Eight for Eternity: A John the Lord Chamberlain Mystery
By Mary Reed, Eric Mayer
Publisher: Poisoned Pen Press, April 1, 2010
John, Lord Chamberlain to Emperor Justinian in 532 Constantinople, investigates when followers of two opposing chariot teams (the Green and the Blue) are murdered after their executions are botched, and they are rescued by monks. Constantinople is in flames as the masses riot in the streets hoping to depose the emperor, making John’s task exceedingly difficult. John is also charged with protecting two brothers, nephews of the former emperor, and the daughter of one of them. Who murdered the two men, and who is inciting the rioters? Is it one of the nephews (who would like to be emperor himself), or revered charioteer Porphyrius, or John’s good friend Haik? Reed and Mayer bring the time of the Nika Riots in Constantinople to vivid life in this eighth installment in their series, capturing the burning city, the mob mentality, the panic in the castle as the rioters come ever closer, and the effort to convince Justinian to use whatever methods are necessary to keep his throne.