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Davis, Lindsey - 'Alexandria'
Hardback: 288 pages (Feb. 2009) Publisher: Century ISBN: 1846052874

ALEXANDRIA is the nineteenth book in Lindsey Davis' Falco series, but I'd have to say that it's just not the best.

This one is set in Alexandria as the title suggests and it revolves around a murder in the great library there. Falco and family are ostensibly on a sight-seeing trip but in actuality Falco is on a mission from the Emperor. When the Chief Librarian is found dead in his office, just after dining with the Falco family, our hero is asked to step in and investigate.

My problem with this book is that it's just not very funny. I've come to expect a level of humour from this series, especially in the later books but this one just doesn't cut it. Maybe it's because I'm not a librarian. Maybe it's stuffed full of in-jokes for librarians that the rest of us just don't get. Maybe it will have librarians rolling in the aisles. But it just didn't do it for me. There also seemed to me to be far too much explanation about the history of Alexandria and not really enough happening plot-wise.

Of course not all of the books in this series have been funny. Way back at the beginning, THE SILVER PIGS was a very dark book, with very little that was funny in it. The trouble with this book is that it's not dark either. It manages to fall very neatly between the two and be neither one thing nor the other. It's not that the book is badly written, it just doesn't leap off the page like some of the others have. Of course with a series as long as this one, you have to expect that some of them will be better than others. I'm just going to write this one off as one of the not so hot ones and hope that she's back on form with the next one.

Read another review of ALEXANDRIA.

Pat Austin, England
April 2009

Pat blogs at Mysterious Yarns.

Details of the author's other books with links to reviews can be found on the Books page.
More European crime fiction reviews can be found on the Reviews page.

last updated 5/04/2009 21:40