Five for Silver: A John the Eunuch Mystery

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9781590581124: Five for Silver: A John the Eunuch Mystery
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Winner, Glyph Award for Best Book Series

Nominee, Bruce Alexander History Mystery Award


In 542, Peter, John the Lord Chamberlain's elderly servant, claims a heavenly visitor revealed a murder to him. It transpires that Peter's old army friend has indeed been stabbed, but then John discovers that Gregory was not what he appeared to be.


John's quest for the truth leads him to churchmen and whores, lawyers and bear trainers. Suspects include a dealer in dubious antiquities, a resourceful bookseller, a court poet fixated on bereavement, and a holy fool who outrages the city by dancing with the dead and invading the empress' private bath....

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About the Author:

The husband and wife team of Mary Reed and Eric Mayer published several short stories about John, Lord Chamberlain to Emperor Justinian, in mystery anthologies and in Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine prior to 1999’s highly acclaimed first full length novel, One for Sorrow. Entries in the series have been honored by a Best Mystery Glyph Award, an honorable mention in the Glyph Best Book category, and was a finalist for the IPPY Best Mystery Award (Two For Joy), nominations for the Bruce Alexander Memorial Historical Mystery Award (Four For A Boy and Five For Silver), and a Glyph Award for Best Book Series (Five For Silver). The American Library Association’s Booklist Magazine named the Lord Chamberlain novels one of its four Best Little Known Series. Mary Reed & Eric Mayer also write under Eric Reed.

From Publishers Weekly:

Reed and Mayer surpass last year's fine Four for a Boy with this superb fifth entry in their series to feature smart, determined and credibly human sleuth John the Eunuch, Lord Chamberlain to the Emperor Justinian. In the year 542, in the plague-stricken city of Constantinople, John's aged servant, Peter, has an angelic vision telling him that Gregory, a close friend from his army days, has been murdered. Distraught, Peter asks John to find the killer. Verifying that Gregory has indeed been stabbed to death, John proceeds to interview everyone who may be connected to the crime from lawyers to doctors, from prostitutes to a holy fool who dances with the dead in the streets, perhaps the most striking of several memorable supporting characters. Peter's falling ill and the return home of John's daughter complicate a riveting plot that never dips into melodrama. Not just a chilling backdrop, the plague that runs rampant through the city, afflicting rich and poor alike, is linked to the murder. The conflict between Christians and pagans adds further weight to this sterling historical page-turner.
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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

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Mary Reed; Eric Mayer
Published by Poisoned Pen Press (2004)
ISBN 10: 1590581121 ISBN 13: 9781590581124
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