Lindsey Davis

A Comedy of Terrors

""Simply superb.""


It is Saturnalia and Rome is gearing up for a time of excess and debauchery. Flavia Albia and her husband Tiberius Manlius have taken on responsibility for the two boys of his deceased sister and are adjusting their household and lifestyle accordingly. Flavia is determined that she will not give up her job as private investigator but the approaching festivities means that no one is really looking for one at the present.

Tiberius Manlius is in the last days of his position as an aedile with responsibility for testing market weights. His main concern is the arrival of a new gang from out of town targeting the trade in nuts which is at its height during Saturnalia. Poor quality merchandise is flooding the market and Tiberius is determined to stamp down on the miscreants before his term of office ends.Flavia becomes involved in some curious family disturbances, and bodies appear from nowhere.

This Saturnalia Emperor Domitian has promised a spectacular entertainment for the people and the finale of the action in which Flavia and Tiberius hunt down the perpetrators of the fraud is set in the midst of the awesome celebrations. Excitement right up to the last page.

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Davis' books have so much to recommend them: a cracking good story line, fascinating characters, an entirely believable authentic historical background and a fastmoving banter that entertains and amuses. 'A Comedy of Terrors' is no exception. Flavia and Tiberius are moving on as a family whilst we still keep in touch with Davis' previous hero, Flavia's father, Falco. Their development is an opportunity to learn more about Roman family life, not that theirs is in any way typical! I love the description of the slaves and their position in the family. They are very much strong individuals. Lindsey Davis' impressive list of novels are memorable in that they all provide a reliably enjoyable escape from reality and I look forward to opening each new one with the anticipation of a good few hours of amusement. It is usually hours rather than weeks as I can't put them down. Simply superb.

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