Graveyard of the Hesperides by Lindsey Davis

One of the best parts of Spring is the arrival of a new Lindsay Davis book. For years now I’ve enjoyed reading about the baking city of Rome while the first rays of warm sun are on me. Honestly, I don’t know how the book would read if I were to read them in the winter.

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Story: Albia is getting married in a few days, and old bones are discovered at a site his husband-to-be is working on. Being who they are they can’t let this alone, and Albia aims to solve the mystery of the bones and the presumed victim, a mysteriously vanished waitress before her wedding.

The Flavia Albia series has reached its fourth installment and has found its stride – perhaps even too well. Where the first book in the series felt fresh and new, this fourth one is starting to be predictable and actually not all that different from the Falco books. The characters are interesting and the writing superb, but the plot seems to always follow the same patterns – a large set of witnesses all of whom provide only small bits of information to our heroine at a time. However at the end reveal of the big twist it is generally something that all witnesses/suspects knew or was common knowledge to everyone except our main character.

The books are still very enjoyable and I love the depiction of day-to-day life in Rome. Dialogue is funny and smart, though by now I have firmly established in my mind that all Romans of old spoke with English and had a dry British humor. I have given up trying to figure out whodunnit, since in general the author does not give the information that would allow the reader to make an informed guess. I eagerly await the next in the series. Reviewed from an advance reader copy provided by the publisher.

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