First Chapter, First Paragraph: The Silver Pigs

Every Tuesday Diane at Bibliophile by the Sea hosts First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros, where you can share the first paragraph, or a few, of a book you are reading or thinking about reading soon.

This week I’m featuring The Silver Pigs by Lindsay Davis, a book that I started reading last night. Whilst this is a new-to-me series, The Silver Pigs was first published in 1989 and there are now 20 books in the series. Lindsey Davis also writes the Favia Alba Mystery series. She has won many literary awards, and was honorary president of the Classical Association from 1997 to 1998.

It begins:

When the girl came rushing up the steps, I decided she was wearing far too many clothes.

It was late summer. Rome frizzled like a pancake on a griddleplate. People unlaced their shoes but had to keep them on; not even an elephant could cross the street unshod. People flopped on stools in shadowed doorways, bare knees apart, naked to the waist – and in the backstreets of Aventine Sector where I lived, that was just the women.

This is historical crime fiction, the first of the Marcus Didius Falco novels. Set in Rome in 70AD, Vespasian is the new Roman emperor and Falco is a private informer, or private eye. In this first book he and his partner Helena Justina rescue a young girl in trouble. He is then catapulted into a dangerous game involving stolen imperial ingots, a dark political plot and, most hazardous of all, a senator’s daughter connected to the traitors Falco has sworn to expose.

My copy has an introduction by Lindsey Davis in which she tells of how she began to write historical fiction, setting a typical private eye figure in Rome two thousand years ago. It has maps and a Dramatis Personae.

And I do like the cover.


9 thoughts on “First Chapter, First Paragraph: The Silver Pigs

  1. I’m not a fan of most historical fiction but, I do hope you like this one Margaret.


  2. Oh, I do hope you’ll enjoy this, Margaret. I think it’s a fine historical series, and Davis definitely ‘did her homework.’


  3. I’ve often pondered on picking one of these up but wasn’t too sure about the time period; that said I really like that opening, it sets the scene so well and I like the line about even the elephant not venturing unshod!


  4. This series has never sounded very appealing to me in the past, but after reading Robert Harris’ Cicero trilogy recently, I feel much more enthusiastic about reading more books set in Ancient Rome. I might give this one a try at some point.


  5. I have been considering reading this book, and this series. It sounds good. My post today is for book beginnings and World War Z. Quite a different book.


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