Desperate Undertaking – Lindsey Davis

Desperate Undertaking - Lindsay Davis
Desperate Undertaking – Lindsay Davis

It’s been a while since I’ve spent any time in ancient Rome in the company of intrepid investigator Flavia Albia. Nice to be back!

Well, nice to be back in her company; not so nice to be following her investigation of a series of grisly murders, replicating death scenes from famous plays.

Another “nice” – there are some familiar faces amongst the acting fraternity (a theatrical troupe Falco and Helena met in Syria) and in the civil service (need to work out that haemorrhoid reference) – and I did get a bit teary reading the inscription on Nux’s headstone. Best of Dogs indeed….

Author page: Desperate Undertaking – Lindsey Davis

Trace Elements – Donna Leon

Trace Elements - Donna Leon
Trace Elements – Donna Leon

It’s a sweltering July in Venice and Brunetti and Griffoni, with occasional assistance from Vianello and Signora Elettra, are investigating the last few cryptic words of a dying woman. They wind up investigating environmental crime revolving around a water sampling company, and a murder.

Plenty of pertinent observations about food, friendship, misogyny and modern life in Italy – and Venice in particular.

Publisher page: Trace Elements – Donna Leon

Tamed – Alice Roberts

Tamed - Alice Roberts
Tamed – Alice Roberts

Fascinating account of 9 species “tamed” by humans, drawing upon archaeology, history, geography and biology, in particular genetics and microbiology. We learn about wheat, dogs, horses, apples and more, culminating in humans as species No 10.

In her conclusion, Prof. Roberts expands her core theme to (re)consider genetic diversity and engineering, ecology and climate change and the pros and cons of various approaches to global development and sustainability.

Excellent, and all the better as an audiobook.

Author page: Tamed: Ten Species that Changed our World – Alice Roberts

Risen – Benedict Jacka

Risen - Benedict Jacka
Risen – Benedict Jacka

The Alex Verus series comes to a close. Pretty much all fighting, which I never find that interesting although it makes perfect sense for the plot as the battle lines have built up over the 10 books: Light vs Dark mages, Drakh vs everyone, Light Anne vs Dark Anne vs Marid-possessing Anne, Mages and Keepers vs Marids and Ifrits, Jinns and Janns.

At least Luna and Hermes the blink fox stay with us to the end. I miss Arachne – I kept hoping she’d return somehow from somewhere, or Elsewhere. I thought Starbreeze the air elemental might make an appearance too, but no.

Author page: Risen – Benedict Jacka