finely nuanced historical background with a plot of great subtlety. ..those who appreciate
strong historical backgrounds and solid plotting will get their money's
"The John the Eunuch series is full of the taste and feel of the sixth century Roman Empire. John's personality is developing with every installment, and the more I know him, the better I like him."
From Historical Novels Review, published by the Historical Novel Society.
...a rollicking good yarn....I award another quartet of
Byzantine snickersnees in the back
Read the whole review.
...a fascinating historical mystery that allows the
reader to imagine what Constantinople was like at the height of her glory.
Read the whole review at Harriet Klausner's Review Archive.
Fortune-telling goats on a sacred island, a one-armed inventor and his automatons, a whale and lots of court intrigues make this book sing. The splendor and squalor of Byzantium are all here...
Read the whole review at MyShelf. (Under the interview)
Readers who love history will be enchanted, while
readers who enjoy mystery will be enthralled.
Read the whole review at MyShelf.
The entire set of characters are odd: the protagonist is a eunuch with a daughter; one suspect is a dwarf mime; there is an eccentric host; wily women and a vindictive empress; Emperor Justinian lurks in the background; and witches and various nabobs are stalking around. The story even includes prophetic goats. I have never seen such a crazy group of characters in one story, and yet the authors deal with the complexity, cultural setting, and plot intricacies with aplomb.
--Book Sense Recommendation from Bob Spear of The Book Barn, Leavenworth, KS
Visit the Book Barn .
...continues the authors' record of creating near-perfect historical mysteries. These novels are charming mixtures of humor, intrigue, and period detail....An excellent entry in an excellent series.
-- David Pitt
Booklist starred review. Read it at Amazon.com .
...a well-executed blend of history and mystery...ought to appeal to readers who like a mix of both.
-- Michele A. Reed
Read the whole review at the I Love a Mystery Newsletter website .
. . .truly three dimensional characters, especially John himself. Reed and Mayer's light touch will bring up some smiles to round out a terrific novel.
-- Rob Preece
Rob Preece is publisher of BooksForABuck.com a fan (and author) of mystery, science fiction, and romance fiction.
Read the whole review at the Booksforabuck.com .
... a provocative and intriguing look at a period of time in which not many mysteries are set as well as a crackling good story.
Reviewed in the Mystery News. Visit the Mystery News website.
Although the story is complex and the cast of outstanding characters
large, readers will be vastly entertained by the strong writing, a
rollicking pace a fine mystery and an excellent historical novel.
-- Carl Brookins
A member of MWA, Sisters in Crime and the group of novelists touring as the Minnesota Crime Wave , Carl Brookins is the author of Inner Passages (Top Publications), the first in a sailing mystery series. (The second will be released in fall 2002). A freelance reviewer in print and online, he also leads a Minnesota reading group.
Read the whole review at reviewingtheevidence.com .
"...even minor characters who appear for only 4 or 5 pages seem to have a reality, not a cardboard flatness...On all counts, this is a novel worth reading, for its intrinsic interest, for its mystery and character development, and for the light it sheds on an important period of late Roman history."
Read the whole review at Fictional Rome.
"[John's] maneuverings through the various layers of the puzzle maintain our interest to the end."
Read the whole review at reviewingtheevidence.com
"...full of the twists and unexpected turns that we associate with the word "byzantine." The plotting is intricate, the characters well depicted, and the setting delightful. Although Constantinople is at the heart of each book, by varying the settings as well as the characters, the authors always manage to keep these stories fresh, and in each book we learn new fascinating facets of that most interesting of ancient cities, 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.