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….
With Tiberius Manlius away visiting his ill sister, Flavia Albia is in charge of their home and business and finds herself investigating (possibly ancient) scrolls unearthed by their builders during a project in The Grove of the Caesars – when the rape and murder of a respectable Roman matron occurs at an evening party near by.
Flavia Albia is called upon to investigate the mysterious death of Gabinus, a transport manager who turns out to be a decidedly unpopular man all round …. although possibly not quite as unpopular as paranoid Emperor Domitian, for whom all of Rome – and plenty of Romans from outside the Imperial City – are preparing a Double Triumph.
Made in Chelsea rewound to run in 1st Century Rome, as the offspring of the wealthy residents of The Quirinal Hill indulge in gossip, love affairs and love potions, expensive meals at fancy restaurants and parties.
There’s also a lettuce seller and a statue of Egyptian fertility god, Min – inspired by an evening at the Ashmolean Museum.