In the first century AD, during Domitian's reign, Flavia Albia is ready for a short break from her family. So in July she returns to Rome, leaving them at their place on the coast. Albia, daughter of Marcus Didius Falco, who is now retired as private informer, has taken up her father's former profession, and it's time to get back to work. The first order of business, however, is the corpse found in a chest sent as part of a large lot to be sold by the Falco family auction house. As the senior family representative in Rome, it falls upon Albia to find out who, why, and by whom.
At the same time, her potential suitor, Faustus, comes looking for help with his friend Sextus' political campaign. Between the auction business and Roman politics, it's not quite clear which is more underhanded. Both, however, are tied together by the mysterious body in the chest, and if Albia isn't able to solve that mystery, it won't be the only body to drop.
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Albia Flavia competes with didius falco
I love Flavia Albia, but...
in this book the plot seemed a bit flat. It was not as crisp and tight I as I have come to expect. I loved the witty scenes, and the interactions which had the spark of a Tracy/Hepburn sort of vibe. And the scene where Flavia must take the gavel at on auction was quite funny, showing her wit and ease.
Glad that it was clear that there was a future for our favorite characters. I have high hopes for future books sparkling again.
Actually, I think she is quite inferior to the previous narrator, Lucy Brown. Lucy had Flavia down perfectly. Just the right nuances and timing. Flavia is both elegant and has maturity and street smarts. Ms. Brown encapsulates those qualities. Jane Collingwood sounded somewhat immature and came off as sarcastic, rather than sardonic. She came off as a bit annoying.
Really, really hope they get Lucy Brown for the next one.