Welcome to my weekly segment, Waiting on Wednesday, where I look at upcoming books that I am planning to order and review in the next few months and which I think I will really enjoy. I run this segment in conjunction with the Can’t-Wait Wednesday meme that is currently running at Wishful Endings. Stay tuned to see reviews of these books when I get a copy of them. For my latest Waiting on Wednesday, I look at one of my most anticipated historical fiction reads of 2023, with the epic and captivating sounding Fatal Legacy by Lindsey Davis.
Early each year I get a particularly satisfying historical murder mystery fix with the exceptional writing of Lindsey Davis, who has been pumping out hits since 1989. Best known for her Marcus Didius Falco series, Davis’s work focuses on ancient Rome and generally see her protagonist, originally the titular Falco, investigate a series of elaborate crimes. The Falco books ended in 2010, but Davis soon followed them up with her current series, the Flavia Albia books, which follow the daughter of Falco as she gets involved in a series of similar investigations to her father.
I have been a pretty big fan of the Flavia Albia series since the get go, having received a copy of the first book, The Ides of April, when it came out in 2013, and I had an absolute blast with it. I have since gone on to read most of the books in this series and I absolutely love the fantastic blend of dark mystery, compelling characters, fun humour, and interesting historical details that often require the protagonist to dive into some unique aspect of Roman life. Each of the previous books in the series have been excellent in their own way, and I have had an absolute blast with awesome books such as The Third Nero, Pandora’s Boy, A Capitol Death, The Grove of the Caesars (one of my favourite books of 2020), A Comedy of Terrors and Desperate Undertakings (one of my favourite books from the first half of 2022). Many of these books have gotten five-star reviews from me and I have such an amazing time getting through all of them.
Naturally, after absolutely enjoying the first 10 books in the Flavia Albia series, there is no way I am going to miss the 11th, and luckily I don’t have to wait too much longer for it. The next Flavia Albia book will be Fatal Legacy, which is currently set for release in April 2023. I already love the sound of this upcoming books as it will see the protagonist involved in a complex feud between two rival families:
The next witty, must-read book in the Flavia Albia series.
An unpaid bar bill leads Flavia Albia to her most bitter and complex case yet.
Decades earlier Appius Tranquillus Surus wrote his will: it freed his slaves and bequeathed his businesses to them. He left an orchard to the Prisci, a family he was friendly with, on the condition that his freedmen could still take its harvest.
The convoluted arrangement has led to a feud between the two families, each of which has its own internal strife. Endless claims and counterclaims lead to violence and even death. Lawyers have given up in exasperation as the case limps on. The original will has disappeared, along with a falsified codicil – and might there be another one?
But is there a solution? Two youngsters from each side of the divide, Gaius Venuleius and Cosca Sabatina, have fallen in love, which could unite the feuding families. There is only one problem: were Sabatina’s grandmother and father really liberated in the Surus will? If not, the stigma of slavery will stop the marriage and the dispute will rage on forever.
Reconciliation seems impossible, but Albia will try. Her investigation must cut through decades of secrets, arguments, lies and violence to reach a startling truth.
Now, while I was already quite excited for this cool upcoming book, the above synopsis has got me very intrigued for Fatal Legacy. This is mainly because the protagonist will find herself drawn into quite a complex sounding case, with feuding families attempting to gain control of a wealthy track of land. This case itself sounds more like a legal thriller than anything else and I can’t wait to see Davis’s great take on the Roman legal system. This will pair nicely with the inevitable murders, thefts, and schemes that Flavia Ablia will be forced to investigate, and I am sure that she will have to dig deep into both family’s secrets to find the truth. Throw in a doomed, Shakespearian romance between two young lovers from each family and this has all the makings for another Lindsey Davis classic that I will have a wonderful time reading.
Based on how much fun and excitement I have had with the Flavia Albia series in the past, I was pretty damn hyped for Fatal Legacy, even before I knew what it was going to be about. However, now that I can see just how interesting the new Davis’s story is going to be, I am even more pumped. The plot synopsis above is extremely epic and I cannot wait to see what complex and twisty narrative, rich with historical detail, that the author comes up with. I am already highly confident Fatal Legacy is going to be one of the best historical fiction books I read in 2023, and I will make every effort to grab a copy as soon as I can.