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A Capitol Death: A Flavia Albia Novel    by Lindsey Davis order for
Capitol Death
by Lindsey Davis
Order:  USA  Can
Minotaur, 2019 (2019)
Hardcover, CD, e-Book
* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

It's always been a pleasure to head back in time to ancient Rome and investigate murders with author Lindsey Davis - first with Marcus Didius Falco as the investigator, and now with his adopted daughter Flavia Albia.

A Capitol Death opens with a man falling from the Tarpeian Rock, overlooking the Forum in Rome's Capitoline Hill - a suicide or murder? A rather unreliable witness claims to have seen him pushed. This gets attention because Gabinus was responsible for organizing Emperor Domitian's absurd Imperial Triumphs (absurd because the military victories never happened).

The investigation is assigned to Flavia's husband, aedile Tiberius Manlius Faustus. Since his health is still precarious (after a lightning strike on their wedding day), Flavia takes it on for him. She follows plenty of red herrings, meeting an assortment of quirky characters, before she nearly meets her own end, but saves the day, and is saved herself. Geese, sacred to Juno, play a key role too.

Though I followed the mystery with interest, and enjoyed learning about the production of purple dye, what I enjoyed most in the story were the additions to Flavia's and Tiberius' growing household and their interactions with her rambunctious family. Great fun!

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