The Book Worm: Review. The Ides of April

Friday, August 12, 2016

Review. The Ides of April

Book Review. The Ides of April, by Lindsey Davis


Falco: The Next Generation––Flavia Albia has taken up her father's profession. Only, now Rome is a more dangerous, mercurial place than it was back in dear old dad's day . . .
Flavia Albia is the adopted daughter of Marcus Didius Falco and Helena Justina. From her mother, she learned how to blend in at all levels of society; from her father, she learned the tricks of their mutual professional trade. But her wits and (frequently) sharp tongue are hers alone.
Now, working as a private informer in Rome during the reign of Domitian, Flavia has taken over her father's old ramshackle digs at Fountain Court in the Surbura district, where she plies her trade with energy, determination, and the usual Falco luck. Recently hired to help investigate a fatal accident, she finds herself stuck with a truly awful person for a client and facing a well-heeled, well-connected opponent.
That is, until her client unexpectedly dies under what might be called "suspicious circumstances." While this is not a huge loss for society, it is a loss for Flavia Albia's pocket. Even worse, it's just one of a series of similar deaths for which she now finds herself under suspicion. Before things go from abysmal to worse, Flavia must sort out what is happening, 

Genre: historical mystery

Publishing date: June 2013

Mature content: No

Review: This is the worst rating I have ever given to a Lindsey Davis book but, truth be told, I was really disappointed with The Ides of April: A Flavia Albia Mystery (Flavia Albia Series)

I've been a long time fan of Lindsey Davis and I love, love, love her Falco series (read my review of The Silver Pigs, book one the Falco series here). For some reason, I never picked up this new generation of books starring Flavia Albia, Falco's oldest daughter and the one that sort of inherits his professional gifts. 

While The Ides of April is written in Lindsey Davis' straight-to-the-point style similarly to some of her other books I have reviewed here before, there's something about the story that doesn't add up. Either it's because it is less believable that a woman could do what Albia does in a society where young women are either living with their husbands or with their parents. Or because the story is told in the first person, same as Falco's were, and it's odd to see the same things for a different perspective. Or maybe it's just because I miss Falco. 

But the truth is that the plot is dull, slow moving and plain boring in places. In the second part of the book, it sort of improves a little and you get a glimpse of what Falco's books used to be. But it's still not as good. It pains me to say it, but it's a bit like reading a piece of fan fiction written by someone that tries hard to emulate the original author, but doesn't quite get it. 

In Falco's books there's mystery and suspense, there's romance and, most importantly, there's amazing humor. Some pages make you laugh out loud, others make you wonder where the story is going, and others will make you want to whack Marcus on the back of his head. But you are never bored. Sadly, The Ides of April does not benefit from the same magic. 

Book four in the Albia collection, Graveyard of the Heperides, was published just last month, and that was what prompted me to read The Ides of April. Because Lindsey Davis is still one of my favorite authors (other than the Falco series, I also vividly recommend  The Course of Honor and Master and God), I'm hoping The Ides of April: A Flavia Albia Mystery (Flavia Albia Series) was just a fluke and I'm prepared to give Albia the benefit of the doubt and move onto book two in the series, Enemies at Home: A Flavia Albia Novel (Flavia Albia Series). I'll post a review when I finish it.

Happy readings, 

the book worm, book reviews

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