The Spook who spoke the first version of Hamlet.Our detective hero Marcus Dido Falco becomes a playwright for a theater troop in the desert towns on the eastern edge of the Roman empire.Without leaving your comfortable armchair you can experience Rome city of emperors,who wishes to annex the cities of the Near East,who are home to scorpions and culture starved towns folk,who charge exorbitant custom fees to itinerant players,who harbor a killer,who will kill again,who is being traced by our hero Marcus,who is supported by his wife Helena,who gets bitten by a scorpion,who is crushed underfoot by Musa the temple priest,who also wants to find the killer,who hides in full view untilbut any would spoil this review.And don t forget to see the play The Spook who spoke and surprise ending With such a dramatic story you may not believe that there is also subtle humor.Enjoy This is an excentric journey into the East, Falco and Helena travel through the Middle East from Petra, all around the Decapolis to Damascus ending in a grand spectacle in Palmyra Helena is less present and the mystery is a bit longish This is a reread for me still I didn t remember most of the plot Still, it s entertaining, well plotted and is almost an ancient world travelogue and a good one Still 4 stars. I keep waiting for the next book in the series to be a dud, but they just seem to get better and better I m enchanted by the romance between Falco and Helana like Nick and Nora Charles in Imperial Rome I like the carelessly anachronistic attitude toward speech and detail, and the author s continual allusions to British history and literature is a charming running joke I suspect part of the reason I enjoy reading these stories is because the author enjoys writing them They come across as light, fun, and consistently entertaining. In the sixth novel of the Falco series, Falco travels to the exotic East Palmyra modern day Syria , though to get there he travels around a bit in Judea Jordan It s one of those site that even though I lived right across the border, I knew that there was little chance of me ever visiting Now, following by the destruction of ISIL, it s another ancient treasure lost to human folly I m glad for books such as these, that bring the love of the ancient world back to modern readers one can still find amazing photos of the theatre in Palmyra where parts of this book take place.Expect a novel that explores the ancient world s performers and entertainers, set in the Eastern half of 1st century Roman empire Starting in Rome, travelling through Judea to Petra modern Jordan , and then up to Palmyra Syria , Falco gets acquainted with the life of a travelling theatre troupe while trying to solve murders, avoid his nemesis Anacrites, and work on his relationship with Helena Many aspects fo life are discussed, including things like ancient birth control.Be aware that while it s not necessary to read the books in order, it certainly helps Assaph Mehr, author of Murder In Absentia A story of Togas, Daggers, and Magic for lovers of Ancient Rome, Murder Mysteries, and Urban Fantasy. Another good Falco novel I feel the books just keeping getting better and better. My favorite in the series, probably, if for no other reason than the shameless thievery from Shakespeare The Spook Who Spoke destined for greatness. Fun romp of a investigator for the Roman Emperor getting entangled with a group of actors in the Middle East He s found a dead body, and the killers must be within the acting troupe Fair amount of humor, lots of nice historical bits, reasonably well drawn characters I ve read others by this author, and enjoy them. In Last Act in Palmyra Marcus Didius Falco, ancient 72 AD Roman detective, on a missing persons assignment for Thalia, circus owner as well as a snake charmer, joins a traveling actor troupe earning its living putting on plays throughout Syria, Jordan and Lebanon The beautiful Helena Justina accompanies Falco to help him locate the missing talented musician, Sophrona Sophrona does not want to be found, but the boyfriend for whom she ran away, Habib, is a Syrian businessman, so that is where Falco goes to look for her.While sightseeing, of course Falco and Helena find a dead body, and of course, it is a case of murder With priests of mystical god cults, acrobats, musicians, actors, and worst of all, stand up comedians, surrounding the detective on all sides day and night, it isn t long before Falco and Helena are in danger Once again, Lindsey Davis rewards fans of the Falco series with the inclusion of detailed research about the ancient Roman world woven into her 1994 book I was particularly interested in this novel because the area around and in the ruins of Palmyra was a place tourists could visit in Syria until 2015 Sadly, Islamic terrorists blew Palmyra into rubble with bombs.https en.m.wikipedia.org wiki PalmyraThe pictures of the city s ruins which had still been standing until ISIL blew it all up, taken by visitors in earlier years, are gorgeous and amazing Palmyra was at the crossroads of many cultures, so it had been a sophisticated city The huge stone lion, mentioned in the book along with other statues which had been still there to actually see and touch and photograph until 2015, are now bits of dirt and rock. It S AD Rome, And Emperor Vesparian Refuses To Elevate Sometime Sleuth Marcus Didius Falco To The Middle Rank Yet Hope Springs Eternal, So When Vespasian S Chief Spy Offers Falco An Assignment In The East, He Jumps At The Chance But His New Assignment Soon Becomes A Nightmare When He Finds The Corpse Of A Roman Playwright In A Sacred Pool To Ferret Out The Murderer, Falco Joins The Traveling Theater Group Falco has been asked by Thalia to try and find one of her employees who has disappeared Fortunately he can combine the search with a commission from the Emperor Vespasian so he decides to combine business with pleasure and take Helena with him After finding a dead body at the top of a hill at a shrine, Falco and Helena have to move on hurriedly and a priest, Musa, goes with them They join forces with a travelling theatre group and Falco acquires the job of tracking down the murderer who was one of the group.I am enjoying reading this interesting series I love the wry humour of the writing and the characters of Falco and Helena In fact all the characters in the books are well drawn and first century life is vividly and evocatively described I find the historical detail fascinating and I can almost believe I am there with the characters when I m reading.If you like your mysteries set in an historical background then there are few authors who write as well as Lindsey Davis in my opinion This book is the number six in the series of twenty which started with The Silver Pigs they can be read in any order but it is preferable to read them in the order in which they were published in order to track the development of the series characters.