"... as devilishly convoluted as its
predecessors, and fans will relish the extra thrill of seeing how John was
launched on the career that eventually finds him working as Justinian's Lord
Chamberlain. At some point, every great series needs an "origin story," and
this one's a real corker."
-- David Pitt, Booklist *STARRED REVIEW*
"...the plot is filled with the typical Reed/Mayer coterie of street ruffians, political hopefuls and conspiring hypocrites, and the air is rife with the smell and feel of 6th century Constantinople."
From Historical Novels Review, published by the Historical Novel Society.
"The reader gets to go along for the ride and it is an exciting roller coaster, so hang on to your seat and enjoy a marvelous book with intriguing characters, tangled plot, and big dollops of superb history. Once again my kudos to Poisoned Pen Press for publishing some of the finest mysteries being written today."
--Sally Fellows, Mystery News Published bimonthly by Black Raven Press. Mystery News is a complete, up-to-date, and entertaining guide to the latest mystery books, writers, and events.
"Authors Mary Reed and Eric Mayer write convincingly of Constantinople in one of its most famous and dangerous periods...both enjoyable and fascinating. Anyone interested in this critical timeframe, or interested in a good historical mystery, will want to read this book."
-- Rob Preece
Rob Preece is publisher of BooksForABuck.com a fan (and author) of mystery, science fiction, and romance fiction.
"The colorful description of Constantinople is marvelous. The historical
detail is meticulous, but never gets in the way of the story."
--Shirley H. Wetzel
Read the whole review at Over My Dead Body. Over My Dead Body is available as a print magazine as well as online.
"...another absorbing tale that gives readers insight into the character of John, a man who seems to have so stoically accepted the cards he's been
dealt and yet simmers just beneath the surface. I am ever-awed by the research that textures and paints the world around John, providing a backdrop and society that readers will see in their mind's eye and believe. FOUR FOR A BOY will engross fans of the historical mystery and will turn new readers into fans as well."
--Susan McBride, author of And Then She Was Gone and Overkill.
Read the whole review at Cozies, Capers and Crimes.
"The authors intertwine the political affairs of the period with strong
portraits of the people and place... the appended Glossary of
people and places is invaluable...a worthy addition to the library of any who
like tales of our ancient past."
Read the whole review at I Love A Mystery .
"...it was a treat to go back and learn more about John. He is a many-layered character and readers of this series sense that there is still much more to discover. The incredible research and flawless writing of Reed and Mayer makes this series one of the best historical fiction offerings available. It quenches the desire of those who love the historical aspect, while satisfying the mystery buff as well."
--Nancy Mehl, author of Graven Images and columnist and reviewer for MyShelf.com
Read the whole review at MyShelf.Com
"Reed and Mayer have once again brought to life an ancient city in an almost forgotten past by peopling the streets of Constantinople with characters, both fictional and real, that live.,,,May this pair write many more [books], introducing us to new situations and characters in each."
Read the whole review at reviewingtheeveidence.com
"Byzantium springs to instant and vibrant life. .. the plot and background complement each other well and weave in and out of each other like the strands of a complex tapestry."
--Rachel A. Hyde
Read the whole review at MyShelf.Com
"The reader learns much more about John's background in this
book which I appreciated...I really enjoy the history contained in
this series. This is a period I know nothing about. Many years ago, I
spent a week in Ravenna, Italy, viewing the mosaics created during
the reign of Justinian and Theodora, so I am intrigued by them. I
recommend this series and especially this entry in it."
-- Victoria C. Kemp, Collection Management Coordinator, Carrollton Public Library , Carrollton, TX
"...historical mystery writing at its best. The
authors do a superb job of portraying the culture and
day-to-day life of the period of 532 years after Christ. The
plot moves along well because the characters, dialogue,
and action show the story elements so well."
--Bob Spear, Publisher and Chief Reviewer, Heartland Reviews
To read the whole review go to Heartland Reviews .
"Through the intrigue of the class system and the realism of the setting in
both time and place, I felt as if I was with John and looking through his
own eyes and ears throughout this adventure. [The authors] have again
succeeded with a virtual time machine of placing the reader in the past."
--Teri Davis, Dorothy L mystery discussion group
"... an intriguing and endlessly fascinating
look at a world most of us know little about. The authors quickly
immerse us in early 6th century Constantinople and make it seem so very
real. John has become one of my favorite series characters. ...the best yet in a truly outstanding historical series."
--Doris Ann Norris, Librarian At Large
"Aside from being a clever plot about plotters, the novel is also constructed along classical mystery lines: a murder, an investigator (or two), opposition, red herrings, misunderstandings, danger, chases, and the denouement. ... a fast moving story that should delight the history lover and the classical mystery fan alike. It shows another facet of what the historical novel can accomplish. I hope the authors give us many more of these wonderfully staged mystery dramas featuring both John the Eunuch and the ancient city of Constantinople."
A former CIA case officer and nationally known genealogist, Gene Stratton has had four books published, two non-fiction and two mystery. He is now finishing a suspense/thriller novel taking place in Greece, where he lived seven years and spoke the language fluently.
Read the whole review at reviewingtheevidence.com
"...a colorful and exotic historical mystery filled with all the plots and intrigues that took place in Constantinople."
Read the whole review at Harriet Klausner's Review Archive
or visit AllReaders.Comfor the review and a unique detailed (and very accurate we think) breakdown of the novel's elements.