Poisoned Pen Press
Date: February 2003
Reviewed: Advance Review Copy
it at Amazon
Mystery / Historical
for a Boy
Reed and Eric Meyer
three previous novels, authors Mary Reed and Eric Meyer take us
back in time to meet their "ancient detective," John the
Eunuch, before he becomes Lord Chamberlain to the Emperor Justinian.
AD 525 and John is commissioned, along with Felix, an excubitor,
to investigate the murder of Hypatius, a local philanthropist, whose
gift of a statue of Christ has created some controversy in Constantinople.
Emperor Justin is still on the throne, although his health is flagging
and it is rumored that he holds regular conversations with his dead
wife. His nephew, Justinian, is next in line, but his infamous concubine,
Theodora, seems to be the one who seeks control of the empire. As
John and Felix search for the truth behind the death of the old
man, Hypatius, their travels take them into the street battles of
the "Blues" and the "Greens" - political factions
that use violence as an answer to their differences. There is also
the City Prefect, nicknamed "The Gourd," who appears to
have his own agenda. Could the murder be linked to the political
climate - or to someone else who has a personal reason to want Hypatius
dead? As John and Felix attempt to find the truth hidden beneath
the lies and secret intentions of the populace, their animosity
towards each other begins to turn into a bond that will hold them
together in the future - as friends.
and Meyer have, once again, given us an engrossing story and a cleverly-concealed
mystery. Having read all three of the other John the Eunuch books,
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 Meyer 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
Four for a Boy is a superb
addition to the John the Eunuch Series. I hope Reed and Meyer can
count high. Four is not enough. Keep 'em coming!