Ten for Dying cover



"Reed and Mayer mix things up a bit with their 10th whodunit set in Constantinople during the reign of Emperor Justinian. In the wake of the murder of the emperor's wife, Theodora, which John solved in the last book, the chamberlain has been dismissed from his position, and decides to start a new life in Greece. That decision leaves his friend Felix, a captain of the place guard, to solve a series of crimes. Bizarre circumstances surround the theft of a relic kept in the Church of the Holy Apostles: the thief left behind 30 frogs, sacred to an Egyptian god, and a scarab beetle on top of Theodora's sarcophagus. The case is complicated by witness reports of demons and Felix's discovery of a corpse, under potentially compromising circumstances. The authors offer a lighter tone to go along with their new lead sleuth, although it's unclear who will be featured in the next installment."

"I finished this historical mystery by the husband/wife team Eric Mayer and Mary Reed, and enjoyed it very much. Unlike the first nine, which featured the Lord Chamberlain John (serving Emperor Justinian) solving imperial mysteries - sort of like an ancient troubleshooter, this one changes focus. In the last (#9), John ended up exiled from Constantinople, and so he (and his wife and household staff) becomes a bit player in this mystery, and instead Felix, captain of the Excubitors, takes center stage. He's in trouble, due to his personal foibles and his possible involvement in the theft of a holy relic, the Shroud of the Virgin Mary. His life and his future are on the line, and John isn't around to figure things out, leaving Felix to his own devices on the sleuthing front. His methods may differ from John's subtler approach, but can he unravel the truths before he ends up in a dungeon, guest of Justinian's torturers? While I missed John, I thought this was actually one of the stronger mysteries in the series!" -- S.D. Beallis, Goodreads

"Ten for Dying is the tenth of the John the Lord Chamberlain series. The very first, One for Sorrow, was a very good read. Each and every one since has, if possible, been better than the last. Felix took over Ten for Dying with his problems, ones he brought on himself. However, I couldn't help feeling sorry for the poor man who simply had reached the level of his abilities while more was asked of him. He is a bit of a comedic character that I enjoyed. I do look forward to John's return to Constantinople though."-- Mary Ann Smyth, Bookloons.

"The 10th entry in this intriguing, remarkable series deviates somewhat from its predecessors in plot lines, but continues to captivate. It is a combination of interesting history, acute observation, and characters to remember. I eagerly await the next novel from this very talented writing team." -- Ted Stipple, Amazon.com

"Though series fans are used to the shrewd John the Eunuch running the show, Ten For Dying is an exciting entry made fresh by Felix and Anastasia who proves more than a mistress. Felix struggles with the twisted case in which many want to possess the holy relic and him dead; with the lethal politics including from the capricious mourning emperor; and with his even more convoluted personal life. Readers will enjoy this apparent new path that Mary Reed and Eric Mayer has taken, but also hope our favorite eunuch has a second coming perhaps in Greece." -- Harriet Klausner

"Pick up Ten for Dying and see for yourself what is going on in ancient Rome. I was very happy to leave Cornelia and John and their household looking over the sparkling sea."--Kathleen, Goodreads

"My favorite aspect of these books is probably John’s inability to come to terms with himself as a eunuch, as he was an adult castrate. He HATES all the other court eunuchs, he sees them through a traditional anti-eunuch lens, that they are conniving, evil, fat creatures. He has no eunuch friends, he won’t even associate with them if he can help it, he hangs out exclusively with “normal” men. Narses (who was real) is actually one of his foils in the later books. So it's pretty unusual (and interesting) to have these two versions of what a eunuch is co-existing in one book series: the literary and classical tradition of the evil eunuch put up against the modern, more compassionate view of a man dreadfully wronged." -- Denise, Goodreads

"I couldn't put it down." -- Jenny, Goodreads.