I mentioned recently Lindsey Davis’s new companion-style book, published by Century, about her enormously popular series featuring Marcus Didius Falco. If you are a Falco fan, it will surely be required reading and even if you are not, there is enough of interest in the book to ensure that you will become intrigued by Davis and her writing.
The strength of the Falco books lies in Davis’ humorous and intelligent writing, and her characteristic style is much in evidence here: ‘My opinions may be grumpy and maverick,’ she says in her Introduction, ‘On the other hand, I hold those opinions because, after twenty years of loving and living with this subject, I think I am right.’
She adds: ‘I wanted to give you glossy illustrations, pull-out maps and give-away models. Sadly, we are constrained to simple and black-and-white illustrations; this is ‘due to the Recession’ (That old story! Falco would scoff)’
There is a lot of information about the Falco books and characters, but for me, the early parts of the book, where Lindsey Davis writes bravely and unsentimentally about her own life, including a number of tragic episodes, and about her approach to writing, are especially fascinating. She has plenty of opinions about writing and politics, and I found them enjoyable to read (even including one or two opinions I don’t necessarily agree with!) I’m not sure I’ve ever encountered a book in the crime genre quite like this, and Century are to be congratulated for having commissioned it, just as Lindsey Davis is to be congratulated for having written it.
There is, by the way, a new Falco hardback just out as well. It is called Nemesis, and I look forward to reading it.