The Third Nero

"..I would love to take this book to Rome and wander round the remains of the old city."


Flavia, daughter of the much loved Marcus Didius Falco, has developed a feisty character of her own. Although just married, Flavia has to cope on her own with the machinations of the bureaucrats surrounding the unstable Emperor, Domitian, since her husband is recovering from a lightning strike on their wedding day. There is also the small matter of making their new home acceptable to live in.

When rumours of appearances by the dead Nero become rife, officials at the top hire Flavia to investigate, particularly as it involves talking to the widows of two prominent Roman citizens. This is a dangerous game as the Emperor is notoriously quick to suspect perfidy. There is also a traitor at the palace who would love to see Flavia fail.

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I love the characters, I love the period, and I love the laconic style. What more can I say? Lindsey Davis has successfully moved her series on Falco to highlight his daughter as the central character of the Roman series. Flavia has all the dry wit and acumen of her father, together with a distinctly feminine twist. Falco is referred to, but the main character is definitely Flavia. She appeals to the modern woman, as she is very much her own person, dependent on no-one. Like Falco and Helena Justina, she and Manlius Faustus have an equal relationship (although limited in the present book). The sights and smells of the ancient city are vividly portrayed and I would love to take this book to Rome and wander round the remains of the old city. There is a clever plot that dovetails into the known history of the day. Lindsey Davis' expertise means that this is never intrusive but constantly entertaining.

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