Marcus Didius Falco is the fictional central character and narrator in a series of historical mystery crime novels by Lindsey Davis. Using the concepts of modern detective stories (with Falco as the private investigator, roughly translated into the classical world as a delator or “private informer”), the novels portray the world of the Roman Empire under Vespasian. The tone is arch and satirical, but the historical setting is largely accurate.

Dramatisations of five Lindsey Davis novels.

The Silver Pigs: Marcus Didius Falco is a down at heel private eye in 1st century Rome. The new emperor, the tight fisted Vespasian, discovers a plot against him, soldiers to be bribed with stolen silver to rise up against him. Falco is given the job of discovering where the silver is being stolen from and who lies behind the plot. His worst fears come to pass – the source of the trouble lies in a bleak, wet, far-flung province of the empire… Britain! Worse still, he is also given the job of escorting a senator’s daughter to Britain, the snooty Helena. Things can’t get worse… can they?

Shadows in Bronze: Falco and Helena have returned to Rome, thinking all the conspirators have been identified. They discover however that one of the conspirators’ slaves is looking for revenge. Falco, Helena and Falco’s best friend, the watchman Petronius and his family, head off to Neapolis, where further dangers await them.

Venus in Copper: Falco is hired to investigate a much married woman whose husbands appear to die soon after their wedding. He soon finds himself investigating more than one murder, while also trying to work out how to cook a giant turbot, when one lives in one room at the top of a slum block

The Iron Hand of Mars: Falco is sent to Germany with a gift for the 14th Legion – a giant iron hand. Once in Germany however, trouble seeks him out.

Poseidon’s Gold: Falco returns to Rome to find himself on a murder charge. To make things worse, he discovers his dead brother Festus was involved in a scam with some other of Festus’ army mates, who are now looking to Falco for their share of Festus’ booty. Only Falco has no idea where the