Archive for 'Reed, Mary & Mayer, Eric'
ONE FOR SORROW is the first book in the John the Eunuch series. In the 6th Century, John the Eunuch is Emperor Justinian’s Lord Chamberlain. When his friend Leukos, the Keeper of the Plate is murdered, John believes his death is the result of more than a robbery gone wrong. John is a veteran of court intrigue, where the penalty for saying or doing the wrong thing can be death, so he is undaunted by the dangers of following in Leukos’ footsteps to see what led to his murder.
But Leukos had contact with many possible sources of danger – the fortune-teller who risks the Christian emperor’s wrath by serving an elite clientele, the whorehouse outside of which he was murdered, and a mysterious and omnipresent knight on a quest for a holy relic. And to complicate matters, the annual games that John has organized for the city bring to town an old acquaintance. John searches Constantinople for Leukos’ killer even as he seeks answers to questions he has about his own life so he can to lay to rest some demons from his past.
In ONE FOR SORROW, Reed and Mayer have brought to life a world much removed from our modern times. I am a history buff and loved to read all the wonderful details and tidbits that they included – the worship of Mithra, life in a Roman whorehouse, the treachery of court life, etc. After a while, however, I realized that I would have liked a little more meat on the bones of the characters. I think it is easy, when writing a historical mystery, to include so much fascinating historical detail that one is forced to skimp on character development or plot to keep the book the desired length. Part of the reason authors write books with historical settings is because they are interested in the time period, right? Since this is the first in a longish series, I expect that Reed and Mayer found the right balance in subsequent books.
Favorite character? Thomas the mysterious knight. Did I guess it? No. Will I read another? Yes. I am a sucker for well-researched historical mysteries.
Mystery Book Reviews by Liz at http://reviewedbyliz.com ©2007