Ode to a Banker by Lindsey Davis
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Where do the seemingly disconnected worlds of literature and banking come together? In this edition of the ongoing Marcus Didius Falco Mysteries series, of course.
Our well-known and well-loved hero, Falco, is drawn into these worlds because of his penchant for composing poetry and being convinced by a well-heeled friend to publically perform some of his poetry. This public performance attracts the attention of scroll publisher who, having approached Falco with an offer to publish Falco’s works, is inconveniently murdered in mysterious circumstances almost immediately afterwards.
Commissioned by his friend Petro, a member of the vigiles, to uncover the murderer, Falco finds himself drawn further into the strange world of publishing, and then, unexpectedly, into the even shadier world of banking. Assisted by a cast of regulars, Falco manages to eventually uncover the perpetrator, but not before a little adventure is had by all involved.
As always, Davis has constructed a wonderful narrative liberally sprinkled with historically authentic gems that allow the reader to dive deeper into the world of Rome in which the story is situated. The main characters, now well-loved friends, accompany the reader on the journey into mystery and murder as well as the life of the Roman Empire.
The further I delve into this series, the more I appreciate the skill with which Davis has constructed her novels. I highly recommend the series to anyone with even a passing interest in the life of Rome under the Emperor Vespasian.
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