Melissa McShane's Reviews > The Silver Pigs

The Silver Pigs by Lindsey Davis
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's review
Jul 28, 2008

really liked it
bookshelves: mystery, own, detective-stories, historical-fiction, romance
Read in July, 2012

The re-release of this book has to have been edited, because when I read it the first time (in the first American edition) I was put off by the numerous syntax errors and confusing transitions that seem to have vanished. But even then, there was something charming about it, probably the things Davis refers to in the introduction to this edition: Falco would be a hardboiled detective in the Sam Spade tradition if not for his numerous relatives and what in this volume is the beginning of a long-term monogamous relationship.

The mystery has a lot of plot twists, enough that it comes close to overkill, and some elements are subject to a fair amount of hand-waving in the sequel. Davis's historical details are excellent, though (again, as she points out) more recent discoveries indicate that the smelting process central to the plot isn't actually how the Romans did it. Mostly, I just find this story extremely satisfying, whether because of the romance between Helena and Falco, or the vivid descriptions of life in AD 71, or some combination of the two.
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