Just finished an absolutely fantastic book by NZ author Alix Bosco - Cut and Run which has left me desperately keen to get hold of her latest Slaughter Falls. Now I'm in that tricky position of selecting the follow on from something very very good.
Ok now you have sold me. I keep getting told to read this and really feel ashamed I haven't being a kiwi, but have just purchased a copy of Surrender by Donna Malane. NZ author who won the Pindar Publishing Prize. Blurb sounds good.
Lindsey Davis, NEMESIS. This is a historical mystery set in Ancient Rome.
Davis's books are among the few historical mysteries I read. The reason for this is the Falco character, a thoroughly irreverent private eye with a complicated family life. Davis is very good at drawing you into the historical setting and letting you see its people with common human traits. The novels are first person, light and humorous, and almost, but not quite, a take-off on the American hardboiled private eye novels.
I like those novels as well, IJ, and it does seem to bring the common Roman of that time into play. Falco doesn't engage me as much as I would like though. He approaches solving his mysteries with too much devil may care attitude and looks for serendipity rather than determination to accomplish his ends.
Davis has a PhD in ancient Roman history; her specialization is the reign of Vespasian. So her descriptions of the historical setting are spot on. I DO like Falco. I picture him as Jim Rockford in ancient Rome. I was sorry to see
that Davis killed off Falco's father, an amusing scoundrel.