Lindsey Davis was born and raised in Birmingham, read English at Oxford, then joined the civil service. After thirteen years, her first novel (which she'd written for herself) was runner-up for the Georgette Heyer Historical Novel Prize, which encouraged her to leave her job and try to become a writer.
She had romantic serials commissioned for Woman's Realm, then changed to writing about the Romans with The Course of Honour, the remarkable true love story of the Emperor Vespasian and his mistress Antonia Caenis. Her research into imperial Rome then inspired The Silver Pigs, the first in the Falco series about a Roman informer in the AD70s, which has now attracted a devoted readership.
The Silver Pigs won the Authors' Club Best First Novel for 1989, and Davis was awarded the CWA Dagger in the Library in 1995. In 2011 she was awarded the Crimewriters' Association Cartier Diamond Dagger for lifetime achievement.
From the author's website
This biography was last updated on 04/07/2012.
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Writing The Falco Series by Lindsey Davis
I have been writing now for over fifteen years, though it has passed in a flash. I always wanted to write historical novels, which were what I primarily read as a girl, but I never intended to cover the Romans. My interest was the political history of England in the Seventeeth Century and I did begin my published career with romantic serials about the Civil War for 'Woman's Realm'.
The Romans came later - first the love story of the Emperor Vespasian as seen through the eyes of his mistress Antonia Caenis in 'The Course of Honour' and then my Roman detective, Marcus Didius Falco. Falco began as something of a joke: would it be possible to place a forties-style private eye two thousand years ago? Rome at that time seemed an ideal alternative to the big metropolitan settings of so may 'gumshoe' novels - a huge, dangerous, colourful city that saw itself as the centre of the world. It was full of characters on the make - and really did have men called 'informers', who hid behind pillars listening for information they could sell, or who actually took people to court in order to receive compensation like modern 'ambulance chasers'.
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