Book 9 in the Flavia Albia series is Comedy of Terrors and Book 10 (published this year) is Desperate Undertaking. I was less than enthusiastic about the last two books, but gave both of these five stars on Goodreads. In fact, book 10 is terrific!
This brings me to the fifth series I’ve caught up on in 2022. That reaches my goal for the ‘Finishing the Series’ reading challenge. I have read many first in series books this year, so I guarantee I’ll repeat this challenge in 2023.
A Comedy of Terrors (Flavia Albia #9)
by Lindsey Davis
In Rome, 89 A.D., poisonings, murders, and a bloody gang war of retribution breaks out during the festival of Saturnalia–and when her husband, Tiberius, becomes a target, it’s time for Flavia Albia to take matters into her own hands … (goodreads)
This is embarrassing. This was a library book, so I can’t refer back to it, and the blurb gives little to remind me. I know I gave it five stars, but I can’t remember much about it now I’ve finished Desperate Undertaking. Mostly I remember a very twisted plot, being very scared for Flavia Albia and Tiberius Faustus, and possibly things left on the doorstep that the little ones should not see, especially at Saturnalia. I really should write my reviews as I go.
Desperate Undertaking (Flavia Albia #10)
by Lindsey Davis
In Lindsey Davis’s next book in the beloved Flavia Albia Series, Desperate Undertaking, a mad killer (or killers!) is strewing bodies around in the most gruesome of manners and, true to form, it is up to Flavia Albia to determine what is really going on and stop this bacchanal of death.
This time a commission shows up on her doorstep – someone is staging brutal murders in some of the most beautiful buildings in Rome, each staging different. So far, the only clue was the phrase that one survivor managed to croak, “The undertaker did it…” With little to go on and bodies starting to pile up, Albia has to unravel the strangest mystery of her career in short order if she’s to stop this dismaying orgy of murder. (goodreads)
Is it because we’ve moved on from the political overtones of books 7&8? Or does the combination of people who featured in one of Falco’s books (Last Act in Palmyra) and a host of mythical and theatrical puzzles made the difference? Either way, this book is terrific. It has some really gruesome dead body scenes, and the dramatic links become obvious very quickly. This has the effect of really ramping up the tension, as some of the vigiles discuss plays they have known, and you wonder how that is going to be used in the next murder. The people in this book are exceptionally well characterised, particularly the wife of the pompous aedile whom Albia and husband Tiberius Manlius Faustus have dinner with.
The sights, smells, and general grottiness of Rome is dealt with as a wonderful character, but without the information dumping that beset previous books.
Given that both Albia and Faustus are potential victims, it really does get the juices going, and I think it may even be the best yet. Terrific in every way.
Book 11 Fatal Legacy has now been announced, expected in 2023.Book Reviews | Flavia Albia Catch-up 9,10: Desperate Undertaking — really does get the juices going, may even be the best yet. Terrific in every way! #crime #ancientrome #flaviaalbia Click To Tweet