Marcus Didius Falco

Falco Novels

The Falco Novels are the work of UK author Lindsey Davis, first appearing in 1990. To date, there are 20 novels in this series. Falco is Marcus Didius Falco, a private informer (delator is the proper term, Latin) working in Rome after his discharge from the Roman Army, during the reign of the Emperor Vespasian.

Marcus Didius Falco

Falco has work as a private informer and is from time to time engaged by the Palace as an Imperial Agent (a bit sporadic, depending on Caesar’s finances and moods). Never mind that there are other jealous agents in the Palace; Falco is reliable, and sometimes called a political drain cleaner, someone who can clean up a political mess, (civilian or military) and be relied upon for results and confidentiality.

Falco was a single man when the series opened. Was he married? Well, the love of his life is Helena Justina. We can infer reliably that from Shadows in Bronze onwards Helena Justina and Falco consider their relationship formal, and in the Great Census of Rome (around the time of Two for the Lions), Falco lists Helena Justina as his betrothed. Vespasian has raised Falco to equestrian rank, so he is eligible to be considered husband of Helena Justina, as families of equestrian and senatorial rank were allowed to marry.

In The Accusers, Falco gives a speech, In Calpurnia Res, wherein he delates all these things as fact to a court, and admits to the court that he records his status as betrothed to Helena Justina. So in fact and in law, Falco and Helena Justina are married and accepted to be in a proper relationship by Vespasian and the two families concerned. (Vespasian’s son Titus was extremely interested in Helena Justina once upon a time,) We may conclude that it is accepted that Falco is married to Helena Justina around the time of this novel. They have two children and a third on the way.

Human Values

Human Values are innate within every human being. Values are attitudes, dispositions, behaviours and guides to action. Human Values are those which give expression to the highest qualities of human life. They under-gird human life, protect life, sustain life, and direct it towards its proper goal, true humanness. The fruit of a life lived with Human Values is satisfaction, peace and tolerance in every compartment of life. We will make some observations on different issues in these novels, particularly as they touch on everyday human quirks and failings from time to time.

I have enjoyed reading the Falco series of novels. Delightfully, my reading is as yet incomplete! I am reviewing these novels as I read them, and then making observations on the various participants, their character, actions and guiding values. I enjoy this labour of delineating the character of those who walk across the stage in these excellent whodunnit novels, scribed by Lindsey Davis. Some would call these historical mystery fiction. Certainly they recall the world of Roman times vividly, and there are frequent descriptions and comments by the dramatis personae which reveal startling periscopes into Falco’s times.

Do enjoy this site. I hope that this introduction and cursory reviews of the novels read thus far are pleasing, and the overview and examination of Human Values (and sometimes leadership) in these novels makes for most excellent reading.

Falco and related generic writings are the moral copyright of Lindsey Davis; these reviews, observations and matters on Human Values and Leadership are the copyright of Chris Parnell.