Friday, June 5, 2009


I've been a fan of the Marcus Didius Falco mysteries for years, and Falco and Helena Justina are one of my all-time favorite romantic pairs in any genre. Naturally I was quick to pick up Alexandria (Lindsey Davis, 2009), the 19th outing in the series.

As usual, it's the ongoing comic family saga that most holds my interest, in this case as Falco takes his pregnant wife, two young children, teenage foster daughter, and brother-in-law to Egypt so Helena can see the Pyramids before their third child is born to render travel even more challenging. The mystery, involving dead bodies turning up in the Great Library, wasn't quite as compelling to me--possibly because I work on the fringes of academia, and the bureaucratic squabbling and jockeying for power felt all too realistic and everyday! Which is part of the fun of the Falco series, that combination of historically accurate detail with modern tone and world-weariness that comes from being a cog in a giant, complex society. This time it was just a little too close to home for me.

I hope there isn't a two-year gap before the next book like there was between 2007's Saturnalia in this one. I want to know how Helena's pregnancy turns out, and if I'm right in spotting potential romantic angst involving two secondary characters...

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