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Flavia Albia Mystery is a series of historical mystery novels written by Lindsey Davis which follow the exploits of a female private detective who solves murders in Ancient Roman times.
Order of Flavia Albia Mystery Series
|1||The Ides of April||2013||Description / Buy|
|2||Enemies at Home||2014||Description / Buy|
|3||The Spook Who Spoke Again (Short Story)||2015||Description / Buy|
|4||Deadly Election||2015||Description / Buy|
|5||The Graveyard of the Hesperides||2016||Description / Buy|
|6||The Third Nero||2017||Description / Buy|
|7||Pandora's Boy||2018||Description / Buy|
|8||Invitation to Die||2019||Description / Buy|
|9||A Capitol Death||2020||Description / Buy|
|10||The Grove of the Caesars||2020||Description / Buy|
|11||A Comedy of Terrors||2021||Description / Buy|
Flavia Albia’s series officially kicks off with The ides of April, the first novel which was published in 2013. However, fans of Lindsey Davis more than likely met the character in 2002.
Before she got her own series, Flavia Albia was a supporting character in the hugely popular Marcus Didius Falco series. Making her first appearance in The Jupiter Myth in 2002, Albia saved a pack of dogs from a gruesome death and, as a result, caught the eye of Helena Justina, wife and sleuthing partner to Marcus Didius Falco.
It was eventually determined that Albia’s parents were a Roman-British couple who died during Boudicca’s uprising. She grew up a street vagrant, spending a short stint as a household slave and eventually finding salvation when Helena and Falco adopted her.
Fans of the Falco series will remember Albia as a grumpy, sullen teenager whose volatile personality sometimes rubbed Falco the wrong way. That doesn’t change much even after she matures.
The Albia that readers meet in the first Flavia Albia novel is in her late 20s. And yet, she has continued to nurture a lonely, moody persona. But her attitude serves her well enough in her profession.
Falco, Albia’s adopted father, was a great detective who raised his standing in society via his legendary feats of sleuthing. And having spent her teenage years watching him work, Albia picked up the trade, eventually becoming a detective and taking on the case of mysterious poisonings in The Ides of April.
Each installment in this series pits Albia against a new case, a murder, a mystery, a crime, some sort of occurrence that is deeply rooted in the customs and traditions of the Ancient Roman Empire.
Like the Falco series, Lindsey uses the Albia series to provide readers with a detailed tour of Ancient Rome. A lot of time is spent understanding the economics of Albia’s society, the mannerisms of her people, the regulations governing the treatment of slaves and so on and so forth.
The author also finds the time to look at her heroine’s personal life, the allies and enemies she makes and the complex relationships with her friends, family, and lovers that she must maneuver.
Some attention is given to characters from the Falco series. Falco and Helena are also mentioned from time to time. But the author mostly glosses over their adventures because she wants her readers to focus solely on Albia.
A reader’s ability to enjoy this series will largely depend on the way they perceive the heroine. Some people like Albia. Others think she’s a little too mopey for their liking.
Flavia Albia Mystery Awards
The Graveyard of the Hesperides was nominated for a Shamus Award in 2017.
Best Flavia Albia Mystery novels
Many Lindsay Davis fans will tell you that they love the Albia novels because they dive back into the same world that Falco inhabited, giving new life to the Falco and Justina stories that had begun to grow stale, with some of the best books in the series including:
Enemies at Home: Ancient Rome had so many slaves that, at one point in time, they far outnumbered the free citizens. As such, the Romans came to fear them, perceiving them as the enemies at home.
This probably contributed to the Roman Law which decreed that, if the head of a home was murdered and the culprit was not immediately identified, all his slaves would be put to death.
When a home is burglarized and its owners murdered, the slaves realize that their lives hang on a precarious line. So they flee to a safe haven, this as Flavia Albia is called upon to provide a solution before the entire situation reaches a boiling point.
The Graveyard of the Hesperides: Flavia Albia’s life is changing. Not only is she preparing to take a husband, but her fiancée, Manlius Faustus is working hard to make his contracting firm a success. When his firm’s work on a dive bar reveals buried human remains, Albia must put her wedding plans on hold to find a potential murderer.
Other Book Series You May Like
You may also enjoy the “Inspector de Silva Mysteries” Series by Harriet Steel. Shanti de Silva is an Inspector who movies to a sleepy town in Sri Lanka where he hopes to escape the excitement of the big city. Silva is unfortunately met by more murder and mystery than he can process.
Another good book to check out is the “Amelia Peabody” Series by Elizabeth Peters. These historical mystery romance novels follow the exploits of Amelia Peabody, an unconventional Egyptologist, and the people, both fictional and historical, that she meets throughout her adventures and expeditions in the 1800s.
What Is The Next Book in The Flavia Albia Mystery Series?
There doesn't seem to be an upcoming book in The Flavia Albia Mystery Series. The newest book is A Comedy of Terrors and was released on April, 1st 2021.