The Silver Pigs

Lindsey Davis

Pan Books 1990

Arms of Nemesis

Steven Saylor

Ballantine Books 1992
A book review by Danny Yee © 1994
The Silver Pigs and Arms of Nemesis are both mystery novels set in ancient Rome. The Silver Pigs is a fast-paced political and underworld thriller whose hero is one Marcus Didius Falco, a private informer tracking down a conspiracy against Vespasian in 70 A.D. Arms of Nemesis is a more classical murder mystery set during the Spartacist revolt in 70 B.C., with Crassus as one of the main characters. Both Davis and Saylor write cleanly and engagingly but, while they have done their historical research accurately enough, neither of them really shines as a historical novelist; the setting is used more for effect than anything else, and the dialogue, plotting and characterisation could just as well be set in 20th century London. The Silver Pigs and Arms of Nemesis will appeal to devotees of detective fiction rather than lovers of historical novels. Both novels are part of an ongoing series, so there is more available for those who enjoy these.

June 1994

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The Silver Pigs
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Arms of Nemesis
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Related reviews:
- Steven Saylor - Catilina's Riddle
- books about Rome + Roman history
- more historical mystery
%T The Silver Pigs
%A Davis, Lindsey
%I Pan Books
%D 1990
%O paperback
%G ISBN 0330311832
%P xi,258pp

%T Arms of Nemesis
%A Saylor, Steven
%I Ballantine Books
%D 1992
%O paperback
%G ISBN 0804111278
%P 321pp