REVIEW of The Accusers & Scandal Takes a Holiday, by Lindsey Davis

I rarely give a book five stars. According to Goodreads terminology:

  • one star – “didn’t like it”
  • two stars – “it was ok”
  • three stars – “liked it”
  • four stars – “really liked it”
  • five stars – “it was amazing”

Frankly, there just aren’t that many books where you think, “That was amazing!” when you finish it. I usually give Lindsey Davis books a four star rating on Goodreads, but today I’m going to have to make an exception for The Accusers.

This book was fabulous! Well-paced and well-plotted, it had me on the edge of seat till almost the very end as I waited for Marcus Didius Falco to solve the senator’s suicide/murder and discover what nefarious secret the family is trying to cover up. The name of the book comes from the role played by the two lawyers, former “accusers” during Nero’s reign. In order to stand up to their legal machinations, Falco is forced to become a lawyer himself. As well as providing an enthralling mystery, this book also gives a thorough picture of the Roman legal system and inheritance laws. Since these novels are best understood when read sequentially, you would be well advised to read the fourteen previous Falco novels, just so you can have the pleasure of reading this one.

Scandal Takes a Holiday, the next book in the Falco series, follows our intrepid hero to the port of Ostia where he is trying to ascertain the whereabouts of a missing scribe. This is not just any scribe, however–it is Infamia, the celebrated writer of the scandal column in Rome’s official newspaper. In the process, Falco discovers a corrupt builders’ guild, a kidnapping racket, and the unsettling information that Cilician pirates (the ones that Pompey wiped out a hundred years ago) might be plying their trade once again. I “really liked” this one, but it wasn’t “amazing.” Four stars! I’m going to be so sad when I finish reading this series….

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