Marcus Didius Falco has finally found a way to make enough money to marry his long-time love, Helena Justina. Taking the census for Emperor Vespasians tax collectors is an unpopular job, but it will bring in the cash.

Falco discovers that someone has murdered Leonidas, a very valuable lionwho is also Vespasians chief executioner. Now Falco has to discover who killed it. Then a popular gladiator is murdered.

Before the observant and astute Falco can get to the bottom of things, trouble brews at home: Helenas brother has vanished and word is out that hes eloped to Africa. Putting family first, Falco heads to Africa and discovers not only the missing youth but dangerfor the answer to his murderous problems lies in Tripoli.

Loaded with mystery, history, and sparkling humor, TWO FOR THE LIONS shows Lindsey Davis at her finest. The world of ancient Rome, complete with all its intrigues, springs to life in this vibrant story. If you havent read Davis before, this is a good place to start. (Nov., 464 pp., $6.99—Hardcover published January 2000)

Reviewed by: 
Toby Bromberg