Hot Best Seller

The Graveyard of the Hesperides

Availability: Ready to download

Rome, August AD 89. Flavia Albia, the daughter of Marcus Didius Falco, has taken up her father's former profession as an informer. On a typical day, it's small cases--cheating spouses, employees dipping into the till--but this isn't a typical day. Her beloved, the plebeian Manlius Faustus, has recently moved in and decided that they should get married in a big, showy cerem Rome, August AD 89. Flavia Albia, the daughter of Marcus Didius Falco, has taken up her father's former profession as an informer. On a typical day, it's small cases--cheating spouses, employees dipping into the till--but this isn't a typical day. Her beloved, the plebeian Manlius Faustus, has recently moved in and decided that they should get married in a big, showy ceremony as part of beginning a proper domestic life together. Also, his contracting firm has been renovating a run-down building, a bar called the Garden of the Hesperides, where they uncover human remains buried in the backyard. For years there had been rumors that the previous owner of the bar, now deceased, killed a barmaid, and these are presumably her remains. In the choice between planning a big wedding to-do and looking into a crime from long ago, Albia would much rather investigate a possible murder--or murders, as more and more remains are uncovered, revealing that something truly horrible has been going on at the Hesperides.As Albia gets closer to the truth behind the bodies in the backyard, her investigation has put her in the crosshairs--which might be the only way she'll get out of the wedding preparations and away from all her relatives who are so very anxious to help out.


Compare

Rome, August AD 89. Flavia Albia, the daughter of Marcus Didius Falco, has taken up her father's former profession as an informer. On a typical day, it's small cases--cheating spouses, employees dipping into the till--but this isn't a typical day. Her beloved, the plebeian Manlius Faustus, has recently moved in and decided that they should get married in a big, showy cerem Rome, August AD 89. Flavia Albia, the daughter of Marcus Didius Falco, has taken up her father's former profession as an informer. On a typical day, it's small cases--cheating spouses, employees dipping into the till--but this isn't a typical day. Her beloved, the plebeian Manlius Faustus, has recently moved in and decided that they should get married in a big, showy ceremony as part of beginning a proper domestic life together. Also, his contracting firm has been renovating a run-down building, a bar called the Garden of the Hesperides, where they uncover human remains buried in the backyard. For years there had been rumors that the previous owner of the bar, now deceased, killed a barmaid, and these are presumably her remains. In the choice between planning a big wedding to-do and looking into a crime from long ago, Albia would much rather investigate a possible murder--or murders, as more and more remains are uncovered, revealing that something truly horrible has been going on at the Hesperides.As Albia gets closer to the truth behind the bodies in the backyard, her investigation has put her in the crosshairs--which might be the only way she'll get out of the wedding preparations and away from all her relatives who are so very anxious to help out.

30 review for The Graveyard of the Hesperides

  1. 5 out of 5

    Emma

    Despite enjoying the rich and fascinating historical details, I found this quite disappointing. I quite enjoyed the first three in the series, but even before reading this, it wasn't a patch on the Falco series. Not sure I'll continue with this series- I'd prefer to reread the Falco books. Despite enjoying the rich and fascinating historical details, I found this quite disappointing. I quite enjoyed the first three in the series, but even before reading this, it wasn't a patch on the Falco series. Not sure I'll continue with this series- I'd prefer to reread the Falco books.

  2. 4 out of 5

    HBalikov

    I am a fan of Flavia Albia, she who is the daughter of Falco, Lindsey Davis’ original “informer.” For those not familiar with either series or the term, an informer is a Roman private detective. This is toward the end of the first Century C.E. and Rome’s emperor, Domitian, has none of the goodwill that his predecessors, Vespasian and Titus enjoyed. There is mystery, murder, social commentary, history, comedy of manners and family squabbles, politics. All of this is melded into a plot that center I am a fan of Flavia Albia, she who is the daughter of Falco, Lindsey Davis’ original “informer.” For those not familiar with either series or the term, an informer is a Roman private detective. This is toward the end of the first Century C.E. and Rome’s emperor, Domitian, has none of the goodwill that his predecessors, Vespasian and Titus enjoyed. There is mystery, murder, social commentary, history, comedy of manners and family squabbles, politics. All of this is melded into a plot that centers on the death of a barmaid. Flavia is soon to be married to Faustus who has had a turn as an elected official looking into crime, which is how they met. Now he is trying to provide for his future by starting a construction firm, something his forebears were experts in. His first job is the renovation of a tavern, the Hesperides, and it comes with a reputation. A barmaid was allegedly killed about a decade before by the tavern owner. In the course of the renovations, the grounds are excavated and bones are uncovered. Faustus expects Flavia to help resolve the mystery. The mystery is clever and complicated and the telling may frustrate those who like their clues unambiguous and their stories linear. In both respects, this novel is more about: Roman customs; the nature of particular neighborhoods of Rome; wedding planning; and, commerce. We also learn more about Flavia before she was rescued in Britannia at age 14 and brought to Rome. If these appear to you to be sidetracks, maybe it is better to skip this fourth book in the series. Your frustration may overwhelm your curiosity. For me, Davis weaves a lovely picture of what Rome could have been like in this particular era. (And, yes, the price of lentils may hold the key to resolving who was buried in The Graveyard of the Hesperides.)

  3. 5 out of 5

    Veronica

    Tiberius Manlius Faustus, Flavia Albia's beloved, has started his own construction business - something to sustain him once his year as an Aedile is up. In the midst of a job renovating a run down bar, his workers unearth human bones. This discovery adds fuel to an old rumor involving a former barmaid who went missing several years earlier and who is largely rumored to have been murdered by the former bar owner. Despite the fact that her own wedding is looming, Flavia Albia takes on the case and Tiberius Manlius Faustus, Flavia Albia's beloved, has started his own construction business - something to sustain him once his year as an Aedile is up. In the midst of a job renovating a run down bar, his workers unearth human bones. This discovery adds fuel to an old rumor involving a former barmaid who went missing several years earlier and who is largely rumored to have been murdered by the former bar owner. Despite the fact that her own wedding is looming, Flavia Albia takes on the case and it's not long before it's apparent that she may have bitten off more than she can chew. This is the fourth installment in the series and the characters have really grown on me. The writing style makes liberal use of humor but, even so, it still manages to highlight the dark and unfair aspects of life in ancient Rome. This time around Albia's investigation brings her into the world of prostitution and the sex trade and, for her, it is an all too vivid reminder of a future she only narrowly escaped as a child. Luckily for her, she has the love and support of a good man and a kooky but equally awesome adopted family. I admit that the resolution of the murder mystery came about more by happenstance this time around - not to mention a pseudo confession whose motivation is unclear to me - but I didn't mind too much. Albia certainly had other things on her mind what with planning a wedding (or avoiding having to participate in the planning might be more accurate) and entertaining relatives. But the characters and the humor help to elevate the story and add another level of enjoyment. I look forward to joining Albia and Tiberius on future murder investigations. A fifth book, tentatively titled The Third Nero, is due next year per the author's website.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Karen Witzler

    Very good - I am finally into Albia as Davis hits her stride with Falco's daughter. Very good - I am finally into Albia as Davis hits her stride with Falco's daughter.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Rhode

    Although I still miss Falco as hero, Davis in this 4th Albia book pulls out all the stops to show us the true value of having a female narrator set in Roman times during Dominitian's era. We get a behind-the-scenes view of weddings, brothels, prostitute's lives, independent businesswomen, grannies, wealthy teen aged girls, slaves, madams and 'wise' women. A great deal of it is educational. I didn't mind that, there was only one bit, when Albia spends a great deal of time visiting a young slave-p Although I still miss Falco as hero, Davis in this 4th Albia book pulls out all the stops to show us the true value of having a female narrator set in Roman times during Dominitian's era. We get a behind-the-scenes view of weddings, brothels, prostitute's lives, independent businesswomen, grannies, wealthy teen aged girls, slaves, madams and 'wise' women. A great deal of it is educational. I didn't mind that, there was only one bit, when Albia spends a great deal of time visiting a young slave-prostitute's little room, that I felt a bit lectured. And the wedding itself, involving runaway sacrificial pigs and quick glimpses of many relatives from past Falco stories, was a pleasure. You can feed me a mountain of your research on Roman weddings if you jolly me along with that family all the while. I solved the final bit of the mystery a few hours before Albia did, but she had distractions... Lastly, plenty of banter. So many good lines that I wished I had this in Kindle so I could paste a few into notes here easily. But this is Lindsey Davis and I always buy her in hardcover the instant a new volume comes out. Lucky me.

  6. 4 out of 5

    David

    The case is solved and the wedding takes place- almost simultaneously!! No spoilers but Albia's joy is not entirely unmitigated! Wit, romance, sadness, crime, even vegetable pulses!!! It's all here!! Among a cast of delicious characters, one of the most vivid is Rome itself. Lindsey Davis deftly portrays a very authentic time and place, Rome AD 89, but also portrays a modus vivendi that we can all relate to almost two thousand years later!! Now then, as I have said before, the original series inv The case is solved and the wedding takes place- almost simultaneously!! No spoilers but Albia's joy is not entirely unmitigated! Wit, romance, sadness, crime, even vegetable pulses!!! It's all here!! Among a cast of delicious characters, one of the most vivid is Rome itself. Lindsey Davis deftly portrays a very authentic time and place, Rome AD 89, but also portrays a modus vivendi that we can all relate to almost two thousand years later!! Now then, as I have said before, the original series involved Marcus Didius Falco working as an informer/detective/agent provocateur and many other roles. The latest series features his daughter, Flavia Albia in a similar role. She was an abused street urchin in a backward, uncivilised country called Britain (it sounds an awful place!!) until Falco and his wife Helena adopted her and brought her back to Rome from Londinium. All the novels are self-contained but reflect the ongoing life events of their protagonists. The Falco novels begin with The Silver Pigs but I would say that its not absolutely essential to read them in order(though I did!), The Flavia Albia novels, on the other hand, should, in my opinion, be read in order, starting with The Ides of April. The Graveyard of the Hesperides is the fourth in this series and it is excellent! I have already begun the next novel, The Third Nero.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Jeanette

    This is rather long-winded in the humor and snark category but it is also fun, truly entertaining, and in the end rather heart warming, as well. 3.5 stars rounded up for the superb last 75 pages. Although I have to admit to a bias for Falco fare over this series, this particular run is good to the taste. It has bite. It is al dente. Rome's neighborhoods hold identity. The trades and commerce minutia is always interesting and delicious to me. Not only in the bars, stands, shops, but in the skills This is rather long-winded in the humor and snark category but it is also fun, truly entertaining, and in the end rather heart warming, as well. 3.5 stars rounded up for the superb last 75 pages. Although I have to admit to a bias for Falco fare over this series, this particular run is good to the taste. It has bite. It is al dente. Rome's neighborhoods hold identity. The trades and commerce minutia is always interesting and delicious to me. Not only in the bars, stands, shops, but in the skills too. As in this one, it was the marble trade for use as counters and walls. Or decoration upon entry ways. Loved it. The plumbing teams were a prime too. Things haven't much changed in the renovation trades. But the characters are interesting themselves, more and more. Flavia Albia and her beau don't have the gravitas of Falco and Petro- but this is better than the first few of the newer series. Although the case was 10 years old and horrific- I found the best parts of this, for me, had to do with the traditions. Not just the wedding or marriage rites, but the building rites and the context for "lawful". Under Domitian, it seems that it is not as different as in the present. Government carrying a big stick that is never used upon those "in" the government. Dromo has to horde his own cakes. Exactly like the present- someone else always knows better than the person who earned the money, on how to spend their money. Getting so much more in third hand observation for the characters who were known more personally and intimately in the Falco series also gives depth to the traditions and rites. It made them seem so realistic. I would think you would get much more than just the who-dun-it reveal out of these, if you had read the Falco series first. Some time and again, the cynical or sarcastic evaluations by Albia became cloying and annoying. Like a stand up comic who goes on and on upon a same assault type (insult comedy)routine too long. I almost gave it a 3 star for that aspect. But the last 60 or more pages made up for it. What a long marriage day? So glad we do not have to do all of those rites and actions before dawn on our wedding days!

  8. 5 out of 5

    Christa

    This was a great addition to the Flavia Albia Series! I enjoyed the mystery she faced as an informer in this one, and I love the direction her personal life took in this installment! I hope there will be more Flavia soon!

  9. 4 out of 5

    Kate

    I love the Flavia Albia series and this is, in my opinion, the best so far. Loved it!

  10. 4 out of 5

    Caroline

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. This is the best Flavia Albia mystery so far. I enjoy Davis’s series because she weaves in a lot of information about ancient Rome; all my reading about Rome over the past few years was originally sparked by her witty Didius Falco series set during the reign of Vespasian and spread all over the empire. This episode focuses on the role of women in the various aspects of Rome: barmaid, merchant, abortionist, cook, detective, wedding planner, prostitute, etc. We finish with a detailed account of a m This is the best Flavia Albia mystery so far. I enjoy Davis’s series because she weaves in a lot of information about ancient Rome; all my reading about Rome over the past few years was originally sparked by her witty Didius Falco series set during the reign of Vespasian and spread all over the empire. This episode focuses on the role of women in the various aspects of Rome: barmaid, merchant, abortionist, cook, detective, wedding planner, prostitute, etc. We finish with a detailed account of a middle class wedding. The romance is a bit heavy going at times, but primarily Flavia is on her own to solve this one and I like it better than trying to involve Manlius too much. As with Donna Leon’s series set in Venice, Davis too frequently resorts to Flavia asking other characters to explain contextual information about aspects of Rome that she would surely know herself; I’d much rather the author just insert the background and move on. But it doesn’t happen too often. Plus, we get a bit of Helena and Falco as reward at the end. As for the mystery itself, not bad. A key ‘surprise’ was clear from pretty early on, but the development is reasonable. The plot isn’t really the key with these, it’s the setting.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Donna

    I liked this one. I think there are about 6 books in this series. Counting this one, I've read two (not in any order). I like the MC. This is ancient Rome, but this author leans toward the contemporary side when it comes to characters and even with some of the plot elements. Some times it works for me and sometimes it doesn't, but with series, it works. It makes the MC easier to relate to. I loved the opening hook. It reeled me right in, so 3 stars. I liked this one. I think there are about 6 books in this series. Counting this one, I've read two (not in any order). I like the MC. This is ancient Rome, but this author leans toward the contemporary side when it comes to characters and even with some of the plot elements. Some times it works for me and sometimes it doesn't, but with series, it works. It makes the MC easier to relate to. I loved the opening hook. It reeled me right in, so 3 stars.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Alison

    I have to say I found this book disturbing-in-a-bad-way. I have been a fan of Lindsay Davis for many years, reading not only all her Falco novels, but her other two historical novels as well. I was very excited when she switched focus to Alba, to have a female sleuth set in this time period, and have been waiting patiently for the novels to be more, well, enjoyable. But I think it may be time to admit that Davis' take on this isn't one I particularly enjoy. Davis' writing has plenty of strengths. I have to say I found this book disturbing-in-a-bad-way. I have been a fan of Lindsay Davis for many years, reading not only all her Falco novels, but her other two historical novels as well. I was very excited when she switched focus to Alba, to have a female sleuth set in this time period, and have been waiting patiently for the novels to be more, well, enjoyable. But I think it may be time to admit that Davis' take on this isn't one I particularly enjoy. Davis' writing has plenty of strengths. Her wit is both cute and free flowing, her writing punchy, her plotting pretty good for this genre. She has skill at invoking the ancient world and nodding and winking at a modern audience, without making the reader feel torn between the two. Her characters always feel real and distinct. She conveys the sense of political repression of the period very well. But I have some discomfort around what she seems to be saying about gender, not only in the ancient world, but in modern society as well. Alba is in many ways such an interesting figure to explore this with. She is believably independent, a survivor of horrors raised to a middle class status. And insider and an outsider all at once. She is drawn as detirminedly independent - in her relationship with x, for example, she repeatedly tells the reader that she adores his respect for her, his assumption that she will play an equal role in thieir life. Yet, while Alba tells us this a lot, in practice this sense of who she is never really takes off. She has to tell us, because we don't really see it. Alba comes across more as petulant and skating along than driven by any great sense of who she wants to be, which maybe shouldn't be a problem, but somehow is. More significantly with this book, however, was Davis' treatment of sex workers and sex slaves in Rome. This occupies a large part of the book, and Davis spares no detail in elaborating the horrors of Roman brothels, and the forced degradation of their workers. Now, it is hard to argue with this picture. Most slaves in Rome had a pretty awful time of it, and prostitution wasn't one of the better places to end up for most. But the focus, outside the framework of the many ways that the enslaved and desperately poor could be worked to death, physically, emotionally and sexually abused, felt more like a modern commentary on a not-very-comparable situation. In particular, Davis shows characters who pretend to find the work bearable, but are in reality brutalised, almost as a comment on modern attempts by sex workers to push back against uninformed attempts to criminalise their work. Look, I don't know much about sex work in ancient Rome. But I do know a few things about sex work in medieval Europe, including the omnipresent bar tender-who-doubkes-as-a-sex-worker, a role that pops up in this book. And I think it is overly simplistic to view this as always imposed. Some women, trading respectability for economic security, were assertively proud of thier choice to earn money this way, and with it, often a modicum of independence and security unavailable to women of their station in other ways. If it was a lousy choice, it was one of many lousy options available, and that the fact that it was chosen was important to some of the women. So, that made me somewhat uneasy while reading. Then, a gratutious paragraph of breathtaking transphobia hits. In sharp contrast to the pity-filled depiction of cis female sex workers, Davis shows her characters thus: "One of the boy-girls was outside with a hand mirror, applying more Egyptian-mummy eyeliner. He-she called out lewd overtures to me, then when that failed tried Tiberius—even more of a mistake. “Shut up and show me your registration, please.” “What?” “When you first took up your degrading profession, you should have put yourself on the prostitutes’ roll. I am a plebeian aedile, you just propositioned me. I never screw illegals. I want to inspect your certificate.” The pretty thing jumped up and fled with a string of curses. I gazed at my bridegroom. “If he had been legal, would screwing be considered?” “Just talk.” " The complete dehumanisation in this portrayal - the sheer *hatred* that runs through it cannot be seperated from the current epidemic of violence faced by transgendered women (and men) in our time and place. The para is completely unrelated to the plot, completely unnecessary. I cannot excape the feeling that Davis simply hates trans folk so much she needed to express this contempt in writing. And with that, after so many years, I think I'm probably done. It's not that I demand my writers share my views, or even that I can't cope with prejudice in my holiday fiction (although I'll confess to being more bothered than most, but Agatha Christie still rules my world), but it is the vehemence of this para that remains with me, a good month after I read the book. I had saved this one for a coastal holiday, treasuring it as transporting and stress relieving, but in the end it had the opposite effect. I can't see myself returning any time soon.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Alex in Spades

    4 That's a lot of Bones Stars This one was a lot more on the serious side. It dealt with prostitutes in ancient Rome, and with the traumatic past of Flavia Albia. It was on the more emotional side in my opinion. I loved both the case here (it was amazing to see a cold case of 10 years be solved), and also Flavia's or more Tiberius' preparations for their wedding. I was honestly struck by what happened at the end (sorry for the bad pun)! I can't wait to grab the next book! Also in this one I reali 4 That's a lot of Bones Stars This one was a lot more on the serious side. It dealt with prostitutes in ancient Rome, and with the traumatic past of Flavia Albia. It was on the more emotional side in my opinion. I loved both the case here (it was amazing to see a cold case of 10 years be solved), and also Flavia's or more Tiberius' preparations for their wedding. I was honestly struck by what happened at the end (sorry for the bad pun)! I can't wait to grab the next book! Also in this one I realised how much I miss Helena Justina and Falco (I'm feeling a re-read of some books).

  14. 5 out of 5

    Angie

    This fourth installment of the Flavia Albia series details everyday life in Rome during the reign of Domitian. Albia and her love, Tiberius are engaged. Her 2 sisters are having fun planning the wedding while she's a tiny bit unsure if she's ready to take the plunge again. Tiberius is currently the contractor on a remodel of a local bar/eatery "plus" (Garden of Hesperides) and out back multiple bones have been uncovered. Flavia Albia sets out to see what she can learn and try to solve the myster This fourth installment of the Flavia Albia series details everyday life in Rome during the reign of Domitian. Albia and her love, Tiberius are engaged. Her 2 sisters are having fun planning the wedding while she's a tiny bit unsure if she's ready to take the plunge again. Tiberius is currently the contractor on a remodel of a local bar/eatery "plus" (Garden of Hesperides) and out back multiple bones have been uncovered. Flavia Albia sets out to see what she can learn and try to solve the mystery about who is buried there and why they were killed in the first place. During the course of her investigation (with help from Tiberius) we learn all kinds of things about bars, prostitutes, wise women, merchants and waitresses which are entertaining and add to the story. It has very witty and fun writing along with lots of historical information exchange. The relationship between Tiberius and Albia deepens throughout and the ending is good and fitting for the story. Recommended to those who enjoy Ancient Rome fiction and mysteries. Although it is part of a series, it can be read as a stand alone, as I did. It didn't affect my reading enjoyment at all. I look forward to reading more about Flavia in the future! **Many thanks to NetGalley and St Martin's Press/Minotaur books for an advance readers copy**

  15. 5 out of 5

    Kathy

    Albia is fun, but I am not sure if readers get her without first reading the 20 Falco books. She is busy carrying on the work her father Falco did before her, but this one has the added stress of preparing for her wedding. The cynical world outlook and humour continues full force, and I enjoy it. She is methodical and thorough in her investigations - this time attempting to discover who killed the numerous people in a ten-year old crime when remains are discovered during a construction project t Albia is fun, but I am not sure if readers get her without first reading the 20 Falco books. She is busy carrying on the work her father Falco did before her, but this one has the added stress of preparing for her wedding. The cynical world outlook and humour continues full force, and I enjoy it. She is methodical and thorough in her investigations - this time attempting to discover who killed the numerous people in a ten-year old crime when remains are discovered during a construction project to modernize a bar courtyard. As usual, getting information from surrounding "citizens" is hazardous. I not only enjoy the cynical humour; I also appreciate the atmosphere and descriptions of Rome and its neighborhoods, e.g. "Today, as I gazed down from the Embankment, yet again I made the contrast between Rome's civilized heights and its ever-present seamy depths. The lewd and crude jostled the sublime wherever you trod. Side by side; nose to nose. This was a city of stupendous contradiction, which the Romans either viewed as normal or even embraced with crazy pride." Albia's wedding turns out to be very eventful!

  16. 4 out of 5

    Lyn Elliott

    This story bounces along at such a pace that you know Lindsey Davis must have really enjoyed writing it, despite its setting in very sleazy parts of old Rome where prostitutes live and work, and with poverty and filth all around. The young Flavia Alba is tough and determined, about to marry her sensible and caring man. A bit of romance, a feisty young woman, successfully resolved crime, experienced writer with extensive historical knowledge at her fingertips and a happy ending (or as happy as you This story bounces along at such a pace that you know Lindsey Davis must have really enjoyed writing it, despite its setting in very sleazy parts of old Rome where prostitutes live and work, and with poverty and filth all around. The young Flavia Alba is tough and determined, about to marry her sensible and caring man. A bit of romance, a feisty young woman, successfully resolved crime, experienced writer with extensive historical knowledge at her fingertips and a happy ending (or as happy as you can get with all the deaths etc along the way). It's bound to be a success in its target market, which is likely to be women nearer Flavia's age than I am, and I enjoyed it.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Johanne

    Another interesting outing for Flavia Albia...much of this concerned the awful life of poor women in the empire, assumed by the author to be always a forced choice...not sure about that. In addition there was a short section that made me squeak a little; some rather dubious attitudes to gay/trans characters that seemed out of keeping with the character - I do hope LD wasn't offloading her own dodgy attitudes on Flavia. Otherwise plotwise a bit saggy but good enough, one for fans of the series no Another interesting outing for Flavia Albia...much of this concerned the awful life of poor women in the empire, assumed by the author to be always a forced choice...not sure about that. In addition there was a short section that made me squeak a little; some rather dubious attitudes to gay/trans characters that seemed out of keeping with the character - I do hope LD wasn't offloading her own dodgy attitudes on Flavia. Otherwise plotwise a bit saggy but good enough, one for fans of the series not the place to start if you are new to Lindsey Davis or Flavia Albia

  18. 4 out of 5

    Eden

    2021 bk 248. It starts as a countdown - 8 days until the wedding of Albia and her Aedille. Albia considers them to be already married, they had moved in together and stated their intent before witnesses, but no - her hubby wants a big public affair involving both families. To take their minds off of the wedding (being planned by her teenage sisters), Albia and Tiberius focus on finishing his company's remodeling job. Finishing the garden area of a bar t involves them moving to a small apartment 2021 bk 248. It starts as a countdown - 8 days until the wedding of Albia and her Aedille. Albia considers them to be already married, they had moved in together and stated their intent before witnesses, but no - her hubby wants a big public affair involving both families. To take their minds off of the wedding (being planned by her teenage sisters), Albia and Tiberius focus on finishing his company's remodeling job. Finishing the garden area of a bar t involves them moving to a small apartment opposite and learning the people of new neighborhood, especially when his employees dig up human bones. What starts as a search for a possible victim turns into mass murder when 5 more bodies are discovered. Was it drugs? gambling? pulses? A very well plotted mystery that ends in a wedding like no other. Well done and very enjoyable.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Mary

    Alba is getting married to Tiberius, who is a building contractor and is currently serving as an aedile. Renovations to a bar, The Garden Of The Hesperides, are interrupted by the discovery of six bodies buried in the back courtyard. Albia ferrets out the culprits while Tiberius tends to the renovations. I enjoy historical novels, especially about ancient Rome, but I do find the snarky heroine tiresome. Davis' earlier novels about Albia's adopted father, Falco, were better. This does have a good Alba is getting married to Tiberius, who is a building contractor and is currently serving as an aedile. Renovations to a bar, The Garden Of The Hesperides, are interrupted by the discovery of six bodies buried in the back courtyard. Albia ferrets out the culprits while Tiberius tends to the renovations. I enjoy historical novels, especially about ancient Rome, but I do find the snarky heroine tiresome. Davis' earlier novels about Albia's adopted father, Falco, were better. This does have a good description of the Roman marriage ceremonies, though.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Italo Italophiles

    The author of this relatively new series took a chance when she departed from her long-running Falco series in style, target audience and even sub-genre. I was a so-so fan of Falco, and I suppose you could call me a so-so fan of Flavia Albia, too, after reading this entry in the series, but I suspect I'm not the target audience for Flavia's adventures. I'm the right sex but I'm much too old. The Falco series, for those who don't know, is an Ancient Rome Private Investigator series narrated in cla The author of this relatively new series took a chance when she departed from her long-running Falco series in style, target audience and even sub-genre. I was a so-so fan of Falco, and I suppose you could call me a so-so fan of Flavia Albia, too, after reading this entry in the series, but I suspect I'm not the target audience for Flavia's adventures. I'm the right sex but I'm much too old. The Falco series, for those who don't know, is an Ancient Rome Private Investigator series narrated in classic P.I. hard-boiled first-person by butch Falco. It holds great appeal for male and female readers alike. It is fast-paced and sticks to the case like an arrow, with only some humorous and romantic side steps involving Falco's family and love life. There is plenty of information provided about life in the Roman Empire, not all of it well-integrated into the stories. Falco writes from his perspective of old age, looking back on his cases and his life. The Flavia Albia series, of which Graveyard of the Hesperides is book number 4, is written in first-person narrative style from the young woman Flavia's point of view, but it is anything but hard-boiled. It reads as if it were a combination of Flavia's case notes and personal diary written with very little of Falco's hindsight. In classic British detective fiction style there is much musing about the case, much theorizing, and lots of side story concerning the main character's inner thoughts and fears. It holds most appeal for female readers, especially those near the same age as Flavia. In fact, all the U.S. versions of the books have a young woman, presumably Flavia, on the cover. The historical information is better integrated into the story than in the Falco books, but it might be more than some readers wanted to know. While the U.K. books with their more adult covers have the subtitle “Falco: The New Generation”, since Falvia Albia is Falco's daughter, I suspect that only a fraction of the loyal readers of the Falco series will find the Flavia Albia series to their liking. It is presumably intended for a new reading public for the author, which as I wrote above is a risky thing for an established author to do. On her website she says the series allowed her to present a: “caustic Albia giving us her refreshing new perspective on the traditional Roman world from the viewpoint of a woman and an outsider”. What should you know about this book and this series besides the above? Well... -There is the roman society's greatest evil, slavery. -The actual crime plot in this book was not new to me. I recognized it the moment the crime unfolded, probably from classic mystery fiction, but that is quite common these days of public domain data dump on the Internet. -Flavia Albia is a bit of a drag for older readers since she is a perfectly drawn young woman much concerned with her love life, and not really that experienced with life in general despite her rough background. -Much of the dialog is related to us via Flavia rather than writing it out as dialog. -There is a clash between the British-isms and the U.S. Spelling and punctuation (in the U.S. Edition only presumably). -It takes place in the reign of Roman Emperor Domitian, with the inclusion of some other historical figures. -The Falco clan appear but are not allowed to speak directly, only through Flavia's accounts of events. -There are animal sacrifices, prostitutes, abortionists and some vulgarities, besides dead bodies of course. -Flavia is provided with New-Adult-appropriate hunky love interests. The books in the Flavia Albia Series: 1 - The Ides of April 2 - Enemies at Home 3 - Deadly Election 4 - The Grave of the Hesperides 5 - The Spook Who Spoke Again (Yes, I agree, that is a very offensive title for the U.S. market, but it is a title the author used in a Falco book for a play Falco wrote that is very similar in plot to Shakespeare's Hamlet. It is staged in this book, written from the perspective of Falco's youngest child.) My illustrated review is at Italophile Book Reviews. http://italophilebookreviews.blogspot...

  21. 4 out of 5

    Donald

    Flavia is getting married, Faustus just has to finish doing up their home first. This isn't helped by taking on a bar fixer upper at the same time, even less so when the work unearths 6 skeletons, well 7 including the dog . . . I understand getting married causes one to evaluate your life, but I found the early reminiscing a bit maudlin, and every other paragraph seemed to be an acerbic aside about the joys, or otherwise, of married life. The investigation seems to take forever to get on track, w Flavia is getting married, Faustus just has to finish doing up their home first. This isn't helped by taking on a bar fixer upper at the same time, even less so when the work unearths 6 skeletons, well 7 including the dog . . . I understand getting married causes one to evaluate your life, but I found the early reminiscing a bit maudlin, and every other paragraph seemed to be an acerbic aside about the joys, or otherwise, of married life. The investigation seems to take forever to get on track, with so many false starts and red herrings it was almost annoying. This was by no means a bad book, and I did enjoy it. There was just something missing for me, even with Falco and Helena putting in major appearances, well it was their eldest daughter's wedding! Again, boo. Bad editing/proofing. A waitress with a son, becomes a waitress with a daughter in the next chapter, and forever more . . .

  22. 4 out of 5

    Barb in Maryland

    Oooh! A wedding! Yes, Flavia Albia and Tiberius Manlius Faustus are getting hitched. Manlius Faustus wants a big to do and has hired Flavia Albia's two teenage sisters to plan a showy Roman wedding, with all the traditional trimmings. They are having a blast--Albia, not so much. So she is almost delighted when her building contractor fiance's crew uncover human bones at the bar he has been hired to renovate. Ah, a mystery to solve--she is on much firmer ground here. And, we, the readers, get swep Oooh! A wedding! Yes, Flavia Albia and Tiberius Manlius Faustus are getting hitched. Manlius Faustus wants a big to do and has hired Flavia Albia's two teenage sisters to plan a showy Roman wedding, with all the traditional trimmings. They are having a blast--Albia, not so much. So she is almost delighted when her building contractor fiance's crew uncover human bones at the bar he has been hired to renovate. Ah, a mystery to solve--she is on much firmer ground here. And, we, the readers, get swept along with our heroine as she tries to solve the mystery in the 6 days before her wedding. Lots of lovely twists and turns, as well as five more skeletons. The murders are almost ancient history--10 years old--so finding people who remember (and, more importantly, willing to talk) is not easy. But our gal perseveres and almost makes her deadline. Great fun and the ending involves a deus ex machina in the most dramatic way.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Ruth

    c2016: FWFTB: building, skeletons, syndicates, barmaid, brothels. Sadly, this was another meh book for me this month. I think that I have read nearly everything written by Ms Davis and this was definitely not one of her best. I love the two characters and happily read about the upcoming nuptials but the plot was rather mundane. It did offer the chance to find out more about the Roman attitude towards certain things but not enough to carry an entire book. If you have read her previous offerings, c2016: FWFTB: building, skeletons, syndicates, barmaid, brothels. Sadly, this was another meh book for me this month. I think that I have read nearly everything written by Ms Davis and this was definitely not one of her best. I love the two characters and happily read about the upcoming nuptials but the plot was rather mundane. It did offer the chance to find out more about the Roman attitude towards certain things but not enough to carry an entire book. If you have read her previous offerings, then go ahead and read this one too. ' I had wine as well, to show I was not snooty. After a sip I left most of it. There are limits.'

  24. 4 out of 5

    Anna Bergmark

    This was disappointing. Davis has always emphasized the kinship between ancient Romans and modern folk, but the lack of time atmosphere in this book is far beyond acceptable. It IS supposed to be a historical novel after all. And there's always a bit of romance around (even when tough guy Falco told the story), but this time the handholding is a bit much. Well... Considering that the murder mystery is very unengaging indeed - a lot of nameless dry bones - and the investigation itself goes absolut This was disappointing. Davis has always emphasized the kinship between ancient Romans and modern folk, but the lack of time atmosphere in this book is far beyond acceptable. It IS supposed to be a historical novel after all. And there's always a bit of romance around (even when tough guy Falco told the story), but this time the handholding is a bit much. Well... Considering that the murder mystery is very unengaging indeed - a lot of nameless dry bones - and the investigation itself goes absolutely nowhere, I guess SOMETHING has to fill the pages. Including long, depressing lectures in first century prostitution. Boy do I hope this series ain't running out of gas!

  25. 4 out of 5

    Satinder Hawkins

    I have read almost all of Lindsey Davis' books and while I rarely remember the plots, I always feel like I know and love her characters. This was true for me in this book as well, but for some reason, I have grown tired of the intensely witty but almost endless repartee. It seems that Davis' incredible wit is trying to make up for the fact that the plot is rather flimsy and the story felt stretched out. It's like being with someone who doesn't know when to stop making jokes and start having a re I have read almost all of Lindsey Davis' books and while I rarely remember the plots, I always feel like I know and love her characters. This was true for me in this book as well, but for some reason, I have grown tired of the intensely witty but almost endless repartee. It seems that Davis' incredible wit is trying to make up for the fact that the plot is rather flimsy and the story felt stretched out. It's like being with someone who doesn't know when to stop making jokes and start having a real conversation.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Margaret Sankey

    Marcus Didius Falco's adopted daughter, who adopted his profession as a professional informer in Domitian's Rome, fends off plans for a big wedding while investigating the discovery of a skeleton in the courtyard of a local tavern under renovation. Is it a love triangle? A robbery? Organized crime? Davis is especially good with the realities of ancient Rome (slavery, political instability, economics) while continuing the smartass tone of the Falco novels from a first-person woman. Marcus Didius Falco's adopted daughter, who adopted his profession as a professional informer in Domitian's Rome, fends off plans for a big wedding while investigating the discovery of a skeleton in the courtyard of a local tavern under renovation. Is it a love triangle? A robbery? Organized crime? Davis is especially good with the realities of ancient Rome (slavery, political instability, economics) while continuing the smartass tone of the Falco novels from a first-person woman.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Kiwi Carlisle

    This is the best Flavia Albia novel yet. It features the usual witty, wisecracking action, but also a lot of well written romance. The ending is much better done than Davis's last half dozen novels,without the thudding abruptness I had come to dread. My only hope is that the happy ending doesn't signal an end of the series. This is the best Flavia Albia novel yet. It features the usual witty, wisecracking action, but also a lot of well written romance. The ending is much better done than Davis's last half dozen novels,without the thudding abruptness I had come to dread. My only hope is that the happy ending doesn't signal an end of the series.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Terry

    I'm a big fan of Marcus Didius Falco but for some reason these latest novels starring his stepdaughter just don't have the same appeal. It could be me but the dialogue seems stale and the plotting appears dull. Sorry Lindsey. I'm a big fan of Marcus Didius Falco but for some reason these latest novels starring his stepdaughter just don't have the same appeal. It could be me but the dialogue seems stale and the plotting appears dull. Sorry Lindsey.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Pilar R.

    Best Albia book so far, and already looking foreward to the next :)

  30. 4 out of 5

    Nathan Albright

    This book continues the author's winning streak of writing a compelling mystery series set in a dark world that is both historically researched and chillingly relevant.  Beyond the remainder of the series so far, this book manages to do a few things particularly well, such as exploring the hopelessness of prostitutes and their lives, and the way that logistics can be deadly.  A large part of this plot's surprise comes about from the squabble between various characters over pulses and the supply This book continues the author's winning streak of writing a compelling mystery series set in a dark world that is both historically researched and chillingly relevant.  Beyond the remainder of the series so far, this book manages to do a few things particularly well, such as exploring the hopelessness of prostitutes and their lives, and the way that logistics can be deadly.  A large part of this plot's surprise comes about from the squabble between various characters over pulses and the supply of local bars.  As has frequently been the case throughout history (and is the case now for many nations), concerns about domestic business led to official and unofficial harassment (and worse) of foreign business interests that sought to disrupt profitable business ventures overseen by locals.  All of this investigation is going on over a few day period where Flavia's wedding to the manly Manlius Faustus is approaching and where the novelist really wants the reader to get a sense of the poisonous air of conspiracy and the levels of deep-seated corruption that exist within Roman society that are both lamented and exploited by the main characters in the novel.  After all, without a corrupt realm it is hard for a private informer like Flavia to have much of an influence. The story of this novel is straightforward enough.  Manlius has sought to diversify his own business holdings by taking over the contracting business that was once held by one of the women who died in the first Flavia Albia novel, whose house is being renovated for the wedding.  While undertaking work in a dive called the Garden of the Hesperides, the body of a woman is found and thought to be that of a waitress from ten years ago who suddenly disappeared.  Further digging and the finding of five more dead bodies of unknown provenance adds to the mystery, and further attacks show that the murderers are still at loose and unwilling to let the investigation go on.  Flavia and Faustus seek to uncover clues and meet people unwilling to speak out all while their families are involved in the wedding planning of a ceremony that takes place in a few days.  Finally, on the day of the wedding itself, the pieces all come together in surprising and appropriate ways where a bolt of lightning ends up injuring Fautus and providing cosmic justice for an unsolved murder of five Egyptians who wanted to expand their pulse market at the expense of local interests. What is the contemporary relevance of this sort of case?  The author shows a remarkable ambivalence concerning abortion, recognizing it as murder but also showing a great deal of compassion for the fate of women (and children) in exploitative situations.  Flavia is forced yet again to deal with her own memories of childhood exploitation that is similar to what she sees here and to the repercussions of the Roman abuse of the vulnerable.  The author deals rather thoughtfully with the problems of the sex trade as well as the logistics and legality of bar food and the supply of marble and even sacrifices.  For wary readers, the author also provides the wise advice that many crimes are solved by investigators and detectives because the criminals themselves cannot simply do nothing and let a cold case die but often feel it necessary to try to cut off loose threads and by acting demonstrate that the killers are at large and still concerned about the solving of long ago crimes.  All in all, this is a thoughtful and expertly crafted book that leaves the reader not only with a good yarn but with a lot to think about.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.