No place like Rome

I just love it when this happens. You pick up a book, start's ok, pleasant enough, a bit derivative perhaps, reminds you of another writer you like, and then suddenly you're halfway through chapter 10, and realise that you haven't been in Cambridge for the last half hour, but in ancient Rome, and you really wish you were still there. You've just met an author with whom you are going to have a long and happy relationship.

This was my impression reading David Wishart's Marcus Corvinus mystery In at the death. For anyone who's a Lindsey Davis fan, David Wishart is a treat. In some ways his writing is very reminiscent of Davis. His hero Marcus is a rather earthier version (if rather higher born) of Falco. Like Davis, Wishart is great fun, his account of the Gallic boar hound, the inappropriately named Placida, is completely hilarious - I giggled out loud. And the crime is well constructed, and cleverly thought out. There's more of a mix of real and fictional characters in Wishart than in Davis, and this actually works very well. And it's a great insight into the vicious world of Roman politics.

Completely enjoyable, I can't do more than suggest that you try it yourself. Whether you're into crime or historical novels this book is a real winner.


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