In the Didius Falco series, Lindsey Davis renders tangible the history and daily life of first century c.e. Rome and its empire but does it in the wisecracking style of twentieth century detective fiction. Falco treads through both the dregs and the gems of Roman society as he solves bizarre murders and other strange puzzles. Davis’s humorous and sympathetic hero wanders the ancient Roman world in pursuit of his cases, from Britain to Syria, from Germany to North Africa.
In 1995 the Crime Writers’ Association gave Davis a Dagger in the Library Award, which is given to the author who has given the most pleasure to library users. In 1999 she received the same association’s first Ellis Peters Historical Dagger (renamed the Ellis Peters Award in 2006) for Two for the Lions (1998). In 2000 Didius Falco was recognized as Best Comic Detective by Sherlock magazine.
Several of the Didius Falco novels have been produced by the British Broadcasting Corporation as drama serials on Radio 4, with Anton Lesser starring as Falco. These serials were adapted for radio by Mary Cutler, Davis’s schoolmate and one of the author’s oldest friends. Falco novels have been published in more than sixteen languages and are widely acclaimed not only by lovers of detective fiction but also by those fond of the ancient Roman world.
In addition to the Didius Falco series, Davis is the author of a number of short stories, mostly detective in genre. Of particular note because of their ancient subject matter are “Investigating the Silvius Boys” (1995), about the death of Romulus, founder of Rome, and “Abstain from Beans” (1996), in which the death of the philosopher Pythagoras is solved by the boxer Milo of Croton. Davis has also written introductions to a number of volumes, including Is Skin Deep, Is Fatal by H. R. F. Keating (1995), Sharpe’s Tiger by Bernard Cornwell (1997), Green for Danger by Christianna Brand (1999), and Life in Ancient Rome by Simon Adams (2005). She has served as chair of the Crime Writers’ Association and was honorary president of the United Kingdom Classical Association in 1997-1998.