Nine for the Devil: A John, the Lord Chamberlain Mystery

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Poisoned Pen Press Inc, Mar 1, 2012 - Fiction - 308 pages
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The year is 548 and Empress Theodora is dead, the victim of cancer. Or so everyone in Constantinople, capital of the Roman Empire, believes. Everyone except Emperor Justinian who orders John, his Lord Chamberlain, to find the murderer or suffer the consequences. John embarks on an impossible investigation. There is no sign of foul play, but many of the quarreling, backstabbing aristocrats at the imperial court had good reason to want Theodora dead. Suspects include General Artabanes, forced to occupy a house with an unloved wife; Justinian’s cousin Germanus, who has seen his career blocked; and Antonina and her husband General Belisarius, enraged by Theodora’s attempt to marry their daughter to her grandson by compelling the young couple to live together. Could the exiled and much hated former tax collector John the Cappadocian have played a role? Might Gaius, palace physician, have tampered with Theodora’s medication? Pope Vigilius, detained in the capital due to a religious controversy, is not above suspicion. Even John’s friends, the lawyer Anatolius and Felix, captain of the place guards, are acting strangely. As if seeking a murderer who seems to be a figment of the emperor’s grief-deranged imagination isn’t difficult enough, John must also grapple with domestic upheavals. His daughter, living on an estate outside the city, is about to give birth, and his aging servant Peter is dying. Will John be able to serve justice, his loved ones, and the emperor?
 

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NINE FOR THE DEVIL

User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

How can you find a killer who doesn't exist?Much loathed roman empress Theodora wastes away from disease, her husband Justinian constantly by her side, her attendants Vesta and Kuria fetching and ... Read full review

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About the author (2012)

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.

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.

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