Murder in Megara cover


REVIEWS OF MURDER IN MEGARA

PUBLISHER'S WEEKLY

"Reed and Mayer's solid 11th John the Chamberlain mystery (after 2014's Ten for Dying) finds the sixth-century sleuth no longer serving Emperor Justinian. Now living in exile from Constantinople on his family's estate near Megara, Greece, John is discomfited to learn that those who have been in charge of managing it have been cheating him. He fires the overseer, Diocles, whom he holds mainly responsible, but Diocles warns him that his time in Megara will be short. When John's estranged stepfather, who recently asked him for money, is stabbed to death on John's property, Georgios, the City Defender, suspects John of the murder. Georgios initiates an investigation that John fears is driven by the man's ambitions. The death of another person John was on bad terms with makes his position even more tenuous. Placing the lead in jeopardy in an unfamiliar setting makes this one of the more distinctive series entries. "



LIBRARY JOURNAL

"In 11 previous books (Ten for Dying), John the Eunuch has served as Lord Chamberlain to the Emperor Justinian in Constantinople. Now, he has retired to an estate in the Greek town of Megara, after Justinian exiles him for his role in uncovering the assassin of the Empress Theodosia. When his truculent stepfather is found murdered in an ancient temple of Demeter, John is powerless to defend himself. Surrounded by suspects, including a wealthy merchant masquerading as a monk, a belligerent pig farmer, a corrupt overseer, and the city defender who regards him with great suspicion, John realizes that searching into his own past may identify the killer. VERDICT Meticulous research makes this historical series set in the Byzantine empire a joy to read. Admirers of Steven Saylor and Lindsey Davis will enjoy exploring this ancient world."

KIRKUS REVIEWS

" Long used to solving mysteries for an emperor, a newly powerless man must solve one for himself.

"John, the former Lord Chamberlain to Emperor Justinian, has been exiled to a small estate he owns in Greece, where he grew up near the town of Megara. His servant, Peter, and Peter's wife, Hypatia, are attacked on a shopping trip to town. The estate is in complete disarray. And John is unpleasantly surprised by a visit from Theophilus, his hated stepfather. Attempting to maintain some semblance of control, John fires his overseer, Diocles, who has obviously been plundering the estate and is probably involved in a scheme to dig for the treasure that is reputedly buried there. On a trip into Megara, John is warned by Georgios, the City Defender, that it would be prudent to leave the area. When first Theophilus and then Diocles are found stabbed to death, John must investigate before he's arrested for murder. Fortunately, he gets some support from two boyhood friends, one a worker in the tax office and the other the abbot of the nearby monastery of Saint Stephen. Although John's wife, Cornelia, is ready to move on, John, who's solved many mysteries for the emperor in Constantinople (Ten for Dying, 2014, etc.), finds that digging into corruption, past secrets, and misdeeds in a small town is every bit as dangerous as the intrigue of the emperor's court.

"John's 11th case combines historical detail with a cerebral mystery full of surprises."

MIDWEST BOOK REVIEW

"Murder in Megara provides another John the Lord Chamberlain historical mystery and tells of John's exile from Constantinople to a rustic Greek estate. One would think his exile would absolve him of the task of solving mysteries; but quite the opposite happens: he uncovers a range of puzzles, from the hostility of local inhabitants who consider John and his family intruders to questionable neighbors and staff members. He's also accused of blasphemy and murder and since he no longer has an inside line to authority, he's on his own in investigating corruption in a town where there are too many suspects and not enough help. Add equally-convoluted relationships into the mix and you have a satisfying addition to the ten previous books on John, the Lord Chamberlain: all of which bring the early Byzantine era to life."