A Comedy of Terrors: Flavia Albia #9
Minotaur, 2021 (2021)
Reviewed by Hilary Williamson
've had long hours of reading enjoyment from Lindsey Davis's mystery series set in ancient Rome, first starring Marcus Didius Falco, and now his adopted daughter Flavia Albia. Each have investigated murders, while humorously sharing with readers the details and atmosphere of daily life in that era.
A Comedy of Terrors
, we join the December Roman festival of Saturnalia, and all the antics associated with it, in 89 A.D.. Flavia's husband is aedile Tiberius Manlius Faustus, and they enjoy an ever growing household and rambunctious family, which includes Tiberius' lively twin nephews.
s the episode opens, Flavia lacks clients, while Tiberius, along with coarse vigiles investigator Morellus, is looking for the villain selling bad festival nuts. When they find and dispose of a warehouse-full, the nut-scammers retaliate. Old style mobsters are in play.
lavia does end up with a client, though not a trustworthy one. There are poisonings, arson, murders and general mayhem. With Flavia's help, Tiberius organizes punishment for the warlord responsible, though not for murder, but rather sacrilege - a capital crime!
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