Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Book Review--Two for the Lions

Two for the Lions (Marcus Didius Falco, #10)Two for the Lions by Lindsey Davis
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

It's been a while since I last read a Falco mystery, and Two for the Lions is a good one to pick up the general storyline and characters again. Marcus Didius Falco finds himself involved in a murder--albeit it's a dead lion found in a gladiator's menagerie--while doing another "dirty job" for the emperor, that of census auditor looking for lost tax revenue. He's partnered with his former nemesis, too, Anacrites the former chief spy. To make matters worse, Vespasian won't even pay him what he's owed for doing the work as promised from auditing Calliopus and Saturninus, the two most vengeful gladiator managers imaginable.

When the gladiator Rumex is found murdered right under their noses, and the clues lead no where, Marcus has had enough. He and Helena take their baby daughter and go looking for Helena's runaway brother Justinus and his girlfriend Claudia. They two young lovers have been looking for a rare herb that could make them all rich and is only found in Cyrenaica. Once in north Africa, Marcus meets up with the two warring gladiator managers and a third, Hanno, along with the grieved Scilla, a woman who seems to know how to play the game better than any of them.

An enjoyable read from beginning to end, my only complaint is that it just "ends" after a climactic gladiatorial contest, and I don't know what's become of Helena and the others. Oh, well, I guess I'll just have to read the next book in the series and find out!

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