Most historical novelists dream of a very long series family tree that will take them from the Normans to the First World War; the Falco family just has a very wide one… This extended tribe, originally pasted in as horrible wallpaper, finally take over our hero’s life. Commissioned by his mother to exonerate his late, lively brother from a catalogue of appalling schemes, Falco first finds himself suspected of murder, then – worse – compelled to work with his father: Geminus, a favourite with readers for some strange reason. Even Helena is arrested by Petronius as she tries to assist, not realising that the Didii are beyond help. After lots of fun with an art scam and the brief chance to own his own Phidias, Falco finally assembles the money he needs to win promotion to the middle rank, yet in any tale involving his loved ones, there have to be more twists waiting to thwart him.
This is the one with the Raiders of the Lost Ark joke.
Research Notes: Of course it’s not based on my family!!!
Fast-moving, funny and full of atmosphere – Mail on Sunday
Davis offers a vividly realised Imperial Rome – noisy, dense and dangerous – Publishers Weekly
“Watch out it’s the Didius boys!”
Chosen by reader, Carol Christopher
“Why are you smiling, Marcus?…You mean, we’re in terrible trouble as usual, but this time it’s my fault…I shall never forgive myself for this. ”
Chosen by readers, Rosina and George Harter