Enemies at Home: A Flavia Albia Novel (Flavia Albia Series)
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
"There are rules for private informers accepting a new case. Never take on clients who cannot pay you. Never do favours for friends. Don't work with relatives. If, like me, you are a woman, keep clear of men you find attractive.
"Will I never learn?"
In Ancient Rome, the number of slaves was far greater than that of free citizens. As a result, often the people Romans feared most were the "enemies at home," the slaves under their own roofs. Because of this, Roman law decreed that if the head of a household was murdered at home, and the culprit wasn't quickly discovered, his slaves―all of them, guilty or not―were presumed responsible and were put to death. Without exception.
When a couple is found dead in their own bedroom and their house burglarized, some of their household slaves know what is about to happen to them. They flee to the Temple of Ceres, which by tradition is respected as a haven for refugees. This is where Flavia Albia comes in. The authorities, under pressure from all sides, need a solution. Albia, a private informer just like her father, Marcus Didius Falco, is asked to solve the murders, in this mystery from Lindsey Davis.
him out cold with the first blow.” “Then they continued knocking him about? Unlikely! You heard no one come across the courtyard?” “They must have tiptoed through the columns on the opposite side.” I agreed that fitted with them going over to the dining room to take the silver. “Would you have run to help if you heard a commotion?” “Of course I would have! Sorting trouble is my job.” “You don’t shy from a rumpus?” “I would have been straight in.” “So what made you deaf? Was anybody else
“Always a pleasure.” “Good to see you.” “You too, aedile.” Playacting. We were both unsure. The last time we met, I made embarrassing advances, which Faustus sensibly rejected. Despite my gaffe, the aedile had expressed a hope that we might work together again. Being polite, I thought. Still, here he was in my aunt’s horrible bar. Manlius Faustus had responsibilities for neighborhood law and order—fair trading, clean streets, quiet baths and decorous brothels. I knew he was currently advising
Mucia being strong-willed. “Was she domineering?” “Oh no. There was never unpleasantness. Mucia Lucilia got her way very diplomatically … But she had firm opinions and was quick to act when the mood took her.” “With Aviola?” “With anyone. But being contentious was rare; it was just not her way.” I insisted on being sure; this was important. “Nobody thought of her as tyrannical? She was well liked?” “Very much so,” said Hermes again. I would have left it—had he not added, “—by most people.”
modestly, shown she was willing to carry out her duties as a general maid, it might have been feasible to keep her in one of our houses. Instead, she was rude, she was belligerent—” “And she was carrying another child,” I said. “Did your father, more than reasonably some would say, agree nothing should happen until this baby was born?” “He was a decent man.” His daughter fought a sudden rush of tears. She was a decent girl—even though she had just evicted her baby half sister from the family
was killed, along with many other people, most of whom were never found. Shortly afterward, a huge fire in Rome destroyed many monuments, including the Saepta Julia, a gorgeous two-story gallery where we had a family antiques business. Father worked there with another nephew, Gaius, who had always seemed a tricky, fly-by-night character, though the ragamuffin had a heart of gold. When the fire came tearing through the district, Gaius became a hero; he refused to run and save himself but stayed