Four For A Boy by Mary Reed
A John, the Lord Chamberlain Mystery (John, the Lord Chamberlain Series)

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In 525 Constantinople nothing is as it should be. The winter is unnaturally cold, and the palace has fallen under the sway of both the shade of the wife of the dying Emperor Justin and Theodora, the former actress his gravely ill successor Justinian intends to marry. The streets are terrorized alternately by elegantly dressed young thugs who style themselves the Blues and forces under the orders of the City Prefect nicknamed The Gourd, a man notoriously adept at slaughter and magick. Thus, when a wealthy philanthropist is killed in broad daylight in the Great Church, it isn’t entirely surprising that the future ruler Justinian engages an anonymous young slave called John to investigate what many believe could be part of a succession conspiracy. In this series prequel, John the Eunuch takes his first dangerous steps along the path that will lead him to hold office as Lord Chamberlain.

Among the suspects are many whose lives might be touched by an emperor, from senators, churchman, and wealthy businessmen to laborers, beggars, and prostitutes. Before he can track down the murderer, John must first win the respect of Felix, the excubitor reluctantly assisting him, discourage the advances of the romantic but naive Lady Anna, and make peace with his own fate.

"One of the Best Little known series" --Booklist

About Mary Reed

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The husband and wife team of Mary Reed and Eric Mayer published several short Lord Chamberlain detections in mystery anthologies and in Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine prior to 1999's well-received One For Sorrow, the first full length novel about their protagonist. Nine For The Devil is the ninth entry in this award-winning historical mystery series.
Published May 25, 2011 by Poisoned Pen Press. 337 pages
Genres: History, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Four For A Boy

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In this captivating prequel set in sixth-century Constantinople, the fourth in Reed and Mayer's well-received historical series (Three for a Letter, etc.), the future emperor Justinian asks a young slave named John the Eunuch to investigate the murder of philanthropist Hypatius, struck down while...

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Reviewing the Evidence

In this prequel to the John the Eunuch series set in Constantinople during the 6th century AD, we learn how John and Felix first met, and how John started on the path that led him to the office of Lord Chamberlain for the Emperor Justinian.

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Reviewing the Evidence

But the Blues are favored by Justinian, heir to the crown of his uncle, the once soldierly now feeble Emperor Justin, and by Justinian's paramour, the notorious Theodora, who is hated by many, including patrician senators, the head of the city police, top palace officials, and Justin himself.

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