cover image Deadly Election: A Flavia Albia Mystery

Deadly Election: A Flavia Albia Mystery

Lindsey Davis. Minotaur, $25.99 (352p) ISBN 978-1-250-06398-4

It’s 89 C.E., and Rome is under the heel of the tyrannical emperor Domitian in Davis’s entertaining third whodunit featuring informer Flavia Albia (after 2014’s Enemies at Home). The discovery of an unidentified male corpse inside an armored chest, which Flavia’s family was putting up for auction, launches her on a murder investigation. Since the chest was untouched in a warehouse for a decade, Flavia speculates that the killer hoped the body would be completely unrecognizable by the time it was found. As she conducts her probe, she also accepts an assignment to check out the opponents of Vibius Marinus, a candidate in the looming municipal elections. Davis lets the action drift at times and gives too much attention to a romantic subplot, but she does her usual smooth job of educating readers with historical tidbits (e.g., explaining that the word candidate derives from the word white, because those seeking elected office wore robes whitened with chalk). (July)