Rome, AD 71. Marcus Didius Falco is deperate to leave the notorious Lautumiae prison - though being bailed out by his mother is a slight indignity... Things go from bad to worse though when a group of nouveau riche ex-slaves hire him to outwit a fortune-hunting redhead, whose husbands have a habit of dying accidently, leaving him up against a female contortionist, her extra-friendly snake, indigestible cakes and rent racketeers. And, all the while, trying to lure Helena Justina to live with him, a dangerous proposition given the notorius instability of Roman real estate. In a case of murder as complicated as he ever faced, this Lindsey Davis' classic tale Venus in Copper shows Falco at his very finest.