THREE FOR A LETTER by Mary Reed & Eric Mayer (see their website)
A JOHN THE EUNUCH MYSTERY
Poisoned Pen Press, 2001
When a young heir to the Ostrogoth throne is found murdered, the Emperoro Justinian demands that his Lord Chamberlain, John the Eunuch, find the killer and protect the heir's twin. Difficult enough tasks in the best of time, but with the Empress Theodora calling for John's head and the continuing intrigues of the Byzantine court as background, John's task is made even harder and more dangerous. Still, John has no choice but to follow Justinian's orders and he begins by trying to track down two men, who turned up missing immediately after the murder.
Authors Mary Reed and Eric Mayer (see our reviews of other novels by these authors) succeed in the challenging triple task of building an interesting character, providing believable historical material (why else would we read a historical mystery), and making the mystery itself exciting. THREE FOR A LETTER combines one of the most interesting periods of history--the period immediately after the fall of the Western Roman Empire and before the emergence of Islam in the East--with truly three dimensional characters, especially John himself. Reed and Mayer's light touch will bring up some smiles to round out a terrific novel.
Any fan of historical mysteries, especially mysteries set in the more distant past, will welcome the JOHN THE EUNUCH stories. THREE FOR A LETTER is the third in the series but these novels may be read in any order.
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