Wednesday, 2 May 2001
Lindsey Davis: Venus in Copper (1991)
Review number: 811
Re-reading this early Falco novel, I'm a bit surprised by how frivolous it is. I had the impression that they were becoming less serious as time progressed, but in fact the tone of this one is remarkably similar to that of the later novels.
Falco is employed by the business partners of parvenu Hortensius Novus to gather evidence against his fiancée, who has a history of marrying rich men who die soon after the ceremony, and ot help them buy her off. The problem is, though, that Novus is killed before the wedding takes place so that the inheritance cannot be the motive for his murder.
This story takes place against the usual background of Falco's chaotic personal life, at a bad patch in his relationship with his aristocratic girlfriend. This injects some seriousness into the novel, but it is mostly enjoyable, funny and very light.