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is a Last Act in Palmyra crime novel by Lindsey Davis.
Plot introduction [ edit ]
Rome, Nabatea and Palmyra during AD 72, Last Act in Palmyra stars Marcus Didius Falco, Informer and Imperial Agent. It is the sixth in her Falco series.
Explanation of the novel's title [ edit ]
The title refers to the hunt undertaken by Falco for a murderer, the last act of which takes place in
Palmyra, as well as playing upon his temporary employment as a playwright with a travelling theatre group.
Plot summary [ edit ]
Last Act in Palmyra, Falco takes on a new spying mission for Vespasian to the east of the Empire. He also plans to investigate the disappearance of a young musician, Sophrona. With Helena Justina, he travels to Petra, where they encounter a theatre group who have just lost their playwright due to drowning. Joining them, Falco attempts to fulfil his various investigations, whilst at the same time write his new play, The Spook Who Spoke.
Characters in "Last Act in Palmyra" [ edit ]
Main Characters [ edit ]
Anacrites - Imperial spy
Helena Justina - Daughter of the Senator Decimus Camillus Verus
Marcus Didius Falco - Informer and Imperial Agent from the Aventine.
Musa - Priest from Dushara
Sophrona - Musician, player of the water organ
Thalia - Snake dancer
The Theatre Company [ edit ]
Byrria - Actress
Chremes - Actor-manager
Congrio - Billposter
Davos - Actor
Grumio - Clown
Philocrates - Actor
Phrygia - Actress, wife of Chremes
Tranio - Clown
The Orchestra [ edit ]
Afrania - Tibia-player
Ione - Tambourinist
Plancina - Panpipe girl
Ribes - Lyre-player
Major themes [ edit ]
Several investigations, including a spying mission for the Emperor, a disappearing musician and the murder of a travelling playwright.
Developing relationship of Marcus Didius Falco and Helena Justina.
Allusions/references to other works [ edit ]
Members of the company make several references to
New Comedy. As noted in the footnotes (p. 401 UK paperback edition), Falco's play,
The Spook Who Spoke, bears more than a little resemblance to by Hamlet William Shakespeare. During the course of their journey, the travelling theatre company perform or refer to various plays, poems and playwrights. These include:
Allusions/references to actual history, geography and current science [ edit ]
Release details [ edit ]
1994, UK, Century Hardback (out of print)
1995, UK, Arrow, Paperback
ISBN 0-09-983180-5 1995, UK, Magna, Large Print,
ISBN 0-7505-0839-6 1996, US, Mysterious Press, Hardback (out of print)
1997, US, Mysterious Press, Paperback
ISBN 0-446-40474-8 2003, UK, Arrow, Paperback
ISBN 0-09-945199-9 (as part of single-volume omnibus edition, Falco on the Loose, with Time to Depart and A Dying Light in Corduba)
Sources, references, external links, quotations [ edit ]
Author's Official Website