Falco returns home to Rome for his eleventh appearance in this highly popular and successful series. As a reward for his Census work Falco has at last been made an equestrian. But imperial favour coupled with his new duties as Procurator of the Sacred Poultry of the Senate and People of Rome bring their own complications. Not only is he now ensconsed in all the trappings of the Establishment and the state religion but Falco also has a troublesome new partner, Aelianus, to deal with. Private and public business merge as he is sent to investigate the disappearance of a young girl selected to be a Vestal Virgin. Closely watched by his ex-partner Petronius and the vigilies who are just waiting for him to slip up, Falco is sorely determined to solve this mystery.
Lindsey Davis has written over twenty historical novels, beginning with The Course of Honour. Her bestselling mystery series features laid-back First Century detective Marcus Didius Falco and his partner Helena Justina, plus friends, relations, pets and bitter enemy the Chief Spy. After an English degree at Oxford University, Lindsey joined the Civil Service but became a professional author in 1989. Her books are translated into many languages and have been dramatized on BBC Radio 4. Her many prizes include the Premio Colosseo, awarded by the Mayor of Rome 'for enhancing the image of Rome', the Sherlock award for Falco as Best Comic Detective and the Crimewriters' Association Cartier Diamond Dagger for lifetime achievement. She was born in Birmingham but now lives in Greenwich, London. Her most recent books are Master and God followed by The Ides of April.