A Capitol Death is a traditional whodunit set in ancient times, but it feels remarkably fresh. Author Lindsey Davis...balances grit and frivolity with ease. Flavia feels like the love child of Philip Marlowe and Carrie Bradshaw—she’s on the case, observing and reporting with care, but keeps a running line of saucy commentary on everyone throughout ... The story builds with numerous twists toward a thrilling conclusion, but much of the pleasure comes from the deep, realistic world Davis has created and the people who inhabit it.
It’s up to Flavia to sort out who did what, but it’s the delicious details that are the real appeal here. Only Davis could somehow ace the insertion of the anachronistic expression 'pimping his ride' into a narrative about the splendors of ancient times. Best of all, to the envy of the men in her life, the intrepid Flavia gets to do a sort of test drive in the lavish chariot. Vivat Flavia!
Davis does her usual brilliant job of integrating the history of the period, warts and all (Domitian’s ostensible victory was actually the result of his paying off the enemy’s leaders), with a fast-paced and fair whodunit. This entry reinforces her place at the top of the historical mystery pack.