name of Pandora, though

Kindle Edition, 400 pages
Published April 5th 2018 by Hodder & Stoughton
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Amy The books in this series can be read as stand-alones, but realize that you may be spoiling a few things for yourself if you decide to go back to the…moreThe books in this series can be read as stand-alones, but realize that you may be spoiling a few things for yourself if you decide to go back to the earlier books. (I was fine with that, myself. I started with book 3 and jumped around after that.)(less)

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4.19  · 
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 ·  812 ratings  ·  120 reviews

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Mar 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
I love the ancient Rome that Lindsey Davis evokes. This is one of my favourites of the series, not for the mystery at its heart, but for its portrait of life and society in Rome, especially for women and young people. The relationship between Flavia Albia and her husband is so wonderfully drawn here. Review to follow shortly on For Winter Nights.
Apr 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: historical-crime
Probably the best of the Flavia Albia mysteries so far.

Lindsey has got into her stride and the characters are now as rounded and believable as the ones she created in the Falco series. Speaking of Falco, he makes a cameo appearance in this book.

A girl is found dead in bed. Her father insists she has been poisoned with a love potion supplied by a witch named Pandora. Albia is engaged to find out exactly what happened. As with any Lindey Davis mystery, things are never simple, and the outcome is n
Elaine Tomasso
Apr 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
I would like to thank Netgalley and Hodder & Stoughton for a review copy of Pandora's Boy, the sixth novel to feature Flavia Albia, the first century Roman informer.

When Laia Gratiana, ex wife of Albia's husband Tiberius, comes to Albia with the offer of a new case she isn't interested until Tiberius goes missing and then she takes it on to stay busy. A 15 year old, Clodia, has been found dead in her bed. Her father accuses her mother and grandmother of giving her a love potion that kills he
Aug 12, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was so entertaining that I considered giving it a 5 star rating. Although it has some slight flaws, it is absolutely my most favorite Flavia Albia so far. And this is #6 already!! Forgive me if I go a bit long here. There's so much excellent reading that I can't just fluff over this one.

In this one we have a tragedy that occurs within a group of young adults who are still residing at home with their parents in Rome 89 AD- and yet are living the lives of extended adolescence despite being in
Karen Witzler
Jul 03, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle, mystery
Best of the new series as Davis becomes more confident with Albia acting as chief informant in Falco's family. This confidence allows her to more liberally incorporate the family history into this new iteration, making great fun for long-time readers of these mysteries set in Flavian Rome (this is my 26th?), but in no way hampering new ones. As always, I recommend going back to The Silver Pigs and seeing where it all began.
Jul 27, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 stars for me because I was not interested in emphasis on youth. Roman version of gossip girl stuff that I think teens and young people could more easily get into. Flavia Albia is hired to find what led to the death of a 15-year old girl. There is probably a lot to interest a younger audience, but it seemed to represent a group of spoiled rich kids that could just as easily be in the here and now.
I am old and grumpy I guess. I loved the Falco (her "father") series before this series launched.
Breakaway Reviewers
Flavia Albia is an ancient Roman version of Miss Marple

Flavia Alba was born in Britannia and adopted by Marcus Didius Falco (of Falco novel series) who became a famous private investigator during the reign of Emperor Vespasian. Flavia became the new sleuth during the reign of Emperor Domitian.

Flavia Alba was hired by Dolumnius Firmus and Sentia Lucretia to investigate the death of their daughter, Clodia, when she heard the big fight between Clodia’s grandmothers in an atrium.

The love potion from
May 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
I think this may be my favorite Flavia novel of all so far. The mystery is mostly a pretext to show a slice of life under Domnitian — in this case the feckless, wealthier parts of the middle class. The women are half illiterate and spend their days getting beauty treatments, gossiping and planning their next affair. The men do the masculine version of this. Their teenagers are bejeweled, with too large allowances, little supervision, spending their time doing the same.

What I’ve always liked bes
Online Eccentric Librarian
Jul 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: historical, arc
More reviews at the Online Eccentric Librarian

More reviews (and no fluff) on the blog

First a personal note - I've read all the Davis books over the years and while I consume large amounts of audio books in general, I have always steered away from them when it comes to Lindsay Davis, primarily because I was worried the narrator would not have the same tone as my imagination had given the characters over the years. Turns out this was not so - the Audiobook version was very enjoyable.

The story in Pandora's
Barb in Maryland
Another marvelous entry in one of my favorite series.
Albia very reluctantly gets involved with a case brought to her attention by her husband's nasty ex-wife. Manlius Faustus has gone missing shortly after this meeting--rather than fret herself to death, Albia decides to keep herself busy investigating the death of 15 year old Clodia Volumnia. It seems to be a case of young love thwarted by parental opposition. There are even rumors of a love potion, but why would Clodia have drunk such a potion
I hadn't planned on reviewing this book, but it became a project for me in the sense that some friends of mine will finish a book, even though they admit part way through that they really aren't enjoying it. I feel strongly the other way, but decided to stick with this one to see whether I could do it. A disclaimer at that I did lose the thread of the story a couple of times, but never felt like going back to retrieve it, especially with an audiobook where that is more difficult. Now, on to the ...more
Jul 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
If you have loved Lindsey Davis’s Marcus Didius Falco books, you will love the stories of his adopted daughter Flavia Albia. If you are not acquainted with Falco you have a tremendous treat awaiting you, and what better way to start than with this book.

The newly-married Flavia Albia is inveigled by the ex-wife of her husband to take the case of a fifteen-year-old girl from a good family who died suddenly. Albia does not want to take the case as she wants nothing to do with the ex-wife, but with
Alex in Spades
4,5 Stars

Meddling ex-wives, killers, love potions and missing husbands. This book was so good, and I think my new favorite from this series! The portrait of the Roman society was so brutal in this one, it gripped me (also I feel like we could add different gadgets to the young people of today, and not much would change with their reckless behaviours). This story was so engaging, I was not expecting the conclusion. The ending in the style of Poirot was so amazingly done. Also Flavia and Tiberius
Jul 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is the most current book in the series and I have read all to date. I enjoyed the dialogue, the characters new and returning and the setting immensely. The descriptions of day to day life, the customs during this time and the continuing women rights in that society were eye opening. Where there is a will there is always a way :)
Catherine Stein
Apr 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
Not my favorite of the series, but still a fun read. Lots of funny parts, as usual, and I love Albia's character. Seemed like this one had a lot of setup for ongoing mysteries/difficulties, so I'm looking forward to seeing where that leads in future books.
Jul 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I had almost forgotten what it really means to hold a book you cannot put down. Lindsey Davis' books are like that: funny, at times instructive, but those familiar with her books remember they are reading a finely crafted novel that will lead to a satisfying conclusion. This had an extra twist at the end that added to the pleasure.
Kathleen Schilling
Jul 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this installment in the Flavia Albia series. The relationship elements were lighter and although the mystery had some dark pieces, I found it compelling and interesting.
Suzanne Robertson Moutis
Sep 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Oh Lindsey Davis, how do you do it time after time?

Pandora's Boy is another in the long line of amazing stories by this oh-so-talented writer. I love how Davis can transport readers into ancient Rome with such skill, evoking the sights, sounds, tastes and feel of this historic city. I bought this book in London in June, and have had it on my bedside table since, unwilling to start reading it because I knew that when I began I wouldn't want it to end. I have been reading the Falco/Flavia series
Mary A
I love the Flavia Albia series - but I didn't think this was one of Lindsey Davis's best.
Some of the scenes in this book were more farfetched than usual, the dialogue could have used some serious editing and, frankly, the group of spoiled young people were totally unbelievable (plus their behaviour seemed pretty anachronistic!)
Having said that, Flavia and her husband are charming and I adored the description of the banquet at Fabulo's.
I'll certainly keep reading the series, but I would like to s
Nathan Albright
Feb 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: challenge-2019
Sometimes a book can have a revealing title.  Who is Pandora's Boy, one might ask?  In this case, he is a young man who is the grandson of a wealthy community's local pharmacist, abortionist, and poisoner.  He happens to be the romantic crush of a young woman who tags around with some older and catty young people who are viewed as a cool crowd but drink a lot, engage in casual fornication, and are generally not very good people.  He also happens to be a scion of a house of criminals who is being ...more
Ray Moon
Jun 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Will Someone Please Tell Me the Truth
The novel opens with Flavia Albia about a month into her wedded bliss with her husband, Tiberius Manlius Faustus, a plebeian aedile. Out of the blue, Laia Gratiana, Tiberius’s first wife, who he divorced ten years earlier and with whom Flavia has a down right frigid relationship, arrives with a commission for Flavia. The 15 year old daughter of Laia’s friend had died. There were rumors that she had been poisoned. Laia wants Flavia to investigate. Tiberius thi
Leila Anani
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 25, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Another glimpse of Roman society through a murder mystery, and this time the focus is on Roman youth. Albia reluctantly agrees to investigate the death of a 15-year-old girl, more to distract herself from other problems than because she genuinely wants the case. There were fewer expository lumps in this book than in others in this series—young adults who haven't quite matured probably don't need as much explanation for the modern reader as other aspects of Roman culture! The story strikes a nice ...more
Jul 09, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The 6th novel in the Flavia Albia series with more to come I hope.
I stumbled upon the adventures of FA, the adopted daughter of Marcus Didius Falco and his wife, Helena Justina, by accident. And I am very glad I did!
In this 6th installment, FA is still concerned over the health of her husband, who was struck by lightning on their wedding day and is still not 'himself'.
When his ex-wife, Laia, an odious woman who begrudges FA the good luck to have found and married her ex and bought them both much
Clemens Schoonderwoert
This exciting Roman mystery is the 6th volume of the delightful "Flavia Albia" series.
The book contains a wonderful well-drawn map of Rome, Districts VI+VII, with the Quirinal Hill and its historical background that will play a very important part in this story, and besides that you'll find a great list of Characters who'll play an exciting part in this gripping eventful story.
One of the fascinating things in this book is the (cameo) appearance of Marcus Didius Falco, Flavia's foster-father, and
Rosanne Lortz
May 27, 2018 rated it liked it
Flavia Albia is hesitant to take a case recommended by her new husband's ex-wife, but the death of fifteen-year-old Clodia is too intriguing to pass up. Along the way, her husband Tiberius goes undercover himself as the assistant of a lettuce shop whose products are renowned for their powers of fertility. Soon, Flavia's investigation introduces her to a vapid and immoral socialite set, members of the underworld gang known as the Rabirii, and a well-connected potion seller named Pandora whose nam ...more
May 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
I thought this book was the first in the series. Once again, I need to learn to do my research before reading books. This is actually number six in the series. Though with reading between the lines you get enough of the back story that it did not matter that this was number six and not number one. I had no problems picking it up and reading without knowing what books one through five were about.

The was a very clever story line with a wonderful plot and characters. Though I do admit that I do not
Kathy Piselli
Sep 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
Falco had his Petronius, and Albia has her Tiberius. It's a good combo. This latest from Davis contains her customary gentle humor, like lettuce appearing as a character on her introductory list of dramatis personae. Her characters could be just like us, and we are lulled...until we encounter a giant-phallused god's statue in the marketplace. Davis reminds us we are in ancient Rome with chapter headings in Roman numerals and throwaway phrases like an imagined game called “Find the Cleopatra”. It ...more
Breakaway Reviewers
Apr 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
Flavia Albia is an ancient Roman version of Miss Marple

Flavia Alba was born in Britannia and adopted by Marcus Didius Falco (of Falco novel series) who became a famous private investigator during the reign of Emperor Vespasian. Flavia became the new sleuth during the reign of Emperor Domitian.

Flavia Alba was hired by Dolumnius Firmus and Sentia Lucretia to investigate the death of their daughter, Clodia, when she heard the big fight between Clodia’s grandmothers in an atrium.

The love potion from
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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 (8 books)
  • The Ides of April (Flavia Albia Mystery, #1)
  • 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, #5)
  • A Capitol Death (Flavia Albia Mystery #7)
  • The Grove of the Caesars (Flavia Albia Mystery #8)
“We both had a tender regard for this god. Min had not only helped us learn something material; more importantly, his presence had helped Tiberius. Working in disguise at the lettuce booth, though ludicrous, had taken his mind off his troubles after the lightning strike. Min had restored my man to me.” 1 likes
“As well as her benevolence toward the nation as a whole, a busy task, Salus also guards every individual. I was going to need her myself today.” 0 likes
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