Chosen by The Times as one of the Top Ten Crime Novels Written by Women since 2000
Flavia Albia is the adopted daughter of a famous investigating family. In defiance of tradition, she lives alone on the colourful Aventine Hill, and battles out a solo career in a male-dominated world. As a woman and an outsider, Albia has special insight into the best, and worst, of life in ancient Rome.
A female client dies in mysterious circumstances. Albia investigates and discovers there have been many other strange deaths all over the city, yet she is warned off by the authorities. The vigils are incompetent. The local magistrate is otherwise engaged, organising the Games of Ceres, notorious for its ancient fox-burning ritual. Even Albia herself is preoccupied with a new love affair: Andronicus, an attractive archivist, offers all that a love-starved young widow can want, even though she knows better than to take him home to meet the parents...
As the festival progresses, her neighbourhood descends into mayhem and becomes the heartless killer's territory. While Albia and her allies search for him, he stalks them through familiar byways and brings murder ever closer to home.
The Ides of April is vintage Lindsey Davis, offering wit, intrigue, action and a brilliant new heroine who promises to be as celebrated as Marcus Didius Falco and Helena Justina, her fictional predecessors.
Davis (Nemesis) ingeniously breathes life into her Ancient Rome series, which has reached 20 books, by shifting the focus from Marcus Didius Falco to his adopted daughter, Flavia Albia, who follows in her father's footsteps by becoming an investigator. Salvidia, the owner of a business that refurbishes bars, retains Flavia to avoid liability after an out-of-control company cart kills a three-year-old boy. Before Flavia can really get to work, Salvidia dies, despite having been in good health. As Flavia begins to ask questions, she's disturbed to learn that other Romans have also dropped dead suddenly. Unsettled by her inquiries, the powers-that-be seek to avoid a panic resulting from word getting out that foul play may be involved. The solution isn't one of Davis's most dexterous, but the smooth transition between leads provides hope that Flavia could have as long a literary run as Marcus.