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First of a new series of crime novels set in Ancient Rome and featuring Flavia Albia, the adopted daughter of much-loved Marcus Didius Falco. Based on real historical events: mysterious poisonings, in which victims died, often unaware they had been attacked. Albia is now 28 and an established female investigator. Her personal history and her British birth enable her to view First of a new series of crime novels set in Ancient Rome and featuring Flavia Albia, the adopted daughter of much-loved Marcus Didius Falco. Based on real historical events: mysterious poisonings, in which victims died, often unaware they had been attacked. Albia is now 28 and an established female investigator. Her personal history and her British birth enable her to view Roman society and its traditions as a bemused outsider and also as a woman struggling for independence in a man’s world. The first novel takes place on the plebeian Aventine Hill, with its mix of monumental temples, muddy back lanes and horrible snack bars. We meet Albia’s personal circle – some familiar, some new. We glimpse old haunts and hear of old friends, but the focus is on Albia herself, a tough, witty, winning personality who fearlessly tackles inhumanity and injustice, braving any risks and winning the friendship of unexpected allies. http://us.macmillan.com/theidesofapri...


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First of a new series of crime novels set in Ancient Rome and featuring Flavia Albia, the adopted daughter of much-loved Marcus Didius Falco. Based on real historical events: mysterious poisonings, in which victims died, often unaware they had been attacked. Albia is now 28 and an established female investigator. Her personal history and her British birth enable her to view First of a new series of crime novels set in Ancient Rome and featuring Flavia Albia, the adopted daughter of much-loved Marcus Didius Falco. Based on real historical events: mysterious poisonings, in which victims died, often unaware they had been attacked. Albia is now 28 and an established female investigator. Her personal history and her British birth enable her to view Roman society and its traditions as a bemused outsider and also as a woman struggling for independence in a man’s world. The first novel takes place on the plebeian Aventine Hill, with its mix of monumental temples, muddy back lanes and horrible snack bars. We meet Albia’s personal circle – some familiar, some new. We glimpse old haunts and hear of old friends, but the focus is on Albia herself, a tough, witty, winning personality who fearlessly tackles inhumanity and injustice, braving any risks and winning the friendship of unexpected allies. http://us.macmillan.com/theidesofapri...

30 review for The Ides of April

  1. 5 out of 5

    Hilari Bell

    I have always loved Davis’ Marcus Didius Falco books, and was deeply saddened when she stopped writing them. As a writer, I can see that after 20 book the series might be wearing a bit thin for her, but as a reader I wanted MORE! So I was delighted to see her starting a new series, in which Flavia Albia takes over her father’s old P.I. business. It not only brings back a wise-cracking P.I. who’s also an ancient Roman—female!—but it lets us get glimpses of the other characters we love through Fla I have always loved Davis’ Marcus Didius Falco books, and was deeply saddened when she stopped writing them. As a writer, I can see that after 20 book the series might be wearing a bit thin for her, but as a reader I wanted MORE! So I was delighted to see her starting a new series, in which Flavia Albia takes over her father’s old P.I. business. It not only brings back a wise-cracking P.I. who’s also an ancient Roman—female!—but it lets us get glimpses of the other characters we love through Flavia’s eyes. As mysteries go, I did think that at one point Davis made the killer’s identity a bit too obvious—even to me, and I’m usually oblivious to who the killer is. (I’ve got a couple of smart friends, who unravel my own mysteries the moment I drop the first clue.) But she’s also got a secondary mystery going, and I was quite proud of myself for solving that one. But for me, it’s more voice and character that make a mystery, and Ides of April has that in spades. I leave you with Flavia’s description of her not-so-beloved 11-year-old brother: Venusia flapped around, trying to distract me by querying whether my dear little boy would like some fruit juice or a bowl of raisins. Postumus has never been a child who accepted juice from nagging women who treated him like a three-year-old. Even when he was actually three he behaved like an old man, an old man who had several wives buried out under the woodhouse floor with hatchets in their heads. He gave Venusia his stare, the one that asked openly why did this stupid woman not know all he wanted was to be allowed to go into the sacred woods and find a hedgehog to dismember as bloodily as possible. I’m something of a fan of Postumus—and a big, newly fledged fan of Flavia Albia. Another 20 books please?

  2. 4 out of 5

    Michelle L

    Even a truly superlative author can disappoint sometimes, though it's taken Lindsey Davis decades to do so. The first couple of chapters in this new series were enjoyable, with the crisply sarcastic voice of Flavia Albia, the now-adult British (Albion, hence Albia) adoptee daughter of Lindsey Davis' wonderful Roman informer, Marcus Didius Falco and his noble wife Helena Justina. But pretty soon that voice seems to take over, endlessly, interrupting story flow. She sachets this way and that with Even a truly superlative author can disappoint sometimes, though it's taken Lindsey Davis decades to do so. The first couple of chapters in this new series were enjoyable, with the crisply sarcastic voice of Flavia Albia, the now-adult British (Albion, hence Albia) adoptee daughter of Lindsey Davis' wonderful Roman informer, Marcus Didius Falco and his noble wife Helena Justina. But pretty soon that voice seems to take over, endlessly, interrupting story flow. She sachets this way and that with her first-person descriptions of Rome and opinions of everything in Albia's reach - great writing technique, but not in profusion. I found it hampered my connecting with her. Somehow, Ms. Davis seems to have lost hold of what it was she wanted to do with a female investigator, particularly this one, in Imperial Rome. The killer was fairly obvious early on, and a couple of key supporting characters didn't come off the page as their descriptions suggested they should. "Oh," I found myself thinking, "remember, he's NOT her back-handed friend???" There is one character who works, and works out, very well though, and provides a sizeable surprise twist toward the end. And certainly Davis is a dab hand at handling scenes of action, though, again, in this case, too much verbiage slows it all down and the comedy of it dies. I love the Falco series and its writing too much to give up on this series after just one production. So here's hoping book two of the Flavia Albia series lives up to its family history.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Nancy McKibben

    The Ides of April By Lindsey Davis A new Marcus Didius Falco novel by Lindsey Davis! Quick, grab it off the library shelf! But what’s this? The subtitle: A Flavia Albia Mystery. What?! Such were my emotions on discovering this novel. A faithful fan of the wisecracking Falco, detective of ancient Rome, through twenty other novels (although I’ve evidently missed the last, Nemesis), I was expecting more of the same. Instead, I find that Flavia Albia, Falco and Helena’s adopted daughter (a plot twist t The Ides of April By Lindsey Davis A new Marcus Didius Falco novel by Lindsey Davis! Quick, grab it off the library shelf! But what’s this? The subtitle: A Flavia Albia Mystery. What?! Such were my emotions on discovering this novel. A faithful fan of the wisecracking Falco, detective of ancient Rome, through twenty other novels (although I’ve evidently missed the last, Nemesis), I was expecting more of the same. Instead, I find that Flavia Albia, Falco and Helena’s adopted daughter (a plot twist that I remember from an earlier book), has been married and widowed and has decided to strike out on her own in Falco’s old digs in the Surbura (which he has since purchased, now that he is a wealthy man.) Perhaps Davis decided that Falco has grown too mature and respectable to perform any longer as a credible informer, since part of his charm was always his low upbringing and never-quite-comfortable rise to the top as the husband of the patrician Helena. So Davis has retired Falco and resorted to the younger blood of his (adopted) offspring. Although Flavia’s decision to live in her father’s old apartment building is barely credible (but necessary to plot, I think, as Davis doesn’t want her living in luxury with her dad), I was willing to read on. The ensuing novel finds Flavia in pursuit of a clue linking a series of sudden deaths among the otherwise healthy in a certain section of Rome. Rumors whisper of a serial killer, or perhaps a copycat. The attractive archivist Andronicus offers aid of the most beguiling sort, while Tiberius, a runner for the magistrates, seems to turn up at inopportune moments, finally offering to team up with Flavia to find the truth. So, not to give away more of the plot, events proceed as in other Davis novels, with lots of the colorful period details that readers of her novels expect and love. Since this story is told from a woman’s perspective, we have a slightly different view of the ancient world than in the previous books - Flavia at the baths, Flavia choosing jewelry and a sewing kit, Flavia sizing up available men. It’s impossible not to compare Flavia’s adventures with those of her venerable father, who is banished so thoroughly from this volume that he does not utter a word directly (Helena does), and we hear of him only through Flavia’s mentions of visits to the family. Clearly Davis has decided that Falco needs to be put in the background to let Flavia shine. And Flavia acquits herself well; she is a scrappy and engaging character (her orphan background makes her actions a bit more understandable) and I would certainly read another novel about her. Still, I miss her father, the scamp. I hope that once Davis becomes more comfortable with her new heroine, Falco is permitted to turn up from time to time and crack some jokes in person.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Rachel Hartman

    I'll just give you a moment to adjust to the fact that I read an actual adult novel. I do that sometimes. It's probably more shocking that I read a mystery novel. Mysteries don't interest me that much, generally, but I've always liked Lindsey Davis's Falco books. They're sharp, funny, and well-researched. I'm in it for classical Rome and Helena Justina; the mystery is beside the point. I can't even tell you if they're good mysteries or not. They're fun books, and that's enough. This one wasn't as I'll just give you a moment to adjust to the fact that I read an actual adult novel. I do that sometimes. It's probably more shocking that I read a mystery novel. Mysteries don't interest me that much, generally, but I've always liked Lindsey Davis's Falco books. They're sharp, funny, and well-researched. I'm in it for classical Rome and Helena Justina; the mystery is beside the point. I can't even tell you if they're good mysteries or not. They're fun books, and that's enough. This one wasn't as fun as usual, and it bothered me significantly at first, but I was won over in the end. I guess Davis feels she's gone as far as she can with Falco himself, and I have to admit the books have gotten tamer and more predictable as he got older, got married, had children, acquired a decent house, came into some money. Falco was domesticated over time, as are we all, I suppose. Here, Davis is trying for a fresh start with Falco's adopted daughter, Flavia Albia. This was a bit of a gamble, in my opinion: I've always considered Albia a mopey grump, and not really someone I'd care to follow for any length of time. The early parts of this book confirmed that bias, I'm afraid. She spends a lot of time alone, gathering her thoughts, sulking, being a loner. But y'know what? She grew on me. The key point to remember, going in, is that she's NOT Falco. She's her own person, prickly and grumpy, cynical and naive, tough and tender-hearted by turns. She glosses over every single meeting with her parents, and that's frustrating at first, but eventually I began to understand. This is HER book, not theirs. There's something so real in that impulse to distance herself. She may not be likeable, but there's no question by the end that she's real. The other thing that really interested me (and this doesn't come out until the end) is that there are two mysteries in this book. There is the main murder mystery, which I had rather mixed feelings about. I figured out who the killer was way before Albia did. This did enhance the suspense - because she was in danger without realizing it, and I was squirming and unable to warn her - but I'm still not sure whether it was deliberate or not. The OTHER mystery, though. You don't even know it's there, and then there's this reveal at the last moment and you realize the clues were there all along. That was a good deal of fun, piecing together all these pieces that I'd given no thought to, absorbed as I was by the main murder mystery. It was cleverly done, I thought, and ended the book on this lovely, unexpected bittersweet note. Sometimes I do think writing has spoiled reading for me. I'm always looking for the marionette strings, y'know? Also, the things my editor would never have let me get away with (and there are a bunch in this book!). So when something genuinely catches me flat-footed, the way this final reveal did, well. That's worth its weight in gold.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Summer

    I've been on an ancient history kick recently and a mystery series featuring Flavia Albia sounded up my alley. The beginning was promising but I found myself kind of bored around midway through. The characters were interesting but didn't have much growth and the plot felt slow and plodding. I also guessed who was the killer almost from the beginning and I'm usually not good at guessing. I technically finished it but only by skimming most of the second half. I've been on an ancient history kick recently and a mystery series featuring Flavia Albia sounded up my alley. The beginning was promising but I found myself kind of bored around midway through. The characters were interesting but didn't have much growth and the plot felt slow and plodding. I also guessed who was the killer almost from the beginning and I'm usually not good at guessing. I technically finished it but only by skimming most of the second half.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Sara

    This is a fantastic ancient historical mystery that I'm teetering on the edge of calling a cozy because I got so into the world of ancient Rome the way Lindsey Davis paints it that I more than occasionally forgot people were dead. Flavia Albia is actually the daughter of another Lindsey Davis character who is following in her father's footsteps as an "informer" or private detective. Obviously this is a difficult job for a woman, not to mention a single woman still nursing a broken heart for a lo This is a fantastic ancient historical mystery that I'm teetering on the edge of calling a cozy because I got so into the world of ancient Rome the way Lindsey Davis paints it that I more than occasionally forgot people were dead. Flavia Albia is actually the daughter of another Lindsey Davis character who is following in her father's footsteps as an "informer" or private detective. Obviously this is a difficult job for a woman, not to mention a single woman still nursing a broken heart for a long dead husband. But Flavia has enough ancient Roman sass for a whole army of centurians so badies best watch their backs! I loved this so much I immediately snapped up the next four and read them over a two week quarantine. The key to these for me is that Flavia is very much a woman of her world. Realities like systemic poverty, disease, and slavery are just things that exist. So you get this amazing window in real ancient Roman life the way it might have really looked without the anachronistic malarky that makes me insane in historical fiction. I highly recommend this series to any fan of historical fiction and locked room type mysteries.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Shannon

    A bit too "British" per the narrator for my tastes and additionally that not much in the clue trail was happening in the first two discs. OVERALL GRADE: C A bit too "British" per the narrator for my tastes and additionally that not much in the clue trail was happening in the first two discs. OVERALL GRADE: C

  8. 5 out of 5

    Iset

    Full disclosure: I won this in a GoodReads giveaway. I have to admit that although I’d heard of author Lindsey Davis before, I had never got round to picking up any of her renowned Marcus Didius Falco mystery novels. The Ides of April is the first novel in Falco: The Next Generation, following the adventures of Falco’s adopted daughter Flavia Albia as she too becomes an investigator of mysteries. Therefore I jumped into this series not knowing what to expect. Generally I tend to prefer straight h Full disclosure: I won this in a GoodReads giveaway. I have to admit that although I’d heard of author Lindsey Davis before, I had never got round to picking up any of her renowned Marcus Didius Falco mystery novels. The Ides of April is the first novel in Falco: The Next Generation, following the adventures of Falco’s adopted daughter Flavia Albia as she too becomes an investigator of mysteries. Therefore I jumped into this series not knowing what to expect. Generally I tend to prefer straight historical fiction to historical mystery, since as a passionate historian I love to read about the real stories and people of history, and the historical mystery sub-genre tends to utilise fictional characters, invented plots, and the history is merely background window dressing. The style of writing struck me immediately, and hard. Albia is our first person narrator, and her acerbic, sardonic, down-to-earth commentary permeates through the whole book. It definitely threw me as her “voice” is extremely modern in tone, and I didn’t like the fact that it shook me out of the historical setting and grounded me right in the present day. That wasn’t exactly what I look for when I open a book set in ancient times. Occasionally the text had some really odd phrases in it that I found rather jarring. For example, after a late night out Albia is described as “rolling up” to her residence. I instantly had a mental picture of a car slowly rolling up to and then stopping outside a building. Well, maybe Albia’s riding in a cart or chariot? Nope. We’re specifically told that Albia being transported by carried chair. So how did she “roll up” then? Not only is the phrase strongly evocative of cars, and thus jarring in an ancient Roman setting, but it’s incorrect too as a descriptor of what Albia was actually doing. At another point Albia says “oh bloody hell”. I’m pretty sure that a pagan Roman, in 89 CE when the Christians were still a very small and largely unknown sect, wouldn’t have even heard of “hell” much less be using it as an off the cuff swear term. Once again, it just instantly ripped me out of the setting. A reference is even made to “perps”. It just felt so totally out of place. Suddenly I was watching CSI characters trying to be slick and down with the lingo, not reading a mystery set in ancient Rome. Maybe this is a minor point. Whilst the language used feels modern, Davis seems to get all the historical facts right as far as I know, and the other aspects of the book seem tightly written. Once I got used to it, I could see the advantages this style brings. The modern voice in a historical novel serves to highlight the similarities between people in the past and present, instead of making historical characters feel distant and unidentifiable in their outlook and values. A far wider readership is likely to read the books if they’re written in a modern voice; people who don’t normally read historical fiction or find history confusing or uninteresting maybe be more tempted to pick up a mystery novel written in a modern way they’re familiar with that just happens to be set in ancient Rome. In a way I liked the tongue-in-cheek flippancy of the style, it’s irreverent and captures the immediacy of the situation and certainly captures the attention of the reader, but in the end I think I have to say I’d prefer a less overtly sore-thumb modern style of narrative. Narrative voice aside however, I found much to like here. Albia’s an intelligent, practical woman who sets out to carve her own career, with some life experience behind her but plenty yet ahead too. This is a character I can easily like and identify with, all big plus points. On the down side, Albia’s sardonic internal thoughts reveal rather negative, cynical judgments of almost everyone she meets, and that wasn’t so likeable – but I can let it go in view of the fact that I’m guessing this is an aspect of her character that will grow over time, and it provides a pretty big flaw to her otherwise admirable figure. I appreciated Davis’ subtle attention to detail too. The world in which Albia moves; the buildings, the objects, are all brought to life and bring to life ancient Rome itself, but Davis spends such little time on them, slipping them in to the main plot, that it didn’t feel like great big information dumps. The times when there are info dumps, such as when Albia explains the association of foxes with the ides of April celebrations, are disguised by the first person narrative – Albia seems to be musing to herself, or chatting to the reader as a friend recounting an anecdote – this cleverly hides the exposition and it doesn’t feel as laboured as in some novels. In terms of pacing the story was a little slow to get going, I felt, but after that stabilised into a good pace. As far as the plot went, well, WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD. (view spoiler)[I did guess the identity of the murderer well ahead of time, and the love interest switcheroo. A lot of books in recent years seem to be making use of the old Pride and Prejudice love interest switcheroo, where the classically handsome, charming man turns out to be a bad person whilst the surly, initially unlikeable man with dark looks turns out to be admirable and trustworthy – perhaps as a backlash against the Hollywood trope of many decades Good = Beautiful. So I guessed pretty early in that handsome Andronicus, Albia’s love interest, would be the killer, whilst Tiberius, whom she clashes with early on, would prove to be an upstanding man and be the real love interest. For me it was telegraphed pretty clearly through Albia’s anecdote about her sisters telling her to dress up well because you never know who you might meet – having dressed up for an important meeting, Albia literally runs into Tiberius in the street where a rude altercation takes place, and then moments later meets the charming Andronicus – an attempt to misdirect us into assuming Andronicus is the love interest of the piece, but it seemed obvious to me that Tiberius is referred to as the unexpected meeting of a love interest. That and Andronicus was just far too slimy; moving things along fast with Albia, seemingly only interested in one thing, and when he’s not interested in that thing he seems way too interested in her current case and trying to direct her to his theories about who the killer is. Unfortunately, Albia is oblivious and spends much of the novel looking forwards to enjoying the pleasures of the flesh with her new lover. That did disappoint me a little, since otherwise Albia is a shrewd, intelligent character, and it was difficult to believe both that she missed the clues and that she was so gullible about her love life; as a 28/29 year old widow with a fair bit of experience behind her so we are told, I would have expected Albia to be wise to Andronicus as handsome but quite obviously self-centred and not worth her time. However, there was a third twist which I didn’t guess until pretty late into the story. Tiberius, supposedly a runner for aedile Manlius Faustus, turns out to be Manlius Faustus himself – apparently the man likes to see a good job done well by doing it himself, and doing it incognito at that. I still spotted it before the reveal – there’s a point where Albia muses that she still hasn’t met the aedile yet, and if that wasn’t a big enough clue Tiberius formally kissing Manlius Faustus’ ex-wife goodbye confirmed it – but nonetheless that was a nice twist that wasn’t too blatant ahead of time, and I have to say I really liked it. However, it has left me with a few questions. It does seem pretty unlikely that no one who knew Manlius Faustus would have come up to him and started talking to him about aedile matters, during the entire time Albia is in his presence. Furthermore, Andronicus refers to Tiberius and Manlius Faustus as two separate people. I can buy into the idea that Manlius Faustus’ household servants are sworn to keep his alias a secret, but Andronicus despises Manlius Faustus and repeatedly shows his contempt and willingness to tell Albia all sorts of nasty tales – I’m not sure why Andronicus would bother to keep the secret therefore, instead of just blabbing to Albia that the surly runner she’s working with is actually the aedile himself. As for the resolution? Well, I was once again disappointed in Albia; for an intelligent woman she once again misses the blatantly obvious when Tiberius gives her covert instructions followed by public, loudly spoken instructions for everyone, including a certain killer, to hear. But Davis knows how to tease us on the romantic front – affections are transferred, acknowledged, and left to dangle for future exploration and development, with, naturally, the obstacle of “we work together” to overcome. (hide spoiler)] Where does that leave the final word? Well, in the book’s disadvantage, I feel, is its jarringly modern voice, fairly obvious whodunit plus switcheroo, and certain key plot points that rely on character stupidity in order to draw out the plot otherwise everything would be resolved too quickly and easily. Any plot that relies on character stupidity too much is on shaky ground. That said, in the book’s favour, the mystery, whilst obvious, also made for a fairly solid plot, overall I did like the protagonist as a character I could root for and identify with, the setting is crafted with clever little observations which as far as I know were accurate, and the one twist I didn’t see coming until quite late was one I liked and thought was a nice trick. I’m not sure where this puts me with the Didius Falco series; from glancing through other reviews, fans of the original Falco series have both praised this spin-off and said that it’s not as good as Falco, so I’m left wondering if the few points I didn’t like in The Ides of April are absent from Falco. Overall, I would definitely say this was a good read, but the series hasn't really hooked me. I'm going to give it another go with the next book, otherwise, I have a huge to-be-read pile already. 7 out of 10

  9. 5 out of 5

    Veronica

    Flavia Albia is female Informer (private investigator) in ancient Rome during the reign of Emperor Domitian. This means that she often has to take on cases that her male counterparts turn down. When the death of her latest unsavory client leads Albia to suspect that a serial killer is on the loose, she soon finds herself in the middle of the intrigue. I ended up liking this book in spite of the fact that there were several reasons why I shouldn't. First of all, it's not written using the speech p Flavia Albia is female Informer (private investigator) in ancient Rome during the reign of Emperor Domitian. This means that she often has to take on cases that her male counterparts turn down. When the death of her latest unsavory client leads Albia to suspect that a serial killer is on the loose, she soon finds herself in the middle of the intrigue. I ended up liking this book in spite of the fact that there were several reasons why I shouldn't. First of all, it's not written using the speech patterns of the time period and that sort of thing usually pulls me out of the story. The writing style seems to set up the story with a definite comedic bent though so the lack of authentic language ended up not being an issue for me after all. Secondly, the mystery itself was a bit weak. I picked out the murderer early on (and that almost never happens) and also immediately figured out another reveal long before Flavia Albia. Now, however, I wonder if the author intended for these things to be obvious to the reader, if perhaps the point of the story was to watch Albia stumble her way through the process to show that she is a normal person of regular intellect who is not immune to errors of judgement. I also had some trouble getting into the story at first. Not being familiar with this time period meant that I spent a lot of time googling various things. What ultimately saved the book for me is Albia herself. Her acerbic wit may come as off-putting to some but I quite liked her, and her sardonic observations of and commentary about life and people often had me chuckling. She is the adopted, now grown daughter of the main character of the author's other, long running series. I haven't read that series but I didn't find that an impediment to settling into this one. I look forward to reading more books featuring Flavia Albia.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Damaskcat

    Flavia Albia, a young widow, has been an informer (private investigator) for several years, following in her adopted father’s footsteps. Rome in the first century AD is brought vividly to life in this fast paced and amusing story which does have its darker side. Those who have read this author’s Falco series will immediately recognise Flavia Albia. She is independent, intelligent and observant – ideal qualities for an informer to have. But it seems some people in high places don’t want her to fi Flavia Albia, a young widow, has been an informer (private investigator) for several years, following in her adopted father’s footsteps. Rome in the first century AD is brought vividly to life in this fast paced and amusing story which does have its darker side. Those who have read this author’s Falco series will immediately recognise Flavia Albia. She is independent, intelligent and observant – ideal qualities for an informer to have. But it seems some people in high places don’t want her to find out why people of all ages are dropping dead for no apparent reason and she is warned off. Naturally she doesn’t listen to the warning. Full of interesting and intriguing characters including Albia herself, this is an entertaining mystery which will keep you turning the pages to find out who you can trust and who you can’t. It must be difficult for authors of long running and successful series to introduce a new series but Lindsey Davis has managed it successfully. I always liked Albia when she appeared in the Falco series and she makes an excellent central character for this new series. The book is well written and impeccably researched and reading it makes you feel as though you could just step into Rome and recognise it instantly by sight, smell and hearing. I also feel as though I would recognise the characters if I met them face to face.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Hallie

    Maybe even lower. Very weak, and disappointing given my memory of enjoying the Falco books, though I haven't read them all, and haven't read any in a long time. It didn't help that our bold heroine kept going on about how she'd been taught by the best, before behaving extremely stupidly. Basically, if a guy was good-looking and seems to like her she'll believe every word he says. Without checking, or even wondering for a split second if it might be a good idea to get any other perspective. Infur Maybe even lower. Very weak, and disappointing given my memory of enjoying the Falco books, though I haven't read them all, and haven't read any in a long time. It didn't help that our bold heroine kept going on about how she'd been taught by the best, before behaving extremely stupidly. Basically, if a guy was good-looking and seems to like her she'll believe every word he says. Without checking, or even wondering for a split second if it might be a good idea to get any other perspective. Infuriating.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Alessandra Trindle

    As much as I loved the Falco series by Lindsey Davis, I had high expectations for "The Ides of April", which is essentially "Falco, Second Generation." The reboot features Flavia Albia, Falco's adopted daughter. She's smart. She's tough. She's resourceful. She's Rome's version of V.I. Warshawski. The problem with Davis's reboot is that it is surgical and completely cuts out the familiar and lovable Falco and his wife, Helena. There would have been nothing wrong with her easing Falco out and Albia As much as I loved the Falco series by Lindsey Davis, I had high expectations for "The Ides of April", which is essentially "Falco, Second Generation." The reboot features Flavia Albia, Falco's adopted daughter. She's smart. She's tough. She's resourceful. She's Rome's version of V.I. Warshawski. The problem with Davis's reboot is that it is surgical and completely cuts out the familiar and lovable Falco and his wife, Helena. There would have been nothing wrong with her easing Falco out and Albia in *or* with her showing Albia learning from Falco, but to start the series with her as an established informer and her parents as afterthoughts does the lineage a grave disservice. Elements of the book are fantastic. As always, Davis takes the reader back to Rome at a time when the Empire was still the most powerful force int he world and brings an ancient city to life masterfully. However, the story is rushed in some places and too slow in other, plus it is chock full of characters, who are hard to follow. The final nail in the coffin for the book for me was that I figured out who the killer was halfway through. Two stars for not being a Dan Brown novel.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Nancy

    Kind of sad. Falco and Helena have taken a back seat to their adopted daughter, Flavia Alba, who they rescued from brutal conditions in Britannia and brought back and raised in Rome. She's all grown up now and working on her own as an informer. The focus has clearly shifted to her: Falco and Helena have become shadowy figures, relegated to their roles as Flavia's parents. Flavia, who lives alone in Falco's old apartment building in Fountain Court, visits them a few times in the book, but author Kind of sad. Falco and Helena have taken a back seat to their adopted daughter, Flavia Alba, who they rescued from brutal conditions in Britannia and brought back and raised in Rome. She's all grown up now and working on her own as an informer. The focus has clearly shifted to her: Falco and Helena have become shadowy figures, relegated to their roles as Flavia's parents. Flavia, who lives alone in Falco's old apartment building in Fountain Court, visits them a few times in the book, but author Lindsey Davis keeps these scenes to a minimum, describing them in a few brief sentences. Not surprisingly, the adult Flavia bears the psychological scars of her traumatic early childhood: she's a loner, mistrustful, and edgy - not just a hard-boiled detective but a hard-bitten one. I found that, and the serial killer plot, all rather depressing. Moreover, Davis has leap-frogged the reign of Titus - jumped from Vespasian to his sinister second son Domitian. Too dark for me. I miss the charm of Falco and Helena, their wit and vivacity, and the comic scenes of the early books that tied characters together and had often a surprising and moving underlying poignancy to them.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Soumya Shah

    This is the first book I've read from this author based on its reviews and I was very disappointed. I found her writing style inelegant and the plot really weak. I don't understand why it has so many good reviews. I had to force myself to finish it in case it got better. It didn't. This is the first book I've read from this author based on its reviews and I was very disappointed. I found her writing style inelegant and the plot really weak. I don't understand why it has so many good reviews. I had to force myself to finish it in case it got better. It didn't.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Alex in Spades

    3,5 Stars I fell in love with Falco since book one of his adventures, and though I'm not yet finished with his series, I've decided to pick up this book. Flavia Albia is Falco and Helena's adoptive daughter. She's smart, resourceful and funny. Her sarcastic voice reminded me a lot of her father's, and no surprise that she would end up as a private investigator in ancient Rome, cultivating family traditions. For me this story felt a bit more brutal. The Rome of Caesars was definitely harsher for w 3,5 Stars I fell in love with Falco since book one of his adventures, and though I'm not yet finished with his series, I've decided to pick up this book. Flavia Albia is Falco and Helena's adoptive daughter. She's smart, resourceful and funny. Her sarcastic voice reminded me a lot of her father's, and no surprise that she would end up as a private investigator in ancient Rome, cultivating family traditions. For me this story felt a bit more brutal. The Rome of Caesars was definitely harsher for women, especially ones trying to be independent, and working in a male dominated profession. Though Flavia was very capable, and knew how to deal with men. I think Lindsey Davis has a knack for writing about Roman times, she's not leaving behind any important details about politics, culture and society. “Sometimes you run away by yourself purely so someone who cares will come to find you. Half the time nobody does. That's the tragedy of life.” The case was pretty engaging. I was very curious about all the murders. The pacing of this story was a bit uneven for me. Some parts were fast and going fluently, and some were dragging a bit. Overall it was a solid crime/mystery book, with a historical background, in my opinion. And I will be continuing with this series. Also it was so good to check up with all the amazing characters of Lindsey Davis that I adore so much from her previous series.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Kate Vane

    This is the first in a series featuring Flavia Albia, Roman informer and daughter of the famous Falco, Davis’s much loved series character. The inconvenient death of Albia’s client (before she has paid her fee) means she stumbles on a possible murder case. Soon she is hunting for a serial killer. I liked this book despite a major flaw. You have to believe that Albia fails to see something which is blindingly obvious to the reader from early on – and indeed is heavily and repeatedly telegraphed by This is the first in a series featuring Flavia Albia, Roman informer and daughter of the famous Falco, Davis’s much loved series character. The inconvenient death of Albia’s client (before she has paid her fee) means she stumbles on a possible murder case. Soon she is hunting for a serial killer. I liked this book despite a major flaw. You have to believe that Albia fails to see something which is blindingly obvious to the reader from early on – and indeed is heavily and repeatedly telegraphed by the author. Sometimes this can be fun in a book, it’s the ‘he’s behind you’ thrill you get at the pantomime. You know more than the character and as well as creating suspense it makes you feel a little bit clever. Here, though, it doesn’t work because Albia is meant to be an informer. She is supposed to be able to work things out that other people miss. The author does try to cover herself when Albia insists after the big reveal that she was just playing along but it’s hardly convincing. Despite that, I enjoyed this book a lot. Albia, as a woman faces constraints not experienced by Falco but can also explore a different side of Roman life. And making Albia an outsider is clever because she observes Rome with a fresh eye. Albia has a difficult background and the book has a darker undertone than the Falco novels. The series is clearly being marketed as such, with sombre covers quite unlike the colourful friezes on the Falco novels. Still there is some humour in this story and I love Albia’s pithy observations. Albia’s family are there but firmly in the background, as if the author wants her to stand on her own and not be in the shadow of her popular parents. Although her kid brother Postumus threatens to steal the show! All in all I think it’s a good set up and I look forward to reading more.

  17. 5 out of 5

    The Library Lady

    DON'T read this book if you have not yet read the 20-odd books Lindsey Davis has written about Marcus Didius Falco, informer (private investigator) to us in Rome during the reign of Emperor Vespasian. Instead, go and find The Silver Pigs, and start at the beginning. Savor all the books that follow, culminating in Nemesis:. You might even want to read Falco: The Official Companion, chock full of interesting tidbits. Then, and only then, read this book and you will appreciate what Lindsey Davis has DON'T read this book if you have not yet read the 20-odd books Lindsey Davis has written about Marcus Didius Falco, informer (private investigator) to us in Rome during the reign of Emperor Vespasian. Instead, go and find The Silver Pigs, and start at the beginning. Savor all the books that follow, culminating in Nemesis:. You might even want to read Falco: The Official Companion, chock full of interesting tidbits. Then, and only then, read this book and you will appreciate what Lindsey Davis has done. It's Falco's Rome, only Falco is just off stage. In fact,Davis skillfully allows us to see Rome through a whole new perspective, while still carefully adding enough details to let you know how many of the characters you have come to love throughout the series are faring. This could have totally flopped, but Davis is too good for that. While I HATED Master and Godand didn't care a hoot about the characters, here she has managed to give herself a new canvas to work upon while still giving me and thousands of other fans the sort of book we have come to love. I am hoping that having firmly established her new scene, Davis will feel free to allow some of the old characters to come back on the stage occasionally. But regardless of that, I am looking forward to the next book in this series. Well done!

  18. 4 out of 5

    Kiri Salazar

    I tremendously enjoy the author's facility with words. The colorful way she captures the flavor of ancient Rome had me eating olives and crusty loaves of bread along with the main character as she solved the problem of mysterious deaths that no one was reporting. (Literally, by the way, I had to get up and attack a plate of Kalamata olives and French bread just to satisfy my visceral needs as well as intellectual ones.) I haven't made an effort to cross check for accuracy, but Lindsey Davis writ I tremendously enjoy the author's facility with words. The colorful way she captures the flavor of ancient Rome had me eating olives and crusty loaves of bread along with the main character as she solved the problem of mysterious deaths that no one was reporting. (Literally, by the way, I had to get up and attack a plate of Kalamata olives and French bread just to satisfy my visceral needs as well as intellectual ones.) I haven't made an effort to cross check for accuracy, but Lindsey Davis writes as if she is crossing the Travertina daily to get to the local watering hole for burned offerings for lunch. I absolutely love the new character she has developed and was, of course, downhearted that it is only the first book of a series. (It had better be a series, or I will have to have words with the writer about leaving the reader wanting more and then not delivering.) My only gripe is the long held belief that the Ides of a month fell on the 15th. In her novel, the Ides of April is the 13th. According to Wikipedia, we are both right!: Idus, Ides—thought to have originally been the day of the full moon, was the 13th day of the months with 29 days, but the 15th day of March, May, July, and October (the months with 31 days). So, isn't it nice to receive a little history lesson with your fictional mystery!?

  19. 4 out of 5

    Richard Howard

    For a historical mystery to work, you must believe that what happens is credible given the time in which it is set. This fails that test. There are so many glaring anachronisms: algebra calculus (not for centuries); mad cat ladies (not a thing in ancient Rome); serial killers (the term is only decades old.) But, more crucially, you have to suspend a lot of disbelief to accept that a young woman could act the way that Alba does in this book. It was just not possible and so the whole sorry mess be For a historical mystery to work, you must believe that what happens is credible given the time in which it is set. This fails that test. There are so many glaring anachronisms: algebra calculus (not for centuries); mad cat ladies (not a thing in ancient Rome); serial killers (the term is only decades old.) But, more crucially, you have to suspend a lot of disbelief to accept that a young woman could act the way that Alba does in this book. It was just not possible and so the whole sorry mess becomes risible. The first few Falco novels were entertaining because the the author was scrupulous about the history. Alas, in this novel, sloppiness abounds. The prose is also very stodgy with endless travelogue moments that scream 'Hey, we're in Ancient Rome guys!' The identity of the killer is telegraphed early on: I know 'They always come back.' is an oft used serial-killer trope but here it's taken to ludicrous lengths. There are so many better historical series around: do yourself a favour and find them.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Susan

    I really wanted to like this book much more than I did. Based on the description of the book, I was hoping for a spirited, assertive independent, intelligent, female protagonist. Unfortunately, I was instead disappointed by this character. Yes, Flavia was intelligent but she was also abrasive, aggressive, cynical, and sarcastic. I found her fairly unlikeable. In fact, except for the care that she had for the foxes, I might have thought her not much different than the psychopath she chased, unfeel I really wanted to like this book much more than I did. Based on the description of the book, I was hoping for a spirited, assertive independent, intelligent, female protagonist. Unfortunately, I was instead disappointed by this character. Yes, Flavia was intelligent but she was also abrasive, aggressive, cynical, and sarcastic. I found her fairly unlikeable. In fact, except for the care that she had for the foxes, I might have thought her not much different than the psychopath she chased, unfeeling, self-centred, using others to reach her own goals. It was difficult to get past my dislike of Flavia to in any way enjoy the story, but as far as it goes the plot line was OK and the writing not bad, though the number of 20th and 21st Century phrases used was disconcerting in a supposedly historical novel. Overall, I managed to make my way through this book (skimming chunks in the middle) but I would not go out looking for others in the series, or even by this author.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Leanne Smith

    Very witty and sharp - enjoyable romp through Rome but with a very modern view. Having read many in the Falco series it was good to see Rome from a female perspective.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Simon Binning

    Lindsey Davis put an end to her popular Falco series after twenty books. Perhaps a brave decision; perhaps the right one. After all, everything comes to an end eventually. But it is possibly even braver to take one of the characters from that series as the lead in a new one. Flavia Albia is the adopted daughter of Falco and Helena Justina. Rescued from the streets of Londinium as a child, she features in many of the Falco books, but almost in passing until the last few, where we see her - still b Lindsey Davis put an end to her popular Falco series after twenty books. Perhaps a brave decision; perhaps the right one. After all, everything comes to an end eventually. But it is possibly even braver to take one of the characters from that series as the lead in a new one. Flavia Albia is the adopted daughter of Falco and Helena Justina. Rescued from the streets of Londinium as a child, she features in many of the Falco books, but almost in passing until the last few, where we see her - still briefly - become more than one of their children. Her back story was interesting; it gives her a difference. Yes, she is very 'Roman' now, but she is also very aware of her origins. Grateful to her adoptive parents, but still with something of an outsider's view. This first book in the series opens about ten years after the end of the Falco series. Albia is in her late twenties, and a widow (having married one of the minor characters in the earlier books). She is fiercely independent, still living alone in her father's old building at Fountain Court, and also working as an informer. Being a woman, this is a difficult task, as she is restricted in what she can do, and who will employ her. After a client dies mysteriously, she discovers that there have been a number of unexplained deaths in the city. But the authorities do not seem very interested, and Albia herself is distracted by a potential new lover, Andronicus. The killer continues to take victims. Albia, aided - and sometimes hindered - by others, tries to make sense of what is going on. She doesn't get much help; the vigiles are their usual useless selves, and the local magistrate is busy organising an important annual festival. She can never actually find the man, only his rather heavy-handed messenger. Taking a character from a book and making them the centre of their own story is often fraught with danger. It's happened many times before, not always successfully. But here Lindsey Davis seems to have pulled it off; at least for the first book. Flavia Albia is not Falco in a dress. Clearly, her style has a part of him in its make-up. She has learnt much from him, and from her mother. But she is very much her own woman. The character Davis creates is engaging. Setting the story sometime after we last met the family is inspired. It means that although we knew her from the earlier books, there is much for us to learn about events in the intervening years. And Davis is very careful to only let those details emerge slowly. The story centres on Albia. Her family are mentioned in passing; she visits them, but without taking us. Falco and Helena are a presence, but no more than her family would be if we didn't already know them. That decision - to place them firmly to one side - is also the correct one, I think. The humour is still very much there. In fact on this outing, I think it is sometimes better than Falco's; more cutting, often darker. She has spent the best part of ten years working at a profession that is hard enough, and disdained enough, for a man. Her gender simply makes life even more difficult. But it does give her some advantages, and she uses them to the full. For me, some of the later Falco books became a little tired, somewhat formulaic. This first entry in the Flavia Albia series reminds me of the sparkle and enjoyment of some of the best in the original series. Perhaps writing them has given the author a new lease of life. I loved it, and am very much looking forward to the next in the series.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Nathan Albright

    Because I decided to take up a challenge in Goodreads that involved reading mystery novels, I thought I would try to find some historical mystery novels that I had not already read to add to my background in the genre, and I found the eight-novel Flavia Albia series to be worthy of note on a bit of a whim.  As far as whims go, it was a good one, although it did give me plenty of disturbing material to think about when it came to the similarities between the readers and the protagonists of such f Because I decided to take up a challenge in Goodreads that involved reading mystery novels, I thought I would try to find some historical mystery novels that I had not already read to add to my background in the genre, and I found the eight-novel Flavia Albia series to be worthy of note on a bit of a whim.  As far as whims go, it was a good one, although it did give me plenty of disturbing material to think about when it came to the similarities between the readers and the protagonists of such fiction, and perhaps the writers as well.  At any rate, this book definitely whetted my curiosity for the rest of the series and perhaps even the longer series that this one sprang from, but which will take considerable reading over the course of the next few months, if I choose to tackle it.  Whatever ends up happening in that regard, this book is certainly a worthwhile one to read and it manages to be a compact and deeply interesting tale that demonstrates the immense skill of the author and the fascination of the first century of Roman history for the reader. The story is set with an independent youngish widow in her late 20's seeking business as a private informer.  She finds herself with a bad client whose business ended up killing a small boy.  Then the client ends up dead, which leads Flavia to wonder how she is going to get paid.  Then of course, once other people end up dead of the same reasons, there are fears that a serial killer is on the loose, and we see Flavia's poor taste in men as well as the trickiness of an intelligent working woman dealing with men who are not always respectful of her insight.  The search for victims leads Flavia and others to seek to determine the common link between them, and also eventually leads her to see herself as the next target of the murderous serial killer, who attacks her in the context of a religious festival that involves the death of foxes, at least one of which she considers as a pet.  The pace is kept up, the novel is full of insightful misdirection, and the climax and denoument are handled with considerable skill and interest for the reader fond of the dark times. Can a mystery novel like this offer more than merely escapist fiction.  The reign of Diocletian, a time of political paranoia and division not unlike our own, would not immediately appear to be a propitious time to escape to.  The lead character, as an adopted widow born in Britain who survived a tough childhood that included rape, is certainly a character that presents the reader with significant challenges, most notably the fact that she has questionable judgment but high spirits and deep intellect.  The book, and likely the series as a whole, has unquestionably feminist goals--the portrayal of a socially ambiguous heroine who has senatorial and equestrian adoptive family connections but strives to make her own way and live her own life of dignity in the face of a dangerous ruler and the dishonorable position of a working woman and the legal limitations of her gender in the complex Roman social universe make it clear that gender issues are on the table.  But such gender politics as would be intolerable in an essay go down much easier in a well-written historical novel like this one where the reader's sympathies are engaged with the spunky heroine rather than assaulted with the accusatory language of outrage culture.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Laura Spira

    Not quite as good as the Falco books but Albia is sparky and the plot was sufficiently complex to keep me interested. The gap between the end of the Falco series and the start of this story is briefly sketched in but not entirely satisfactorily. Somehow I wasn't convinced by her earlier marriage or her attraction to the villain here. Maybe she'll grow on me but I miss her father. Not quite as good as the Falco books but Albia is sparky and the plot was sufficiently complex to keep me interested. The gap between the end of the Falco series and the start of this story is briefly sketched in but not entirely satisfactorily. Somehow I wasn't convinced by her earlier marriage or her attraction to the villain here. Maybe she'll grow on me but I miss her father.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Ian Cann

    Taut, terse and thrilling, Davis nails the hard boiled detective novel here and captures the feel of first century AD Rome perfectly at the same time, with some nice touches of humour and anachronisms to weave the whole thing together - Flavia Albia feels both out of and in her own time perfectly. Will definitely be diving into this series.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Diane McKenzie

    Lindsey Davis did an incredible job with her Marcus and Helena characters about ancient Rome and the ups and downs of being a private investigator. Now their daughter Albia follows in their footsteps with a bit of loving support and guidance from her parents. Albia possesses positive qualities from both parents. Very engaging and entertaining. Looking forward to the next mystery.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Tory Wagner

    Flavia Alvia, a female investigator, lives in Ancient Rome. As a young widow, she is able to move within society easily and is a well known figure. The mystery was interesting, but moved a little slowly.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Fragmentage

    abandoned... don't care enough about either the case or the characters. abandoned... don't care enough about either the case or the characters.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Michelle

    2.5 stars

  30. 5 out of 5

    Silver

    It had been awhile since I'd read one of Lindsey Davis' Falco mysteries, so I was surprised and delighted to see her new novel The Ides of April, featuring Flavia Alba, Falco's adopted daughter. Flavia has moved into Falco's old digs and taken over his career as an investigator while he, Helena and the rest of the family settle down to a less adventurous domesticity. Often whilst reading the earlier books, I thought about how it is to write from a male perspective. Women are much more used to doi It had been awhile since I'd read one of Lindsey Davis' Falco mysteries, so I was surprised and delighted to see her new novel The Ides of April, featuring Flavia Alba, Falco's adopted daughter. Flavia has moved into Falco's old digs and taken over his career as an investigator while he, Helena and the rest of the family settle down to a less adventurous domesticity. Often whilst reading the earlier books, I thought about how it is to write from a male perspective. Women are much more used to doing this, and even hiding their identities under male pseudonyms, whereas it has been much less common for men to bother writing from a female perspective. I loved Falco's character and felt that Davis did an amazing job of making him believably male, at least from my perspective. Yet I wondered how she felt about having to write a slightly more restrained role for Helena. With this new work (and hopefully series), Davis can at last speak out more wholeheartedly from a female POV. The setting being ancient Rome, there are more restrictions on women's movements than there would be in a contemporary story, but Davis handles this balancing act very well. Flavia certainly has an advantage interviewing female witnesses, for instance, and as a widow, enjoys more self-determination than wife or maiden. She says, "Female clients trusted me. They shied off male informers, who had a reputation for groping and worse indecency. Besides, many male informers were simply no good." Throughout the story, she has to take rude male behavior in stride, as any of us would have had to until quite recently. Davis doesn't shrink back from depicting these challenges, as when Flavia attends a meeting with the tribune and thinks, "Obviously he was wondering if he dared ask, 'Any chance you'll get your titties out?' They are all the same, right down to the ghastly vocabulary. He only stopped himself because all the rest would have wanted a grope, too. He was too mean to let all his men have a go." This is hilarious considering Falco's constant attempts to have a grope in the earlier novels. Flavia's forthrightness about her own desire for male company is particularly refreshing. As a person of barbaric ancestry myself, I've always felt a bit torn about the Romans, and Flavia shares this perspective. Born in England, perhaps to immigrant traders, she's become a Roman citizen. She doesn't quite consider herself Roman, however, and has a love/hate relationship with Rome in all its splendid filth. "If ever I paused quietly to consider my origins and character, the fear of having an unRoman nature unsettled me." Later, she dispels some myths about the "Blue Men" of Britain. "The great freckled lumps want to wear togas nowadays, and earn a fortune swindling all-comers in some dodgy import-export business. If going to the baths means a life of ease and underfloor heating can be yours, the average go-getting British tribesman is up for it. Why live in a hut, when a subsidized forum has been provided at Imperial expense? Why farm, when international trade is such a doddle? They rush from their fields, dying to sell Rutupiae oysters to Rome." What I love about Davis' novels is not only the historical detail, but how she makes an ancient culture feel so contemporary. If you've ever read Roman graffiti or letters written by ordinary Romans, you will recognize how familiar their characters are in all their human foibles and frailties. Which brings me to the foxes. I can't tell you how relieved I was that Flavia was on the foxes' side and abhorred the bloodthirsty animal slaughter of the rituals and games. Critics will say this is anachronistic behavior, but I firmly believe there have always been people of empathy and conscience, much like Leonardo da' Vinci or St. Francis. As Jonathan Jones writes in The Guardian, "Whether or not Leonardo really set birds free, he definitely did question the superiority of humans to the rest of the animal kingdom. It is a repeated theme in his notebooks. He writes in them that humanity is not 'king of the animals' but merely 'king of the beasts', that is, a more powerful beast than the rest: and he goes on to rage that we use our power to raise animals for slaughter. " There were at least a few people in times past with a different understanding of the supposed superiority of humans. As to the plot, Flavia is investigating a series of mysterious deaths. Without giving too much away, I can say that the means of death will also be familiar to anyone who reads the murder pages in their local paper. Though I did recognize the perpetrator early on, and worked out the other mystery as well, that didn't stop my enjoyment watching Flavia piece together the clues and come to a sudden realization. If you are a person who wants to be surprised by a whodunnit, you will most likely be disappointed. But if you relish a character's journey, especially a character as complicated and perspicacious as Flavia, The Ides of April will leave you thirsting for more.

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