Last Act in Palmyra by Lindsey Davis
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
It's been a few years since I read a Falco mystery by Lindsey Davis so when I finally got a hold of Last Act in Palmyra, I was happy to delve into the world of ancient Rome once again. Falco is the same sleuth as he ever was--resourceful, trustworthy, worldly, cynical, and madly in love with a senator's daughter, Helena Justina. The setting in the cities of the Decapolis is interesting, and the details of everyday life in the first century Roman world are fascinating, as Davis is terrific with bringing such historical things to life. Unfortunately, the same couldn't be said for all the characters. About the only thing that spoiled this installment in the series is the tediousness of the storyline and how the various stock characters of the traveling theatre troupe in which Falco and Helena travel seemed to blur together in your mind. The story's pacing is slow compared with earlier capers, and I wasn't quite as excited to keep turning pages since I'd figured out who had committed the murder long before Falco showed signs that he even had a clue. I'm not a big mystery reader, so perhaps this wouldn't be a problem for most, but I missed the political intrigue and blood-and-guts action of the earlier books. Still, if you need a Falco fix, Last Act in Palmyra is sure to please.
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