Author(s): Lindsey Davis
For Marcus Didius Falco, agent to the Emperor Vespasian, Alexandria holds fascination and a hint of fear. Beautiful, historic and famously unruly, the great cosmopolitan city wears Roman rule lightly. While his wife, Helena Justina, wants to see the Lighthouse and the Pyramids, Falco has a mission at the Great Library that soon turns out to involve much more than stock-taking its innumerable scrolls. A mysterious death in the world-famous library bring him into immediate conflict with the darker side of academic life. With forensic science in its infancy, even an illegal autopsy fails to find real answers. To solve the crime for the Roman Prefect - if indeed it is a crime - Falco will have to draw on his own doggedness and intuition, at first supported only by Helena's commonsense and the loyal backup of her brother Aulus, who goes under cover as a student among the in-fighting academics. The philosophers lust after fame and fortune so ruthlessly there is soon another terrifying death, this time at the royal zoo.
Lindsey Davis began writing about the Romans with The Course of Honour, which tells the real-life love story of the Emperor Vespasian and Antonia Caenis. Her bestselling mystery series features laid-back First Century Roman detective Marcus Didius Falco and his partner Helena Justina, plus friends, relations, pets and bitter enemy the Chief Spy. She has also written Rebels and Traitors, a serious novel on an epic scale, set in the English Civil War and Commonwealth. Her books are translated into many languages, recorded for audio and serialised on BBC Radio 4. She has won the CWA Historical Dagger, the Dagger in the Library, and a Sherlock for Falco as Best Detective. She has been Honorary President of the Classical Association and is a past Chair of the Crimewriters' Association. In 2009 she was awarded the Premio de Honor de Novela Historica by the Spanish City of Zaragoza, for her career as a historical novelist.