Falco: The Official Companion

“This answers one question rather unhappily, because when people ask, ‘Where did you get your ideas?’, obviously they do not want me to say, ‘From a thermal vest!'” 
Chosen by reader Dianna Gabbard

What better than to quote the jacket flap (after all, I wrote it):

As the girl came running up the steps, I decided she was wearing far too many clothes…

So, in 1989, readers were introduced to Marcus Didius Falco, the Roman informer, as he stood on the steps of the Temple of Saturn, looking out across the Forum: the heart of his world. Twenty years and twenty books later, Falco fans want a companion volume.

Only here will you learn the author’s private background, including her descent from a failed assassin and how atheism improved her knitting. Here too are the real glories and heartache involved in research and creation: why the baby had to be born on Barcelona, which plots evolved from intense loathing of management trainees, what part was played in the iconic Falco’s conception by a thermal vest. It can’t be a complete handbook to ancient Rome, but it covers perennial issues. There are a hundred illustrations, some specially commissioned, others from family archives. Enlightening quotations come from the Falco books and from eminent sources: Juvenal, through Candler, to 1066 and All That.

Readers have asked for this book. Their paranoid, secretive author agrees it is now or never. Time to spill beans on the travertine…


‘A most readable mine of information about the urbs, as well as including all our hero’s various itineraries around the empire. It also includes interesting personal information in which a very private writer discloses much about the way she works and her early, difficult home life. Not just for Falco fans, the book has excellent maps of Rome and would make an entertaining holiday companion through the mean streets and grand ones.’– The Independent

‘A fascinating volume that combines personal memoir with commentary on the books and their setting.’ – The Literary Review

“Indispensable Marco Didio Falco, la guía oficial, una delicia enciclopédica para sus muchos seguidores.” Jacinto Antón, El País