Book 3 in the Marcus Didius Falco series (1991)
Publisher: Minotaur Books
Marcus Didius Falco, Imperial Rome’s answer to Columbo, is hired by relatives of a wealthy real estate developer, Hortensius, to find his murderer. What Falco uncovers is a hotbed of crime in the unscrupulous business dealings of Hortensius.
Marcus Didius Falco, ancient Rome’s hangdog investigator, hates sharing a cell with a rodent – though being bailed by his old mother is almost as embarrassing. His highborn girlfriend can’t decide if she wants him and Titus Caesar’s reward for past services is a wet fish. Hoping for a better life, or at least a better apartment, he takes on new clients.
On the elegant slopes of the Pincian Hill, three nouveaux riches freedmen with two flashy wives are under siege by a clever redhead. Severina Zotica has a foul-mouthed parrot, an odd connection with a snake dancer – and a very suspicious past. As he pursues this flame-haired fortune-hunter, Falco finds himself beset by violent rent-racketeers, poisoners, and women without consciences who have dangerous designs on him…