OIR: Mary Mayfield on Lindsey Davis

Article published on April 21, 2015.

Lindsey Davis was in town last night promoting her – perhaps topically titled – new novel Deadly Election at our local Waterstones and I was lucky enough to win a ticket to the event.

For anyone who doesn’t know, Lindsey Davis is a historical novelist probably best known for the long-running Falco detective series (20 books!) set in Ancient Rome, and Deadly Election is the third in a spin-off series featuring Falco’s adopted daughter, Flavia Albia, who seems to have acquired the family ‘investigative’ habit.

Lindsey started the evening by sharing her route into writing, reading English at university and spending 13 years in the Civil Service before deciding that what she really wanted to do was write; her earliest work wasn’t successful but she eked out a precarious living with stories for Women’s Realm before her career took off with the first Falco novel, The Silver Pigs.

It was very interesting to hear how, without lifting anything directly, her modern day civil service experiences had found their way into stories set so far in the past! She then read sections from two recent releases – Deadly Election and The Spook Who Spoke Again, a shorter e-book – and these were followed by questions from the audience, most of them seemingly as familiar with the series’ characters as with their own family and friends.

I’m not that up to date with Falco’s adventures – I’ve only read some of the earlier novels but this evening has encouraged me to track down some of the more recent ones; I might start with the new Flavia Albia series – at only three novels so far I can catch up quite quickly!

You can find out more about Lindsey Davis on her publisher’s website Hodder and Stoughton 

Mary Mayfield blogs at  http://ourbookreviewsonline.blogspot.com/

Guy Pringle, April 2015

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