Venus in Copper is the third in Lindsey Davis's series about Marcus Didius Falco, Informer for Emperor Vespasian, and gumshoe in ancient Rome.
I haven't figured out whence the title, though Venus in this case, refers to the femme fatale Severina Zotica, a freed former slave whose several ex-husbands all died under slightly mysterious circumstances. He is asked by partners of her latest fiance to investigate.
In a parallel plot, Falco moves to nicer digs, cooks a turbot given him by Titus Caesar, Vespasian's older son, and takes two steps forward for every one step back in his relationship with the senator's daughter, Helena Justina.
Throughout, he has problems with goons, landlords, and jealous palace spies. As usual, he gets beaten up so often that it's a wonder that he keeps that mouth full of beautiful, straight, white teeth.
In the process, the reader learns about ancient jewelers, prognosticators, wild animal tamers and real estate scams.
It all sounds so old, and so modern.
[Image of the turbot, which typically runs 30 to 40 lb., from poissons.net]