Like all good historical mystery fiction writers, Lindsey Davis attends to historical details and creates engaging characters in a complex plot. In her Marcus Didius Falco series, she covers the known world, her gumshoe traveling to Davis' native England, as well as the Roman provinces of Asia and Africa, where Falco and his beloved senator's daughter, Helena Justina, take care of family business.
Lindsey Davis' sleuth Falco heads off to the East to Nabataea to do a job for his nemesis, the palace spy, Anacrites. Falco becomes a playwright.
As tax auditor for the census, Falco and his family track gladiators, a potent, but extinct herb, and Helena's brother, in Africa.
As procurator of the sacred geese, an "honor" accorded Falco for past deeds, Falco tries to find out why a Vestal Virgin candidate thinks someone is trying to murder her.
Vespasian assigns Falco and his good friend Petronius Longinus, Captain of the Aventine Watch, to figure out who is reponsible for a series of robberies and murders. Falco is given other charges, as well, which result in conflict with his friend.
When Falco's nemesis, chief spy Anacrites, is badly wounded, Falco is sent to Spain -- ostensibly to look after his girlfriend Helena's father's villa and olive crops.
Falco and his partner Petronius Longinus run into officious bureaucrats when they look into Rome's water and aqueduct system to find out why there was a severed hand in the fountain.
The twelfth in the Falco series, Ode to a Banker, by Lindsey Davis, explores the Roman worlds of bankers and writers in a style new to Lindsey Davis -- Falco gathers all suspects together in order to make the guilty one confess.
A sequel to "A Body in the Bathhouse" Falco, extended family, and Petronius are guests of Helena's Uncle in Britain where a friend of the king, who murdered an architect was murdered before he could go into exile.
For Falcophiles and those who have suffered from contractors who were incompetent, at best, this is a good story about urbane, wise-cracking Romans visiting a first century British construction site.
Falco's trip to Africa in the last book was a turning point. He now has leverage with chief spy Anacrites. Even the family of his beloved Helena has begun to accept him, so much so that Aelianus, one of Helena's brothers, asks his help and becomes his partner in the quest for the identity of the missing corpse of a sacrifically butchered priest.