I have belatedly discovered Lindsey Davis's Falco series about a Roman private eye. I listened to the audio book version of See Delphi and Die - which has to be one of the best titles for a book - and was hooked. I'm not sure why I was never attracted to this series before but it could be because I tried Cadfael and couldn't get into that. Not logical I know but there we are. I have so far read The Silver Pigs and Shadows in Bronze and have just started the third one - Venus in Copper.
Why do I like them? Falco's attitude to his own successes and failures; the characters themselves and the way Falco often finds common ground with those he's investigating; his ability to tell it as he sees it to the Emperor and get away with it; the fascinating details about life in ancient Rome. Then of course there's the humour which is priceless. Even though I am now reading the series in order they can be read, or listened to, out of order as each book stands alone. If you go for the audio books then Christian Rodska is an excellent reader in my opinion.
I have just finished Jane Shaw's Talking to Zeus about the year she spent in Greece working in a garden on a hillside. Not a travelogue but a slice of life with some marvellous and eccentric characters both human and animal. Zeus by the way is a stuffed lion.
I really enjoyed the latest in Veronica Heley's cosy crime series featuring Ellie Quicke - Murder my Neighbour. Ellie is married to Thomas and struggling to combat her daughter Diana's latest demand for money as well as deal with the failing health of her housekeeper and friend, Rose, when she is presented with a mystery to solve. One of her neighbours has moved out of her house supposedly to take up residence is a retirement home - but she never arrived there.