Paromjit's Reviews > A Capitol Death

A Capitol Death by Lindsey Davis
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it was amazing
bookshelves: historical-fiction, mystery, netgalley

I love Lindsey Davis's Ancient Rome historical mystery series with Falco and now his adopted daughter, Flavia Albia. Flavia is recently married to her second husband, Tiberius, a Roman magistrate (aedile), whom she worries about constantly since he was struck by lightning and his consequent health problems. Emperor Domition has returned from his not so successful military ventures, an insecure and overly sensitive man to any perceived slights, he has demanded and been granted two Triumphs to celebrate his 'victories'. Rome is busy planning the festivities and procession, with all the chaotic co-ordination and jostling this engenders to ensure that Domition is satisfied. So when the transport overseer, Gabinus, falls off the Torpeian Rock on Capitol Hill in what looks like suicide, there are political implications, a situation exacerbated when an elderly woman claims she saw someone with him when he fell. The matter ends up in the hands of Tiberius who passes the job of investigating to his private informer wife, Flavia.

Being a woman means Flavia has to work twice as hard to prove herself, to earn the respect she deserves in this overtly man's world, she sets out to interview witnesses and those who knew the dead man. Her task is hindered considerably when it turns out no-one has a good word to say about Gabinus, who turns out to a be incompetent and an all round nasty piece of work, bullying, abusive, aggressive, a con man, and strife followed wherever he went. The number of suspects with a motive to want him dead are endless, and not everyone is disposed to help Flavia or to tell the truth. Surrounded by intrigue, Flavia looks into the famed mystic augurs, foretelling the future and identifying favourable and not so favourable signs, the talented costumier, Feliculus, the depressed geese keeper, and the stinking shellfish dye makers of the rare colour, imperial purple and more. In a complex and complicated case, it becomes clear Gabinus is not a man who would have ever entertained the idea of suicide, there is another murder and a morass of secrets as danger edges ever closer to Flavia as the Triumph celebrations kick off.

Lindsey Davis draws a hugely compelling and vibrant picture of Rome in this historical period with it's squalor, slaves, sights, sounds and smells. There is plenty of humour and wit throughout the narrative, with the chaos of Flavia and Tiberius's household, with the work shy slave, Dromo, the stray dog, Barley, and the newly acquired tenacious 'maid', Susuza. Flavia's family are determined to push their oars into Flavia's case, overflowing with suggestions and advice, something she is particularly sensitive to as it feeds her insecurities as to whether she will ever be as good as her father. Davis's characterisation is done with skill as she presents us with a large and diverse set of characters. This is another gloriously entertaining addition to the Flavia series which I absolutely adored. Readers of historical mysteries will definitely enjoy this visit to ancient Rome. Many thanks to Hodder and Stoughton for an ARC.
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Reading Progress

February 28, 2019 – Started Reading
February 28, 2019 – Shelved
February 28, 2019 – Shelved as: historical-fiction
February 28, 2019 – Shelved as: mystery
February 28, 2019 – Shelved as: netgalley
February 28, 2019 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-12 of 12 (12 new)

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message 1: by Maureen (new)

Maureen You’re reading some great books Paromjit, wonderful review 💖


message 2: by Peter (new)

Peter Excellent review, Paromjit. I really enjoy historical fiction books that create an image of a place with all the real sights and smells.


message 3: by Paula (new)

Paula Kalin Terrific review, Paromjit!


message 4: by Marisa Jeanne (new)

Marisa Jeanne I’m reading this series too I love it


Paromjit Paula wrote: "Terrific review, Paromjit!"

Peter wrote: "Excellent review, Paromjit. I really enjoy historical fiction books that create an image of a place with all the real sights and smells."

Maureen wrote: "You’re reading some great books Paromjit, wonderful review 💖"

leslie hamod wrote: "Wonderful review My dear Paromjit!💙"

Thank you all for your comments ......so very appreciated, leslie, Maureen, Peter and Paula. :) 😊😊🌹


Paromjit Marisa Jeanne wrote: "I’m reading this series too I love it"

I think you will enjoy this one too when you get to it, Marisa! :)


message 7: by Judy (new)

Judy Lesley Love mysteries in this time period but can't seem to enjoy this author. Too bad for me since there are lots of them.
Judy


Barb in Maryland Yay!!! New Albia book. Waiting for this will be hard, thanks to your lovely review.
Judy--one must have a very high tolerance for snark and dirty politics. Davis has a very distinct voice--I love her stuff and have since the very first Falco book, but I can easily see why a reader might not click with her.


Paromjit Judy wrote: "Love mysteries in this time period but can't seem to enjoy this author. Too bad for me since there are lots of them.
Judy"


I am so sorry to hear that, Judy....sometimes it just doesn’t work out! :)


Paromjit Barb in Maryland wrote: "Yay!!! New Albia book. Waiting for this will be hard, thanks to your lovely review.
Judy--one must have a very high tolerance for snark and dirty politics. Davis has a very distinct voice--I love h..."


Yay, Barb..... I think you will enjoy this.....thank you, my friend! 💞🌹


message 11: by Jaline (new) - added it

Jaline Wonderful review, Paromjit! I have read the entire Falco series and loved it. I have a couple of the Flavia Albia novels but not the first few so I have not started it yet. Love the settings, the time frame, and the plots . . . as well as the always-fascinating characters. :)


Paromjit Thank you masses, Jaline......there is just so so so much to read! 💙


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