Ayo Onatade is an avid reader of crime and mystery fiction. She has been writing reviews, interviews and articles on the subject for the last 12 years; with an eclectic taste from historical to hardboiled, short stories and noir films
There are not many authors whose books are awaited with bated breath. However, Lindsey Davis and her character Marcus Didius Falco definitely fall into that rarefied category.
Alexandria is the nineteenth book in this excellent series and this time around our intrepid informer and his family find themselves in Egypt. But what are they doing in there? Helena Justina is determined that despite the fact that she is in the late stages of her pregnancy to see two of the seven wonders of the world which are situated in Egypt. Luckily for Falco his unconventional maternal Uncle Fulvius now lives in Egypt and it is at his place of residence in Alexandria that Falco and his family bed down. If Falco had any hopes that this would be a peaceful holiday, he is sadly mistaken.
Theon the Librarian of the Great Library in Alexandria is found dead in his office not long after he has returned from dinner with Falco. Falco, being one of the last people to see the victim alive, finds himself delegated into taking on the investigation. As Falco tries his hardest to get to the bottom of this sudden death he realises that academia is not all about scrolls. As he dodges bribery, arson, violence and academics that would rather stab each other in the back he realises that if he is not careful he will join the list of bodies piling up.
Alexandria is a welcome return to this series and once again he has been taken away from his normal abode and thrust into a city where he is not known. His attempts to get to the bottom of the crime are tempered with the verity that he is far more cognisant of the fact that he has a family to look after as well. Despite this there is no lack of witticism flowing from Falco and the interplay between him and the spirited Helena Justina is one of the things that make this series so enjoyable.
Lindsey Davis has a great following for a very good reason. She knows how to write a cracking story that pulls you along with no let up of pace but which is also bursting with hilarity, surprises and familial satire. Along with the in-jokes and deception that follow Falco, the reader finds themselves immersed in a story that will leave you chortling along the way. Alexandria is well worth finding a corner to disappear into so that you can absorb yourself in it without any distractions. Falco is one of a kind and I hope that he stays that way.