• Desperate Undertaking

  • Flavia Albia
  • By: Lindsey Davis
  • Narrated by: Jane Collingwood
  • Length: 11 hrs and 58 mins
  • 4.3 out of 5 stars (6 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The next witty must-listen book in the Flavia Albia series.

Rome, the very end of December. The Field of Mars is packed with monuments, none more beautiful than Domitian's new Odeon and Stadium. But the area has been overtaken by ugly events: elaborately staged murders. Someone bears a spectacular grudge against the theatrical community and intends to get revenge in the most spectacular way possible. The killer's method is to re-enact bloody scenes from the gruesome side of popular theatre, where characters in plays really die on stage.

A figure from the past wants Flavia Albia's father to investigate, but Falco is out of Rome for the holidays. Albia seizes the commission. And begins to regret doing so almost immediately. 'The undertaker did it!' the first victim croaks before expiring. This seems to make no sense, because surely people are already dead when they go to their funeral?

Though there is a serial killer at large, the authorities would prefer a cover-up, but Albia is driven to discover what is going on. How much blood must be shed before the mania ends? And could her own family be on the list for a frightful stage death?

©2022 Lindsey Davis (P)2022 Hodder & Stoughton Limited

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  • Anonymous User
  • 04-27-22

Another great story of the informer Falvia Albia

Brilliantly narrated by Jane Collingwood who by now is, for me Flavia Albia herself. Intriuging story set against an obviously well researched background of day to day Roman life by Lindsey Davis. Great humour shines through this exciting novel as always. I just love these books .

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  • eGJ
  • 04-26-22

Continuing disappointment

Try as she might, Flavia Albia is not Falco. Entertaining scenes, but a story so elongated and thin that one tires and listens at double speed to reach the end. Perhaps, now Falco and Helena are returning to Rome, Falco can return to inject more of the original verve and humour there was before.

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  • Cheryl Kane
  • 04-16-22

A tour of Graeco-Roman plays, with bodies.

I docked one star because of the usual problem with narrators of Roman stories: pronunciation. Guh-naeus became increasingly irritating as the tale went on and the name appeared more frequently.

The story itself was the usual engaging romp, following up on characters met previously in a Falco outing. The deaths are unusually creative and very bloody, neatly planned to take us through famous plays of the ancient world. I have to admit to preferring the Falco novels, but this was a fun listen (apart from Guh-naeus, of course).

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  • Tracey
  • 04-12-22

Humour, history & murder

I love nearly all of Falco & Albia, this is no exception.
Well read again! Entertaining & gives an atmosphere of a lively Roman Rome.
Great stuff

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  • Karen Green
  • 04-10-22

Slow

I’m still not warming to this new series. I hope with every new book we shall have something as good as the Falco series which I can listen to time and time again. I’m still left hoping after this one, it will not be revisited.

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  • Deirdre E Siegel
  • 04-26-22

The first of Flavia’s finest…

Following in the footsteps of Helena and Falco.

We find Flavia, Faustus and various Vigiles hunting
an unknown figure - from her parents past;
around Rome on a death by mythological method marathon.

Excellent incorporation of past Falco into Flavia’s future,
a brillig reason to re-read Last Act in Palmyra.

Bravo Lindsey, looking forward to more murder and mayhem
under the Mediterranean sun, thank you :-)