A Body in the Bathhouse Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of A Body in the Bathhouse

Mysterious Press, Sept 2002, 24.95, 304 pp.
ISBN 0892967714

Cotta and Gloccus were incompetent workers who installed informer (the ancient Roman equivalent to the modern day private eye) Marcus Didus Falco's new bathhouse. A terrible odor emanating from his new edifice forces Falco to dig up the floor where he finds the remains of a man who was murdered. Cotta and Gloccus are nowhere to be found, but Falco thinks they might be headed for Britain where King Togidubnus, a favorite of the Roman Emperor Vespasian, is having a palace built with imperial funds.
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Falco accompanied by his wife, children, and sister travel to the outpost of the Roman Empire to find out why there so many overruns and unexplained deaths in building the palace. Falco's sister Maia wants to escape Rome to elude a deadly spy who has taken to stalking her after she broke off their relationship. After investigating the building site, Falco finds corruption, graft and wholesale stealing but that doesn't explain why somebody murders the manager or why the partner of Maria's stalker's is in the area.

Readers who see the world through the eyes of a Roman living in 79 AD notice just how primitive and barbaric they feel Britain is compared to Rome. The protagonist's difficulties with various family members lighten up a very dark and serious story line. The mystery is a clever who done it with so many viable suspects that readers won't be able to guess who the perpetrator really is.

Harriet Klausner

The review of this Book prepared by Harriet Klausner

Chapter Analysis of A Body in the Bathhouse

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Plot & Themes

Composition of Book descript. of violence and chases 10%Planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives 20%Feelings, relationships, character bio/development 30%How society works & physical descript. (people, objects, places) 40% Tone of story    -   suspenseful (sophisticated fear) How difficult to spot villain?    -   Difficult, but some clues given Time/era of story:    -   ancient rome What % of story relates directly to the mystery, not the subplot?    -   60% Kind of investigator    -   hard boiled/private eye Kid or adult book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Any non-mystery subplot?    -   life in that culture Crime Thriller    -   Yes Murder Mystery (killer unknown)    -   Yes

Main Character

Gender    -   Male Profession/status:    -   private investigator Age:    -   20's-30's


Europe    -   Yes European country:    -   Italy

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   generic/vague references to death/punishment Amount of dialog    -   significantly more dialog than descript

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Lindsey Davis Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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