Having returned from his trip to Londinium, Falco takes up employment with Paccius Africanus and Silius Italicus, two lawyers at the top of their trade. For the trial of a senator they need Falco to make an affidavit confirming repayment of a loan. Having been out of the country and starved of Forum gossip for some time, Falco has little interest in this trial, so he makes his deposition and then leaves. The prosecution are successful and a large financial judgement is made, but one month later the senator is dead, apparently by suicide. The heirs are now in a situation of not having to pay up, and the prosecutor Silius Italicus suddenly decides to seek out Falco. With a little coercion, Falco joins the prosecution in seeking to persuade a magistrate to instigate a new trial against Metellus' son. Blinded by the vision of rich pickings to be gained by the prosecution, Falco temporarily forgets that, if they fail, the financial penalties levelled against the informers who brought the case are potentially enormous-.
Lindsey Davis's first Falco novel, The Silver Pigs, was published in 1989. Since then, her novel Two For the Lions won the inaugural Ellis Peters Historical Dagger in 1998, and in 1999 she received the Sherlock Award for Best Comic Detective for her creation, Marcus Didius Falco. Lindsey's last ten novels have all been Sunday Times hardback bestsellers. She was born in Birmingham but now lives in Greenwich.