November 04, 2003

The Jupiter Myth, Lindsey Davis

Poorly bee.

The plot is another competent exercise of the tough-guy detective schtick, Down these mean streets a man must go who is not himself mean (and what Chandler said then about the duchess applies, too!). Corrupt Roman London instead of corrupt Daly City; but beatings, racketeering, secrets in warehouses.

Falco now has a wife (the duchess) and children and they travel with him; in my favorite scene he pauses to help his small daughter nurse a poorly bee back to health. Actually, this leads a bit to the development of the plot, I think it made the reckless old-flame gladiatrix even more reckless.

Davis explains, in an endnote, how many of the places and incidents she puts in Roman London are plausible, given recent archaeological discoveries there, but are not nor are meant to be accurate precursors of the real remains. The London Bridge appears, of course; at this time a shaky rebuild of the one lost to Boudicca.

The dedication sounds like a translation from Latin:

Now look here; you had better not expect half a page of sentimental guff. If you are a treasure and an inspiration and a dear friend who has suffered a year of stress, I shall certainly not say so. This is a British dedication, after all!

ISBN: 0-89296-777-3

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