- May 26 & 27 - All libraries CLOSED for Memorial Day
It all started with my sister-in-law. She’s a self-proclaimed Romaphile, and she gave me a paperback copy of Silver Pigs, a mystery novel set in ancient Rome. It’s the first in the Marcus Didius Falco series by Lindsey Davis, and it’s great. Private informer Falco tries to be a first-century tough guy, but he falls hard for a smart young lady of a noble Roman family and finds his life becoming more complicated. The author uses tension and humor deftly to keep the reader hurtling through the complicated storylines.
Younger readers will enjoy the Roman Mysteries series by Caroline Lawrence. I was lucky enough years ago to hear the author in person at the King Library, and I knew immediately if she wrote as well as she lectured, I would enjoy her books. I was hooked from the first title, The Thieves of Ostia. Twelve-year-old Flavia Gemina and her friends Jonathan, Nubia, and Lupus solve mysteries during the reign of Vespasian. The books are not for the very young, due to some scary situations, and life in ancient Rome is portrayed pretty accurately, blood and all. In the first book, the mystery involves dogs being killed in the port town of Ostia. I recommend this series for middle-school ages and up, including young-at-heart adults. The series has just recently concluded, but Lawrence is starting two new series, a Roman spin-off for younger readers and one set in the Old West.
It looks like Lindsey Davis is still going strong, but inbetween Falco books, I'll probably start reading the Gordianus the Finder series by Steven Saylor, now that my appetite has been whetted for Roman mystery novels. As my “must read” list of authors and series keeps growing, I guess it’s inevitable that I fall behind a bit, but I have added my favorite authors to my account's Saved Searches / New Item Alerts, added the newer series titles to My Lists, and I hope to catch up eventually. Luckily, all three of these series are available through the SJPL Library, saving me tons of money and bookshelf space!