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The Jupiter Myth

(Marcus Didius Falco #14)

4.04  ·  Rating details ·  1,904 ratings  ·  77 reviews
Stuck in the Roman outpost of Londinium, Marcus Didius Falco is ready to pack up his family and go home... until the corpse of a nobleman turns up, head down, in a well behind a local tavern. The dead man turns out to be a close friend of the king and suddenly Falco has a murder case to solve before he can get out of town. Taking on the British tradition of the pub crawl, ...more
Paperback, 336 pages
Published May 1st 2004 by Mysterious Press (first published 2002)
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4.04  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,904 ratings  ·  77 reviews

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Jun 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The year is AD77 and following completion of a successful investigation for the Roman Emperor Vespasian, informer Marcus Falco is enjoying a brief holiday in Londinium with his wife and children and looking forward to heading home to to Rome. However, his plans are derailed when a body is found in the well of a local tavern and Marcus identifies him as a wealthy courtier of King Togidubnus on the south coast and someone he met during his investigation there. Suddenly Marcus finds himself thrust ...more
Mar 06, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: hardcore Falco fans

Another Falco adventure in his least favourite place... Britain.
The man hates the weather, isn't crazy about the Baths, and the bartenders are just fishy. And don't even get him started on the beer *ugh*... although water ends up being way... dangerous for everyone's health!

Luckily his closer family is with him: His beloved wife, Helena Justina, their two infant girls, and of course, Nux the family's dog.
Oh, and his sister Maia Favonia, her children, and lets not forget his BFF Petronius.
Assaph Mehr
May 30, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: roman-detectives
Felix is back to dealing with the criminal element, although this time set in Roman Britain.

Expect murder, plot twists, criminals, female gladiators, femme fatales, and Falco and friends' family life, as Falco's British holiday turn to another of his usual investigator jobs.

Be aware that while it's not necessary to read the books in order, it certainly helps - certainly so far into the series.
Assaph Mehr, author of Murder In Absentia: A story of Togas, Daggers, and Magic - for lovers of Ancie
Sep 19, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime
Following their adventures on the south coast, Marcus Didius Falco’s extended clan are still in Britain, preparing for their return to Rome when plans are interrupted by the murder of a murderer. Held up in Londinium, having been recruited by Helena’s uncle and charged by King Togidubnus, friend to the emperor and important ally in Britain, with solving the murder Falco finds himself negotiating the underworld of Londinium, cAD79. It’s a tale of organised crime, vengeance, requited love and prob ...more
Simon Binning
Mar 11, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There is a huge amount of historical fiction set in Ancient Rome, much of it, for me, very ordinary and very repetitive. There are umpteen variations on the story of an ordinary lad from humble origins (or disgraced nobleman) who joins the army, achieves miracles and rises to power and glory. It's even got a nickname - 'swords and sandals'. Don't get me wrong, there are some really good authors who make imaginative use of this basic theme, but there are many who are best avoided.
Personally, I lo
Jan 04, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
An enjoyable read. Davis writes with aplomb and great humor, but, the presentisms made it uncomfortable for me. True, we do not have the Empire's street jargon down to anything close to their daily patter but too much of the snappy narrative and dialogue did put me off. That said, Davis is a good writer. Her story involved the reader and her characters were well-drawn. They were easy to like and easy to hate. I sometimes asked myself about the corrupt business of protection in Rome's day, but as ...more
Nov 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
After A Body in the Bathhouse, I thought I would find Falco and family back in Rome for the next book but instead they have moved a little north to Londinium to visit Helena's aunt and uncle before the long trip home. Everyone is ready to go home when a man is found drowned in a local pub's well. The man is a good friend of the King (and supposedly should have been exiled to Gaul). Of course Falco is tasked with finding the killer and naturally this turns out to be more than just a murder. It l ...more
Feb 14, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lindsey-davis
There is something about this story that I find interesting and worth reading. I often thing authors go too much into a character's self thoughts without adding to the over story line, there is some of that here too. A good read.
Aug 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
I don't know how this author does it, but the series still keeps my interest even after 14 books. I am looking forward to number 15 to seeing the outcome of the romance between Falco's sister and his best friend.
Alex Dadant
Jul 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
Falco is always entertaining. This is a great and complicated case that keeps your interest. I do prefer her stories based in Rome and Italy. London and Southern England were interesting but I miss the classic Roman setting.
Jul 14, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: historical, read-2018
Pretty interesting jaunt in Vespasianic Londinium.
As always, nice to travel with Falco and his family. He continues to pick up strays, though this one is Helena's. Good stuff.
Audrey Yeung
Jan 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Falco at his best! Cannot help but re-read all the Falco books. Now the he's retired, I cannot wait for the next Flavia Alba!
Apr 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
another excellent mystery set in ancient Rome/
P.D.R. Lindsay
Apr 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing

Writers aren’t always kind to each other but Edith Pargeter, who wrote the best selling Brother Cadfael series of Mediaeval murder mysteries, said of one of Lindsey Davis’s early novels:

'Lindsey Davis continues her exploration of Vespasian's Rome and Marcus Didius Falco's Italy with the same wit and gusto that made 'The Silver Pigs' such a dazzling debut and her rueful, self-deprecating hero so irresistibly likeable.'

Wit, gusto and irresistible, three words which are the best summation of the
Mar 15, 2017 rated it liked it
A visit to Helena's relatives in Londinium was supposed to be a holiday, but then there was a murder. Of course there was. Falco goes to investigate and learns he knew the victim. By Jupiter, how can this be?! Turns out the town is full of organized crime for Falco to sort out. Ho hum.
M.G. Mason
Aug 29, 2016 rated it really liked it
Book 14 in the Falco series. I would like to add "already" but when I think back, I realise I started book 1 (The Silver Pigs) in 2003. I want to read more than one a year for the remaining six now though. First off is this, the next one in the sequence. Falco is still in Britannia and on his way back to Rome, gets stuck in Londinium.

Following on directly from the previous book, Verovolcus (who appeared in the previous book) is found dead in a well of a rough London tavern. It is down to Falco t
Jun 03, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2003-reads
RATIG: 3.75

"When in Rome, do as the Romans do." But what if you're a Roman, and you're in Britain? What do you do then? In A.D. 75, the Brits are an uncivilized bunch; and Marcus Didius Falco and his extended family, including his best friend and partner Petronius, are in Londinium for a visit. As Falco is quick to point out, the British amenities are sorely lacking in comparison to civilized Rome, whether that be the political environment, the societal structure or the weather. At times, his cr
Jan 17, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime, history, rome, fiction
Marcus Didius is still in Britannia with his family and entourage. He hates Britannia, that damp, fogbound outpost of Empire, and is looking forward to going home when a body is found stuffed in a well behind a sleazy tavern. Our hero is back on the job, in pursuit of a sophisticated protection racket and bringing him face to face with familiar faces from his past in unfamiliar roles. And what's Petronius Longus up to?

I may have forgotten something but I believe this is the first in the Falco se
Rosanne Lortz
Jun 24, 2011 rated it really liked it
The Jupiter Myth, book 14 of the Marcus Didius Falco series, picks up right where A Body in the Bathhouse leaves off. Marcus and family leave the palace building site from the last case and head off to Londinium. When the exiled murdered from the last book winds up dead in one of Londinium’s taverns, Marcus discovers that the backwater banks of the Thamesis are capable of hiding as much villainy as the lurid streets of Rome. He unearths a protection racket that has been plaguing the town for som ...more
Apr 14, 2010 rated it liked it
As a follow-up the last installment in this series, Falco & family (including Helena’s brothers, his sister Maia and her kids, his best pal Petronius) are still in first century Britain, but now the Roman investigator is trying to get to the bottom of a mystery involving the murder of Verovolcus, an old friend of the current king who had been implicated in some serious crimes against the Emperor. Verovolcus is found face down in the bottom of a well in the yard of a dive bar in the port city ...more
Feb 07, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Mystery/History lovers
Recommended to Jennie by: Mom
Although not the first book in the series, this is the first one that I read. My mom and dad gave it to me for Christmas because it takes place in London (or Londinium as Falco would say!) and I had just worked there the summer of 2001.

After reading this book, I was on a quest to read all the others. Written in a straight-forward style (as all the books in the series are), this book captures humor, romance, and mystery in a historical setting. The characters are all likeable, but not perfect. In
Bob Schmitz
Feb 08, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: murder-mystery
I have read several of these Didius Falco books. They are quick murder mystery reads set in ancient Roman times. Good for some brief relaxation. The plots are just ok. The protagonist is a gruff Roman investigator who's observations and commentary are funny. What I enjoy is the depictions of all the intricacies of Roman life. This particular one is set in Londinium 15 years after the Rebellion of Boadicea. The descriptions of London at the time and the mingling of Roman and Celtic customs and la ...more
Dec 27, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2010-books-read
Once again Lindsey Davis delivers a fast-paced novel of intrigue featuring Marcus Didius Falco, Procurator of the Sacred Geese, and imperial informer. Falco and his entourage (Helena, his daughters, his sister Maia and her children) are still in Britain. They are now in Londinium, visiting Helena's relatives, when Falco is asked to investigate the odd murder of a disgraced British courtier. Petronius is also involved in the investigation, and we meet Chloris, the famed ropedancer and an importan ...more
Davis is at her best when the mystery is set in Rome, perhaps due to her substantial knowledge of Roman society when it is set in the home city, rather than in outer provinces. This shows in The Jupiter Myth; Falco is infinitely more comfortable within the familiar surroundings of Rome, and in Britain, his humour is considerably muted. His freedom to move and carry out investigations in whatever manner he chooses (helped by people he's familiar with, yet again) is also lacking here.

The character
After a number of rather lukewarm installments, finally another great book in Didius Falco book series. In fact, I would go as far as saying that it's one of the strongest stories, along with 'Iron hand of Mars'. The story is tight and interesting, the prose is as strong, clever and filled to the brim with the backhanded humor so characteristic to the author. For fans of the series it's a guaranteed treat.

If there is anything 'bad' to say about this volume, the it's that the humorous and light w
Jan (the Gryphon)
Marcus Didius Falco in earlier books has proven that he can take punishment, both physical and mental. In The Jupiter Myth it's his friend Lucias Petronius who is the sufferer. Petro has brought Falco's sister and her family come to Londinium, Britannia, where Falco and his wife Helena are visiting with Helena's aunt - as it turns out, a working vacation for Petro and Falco. This book doesn't have a cast of characters as the earliest books in the series, which is too bad as there is a cast of - ...more
I am only giving this book four stars because there were some parts of it that I thought dragged on forever and the beginning was kind of hard to get into. Other than that, I loved the story and the historical information was well thought out and delievered in a way that didn't seem too educational. It was just entertaining to read. I loved the modernity of the characters, even though it was set at the height of Rome's power. Falco is very witty and I loved his relationships with Petro and Helen ...more
Julie Davis
Feb 20, 2010 rated it it was amazing
#15 - 2010.

Out of new fiction I wandered to my bookshelves and discovered that I hadn't perused Lindsey Davis in some time. The Jupiter Myth was one of her books that I most enjoyed as it combines a look at life in ancient Londinum with a well conceived mystery that is investigated by her wise cracking, cynical detective, Falco. As well, a few old friends from the series are roped into service.

I am surprised upon thinking of it that I dropped the series soon after this point. I read the next boo
Jul 31, 2007 rated it really liked it
Shelves: thrillers
Probably would have made more sense if I had read A Body in the Bathhouse more recently, since it involves some of the same characters.

As perhaps should have been expected for a noir detective novel, bad things happen to people in this book, but only some of them because the characters are unfortunate enough to live in the year 75. Others are more fundamental problems with human nature, which persist with organized crime today.
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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)
  • 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)
“Even the impetuous Helena Justina was an advocate of traditional family councils. However, every Roman matron knows that domestic councils were devised by our foremothers purely so the views of the matron of a household may prevail.” 0 likes
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