If you have a passion for Ancient Rome. If you love historical fiction. If you love characters whose story you never want to end. AND if you have reading time, then I heartily recommend Lindsey Davis' "Falco" novels.
The Falco series comprises 20 novels all set in Ancient Rome under the Emperor Vespasian, the Flavian Dynasty. The first novel starts in 70 AD. The disastrous "Year of the Four Emperors" has ended and Flavian emerges as the sole Emperor of the Roman World. This is such a brilliant milieu to set these books in. There are republicans who want to throw down the empire and go back to the days of the two consuls. This leads to spies and intrigue.
This is where our main character comes in. Marcus Didius Falco is an "informer". In today's modern world we would call him a private investigator. However as his story progresses, he comes under the eye of the Emperor and finds himself often acting under his orders, an "Imperial informer". Nice to have friends in the very highest of places, but with the friends come the enemies.
The books are written in first person with Falco as the narrator.
The novels can be read on their own, but I would thoroughly recommend reading them in order. The 20 books cover a timespan of 7 years.
In chronological order they are -
The Silver Pigs (1989)
Shadows in Bronze (1990)
Venus in Copper (1991)
The Iron Hand of Mars (1992)
Poseidon’s Gold (1993)
Last Act in Palmyra (1994)
Time to Depart (1995)
A Dying Light in Corduba (1996)
Three Hands in the Fountain (1997)
Two for the Lions (1998)
One Virgin Too Many (1999)
Ode to a Banker (2000)
A Body in the Bath House (2001)
The Jupiter Myth (2002)
The Accusers (2003)
Scandal Takes a Holiday (2004)
See Delphi and Die (2005)
It is my goal this year to obtain the complete collection. All signed and first editions, first prints.