" A truly knockout historical with--count them at the end--three real twists in the plot and a genuine McGuffin, a richly drawn 6th Century Constantinople, a clever method for murder, and arresting character sketches of the Emperor, the Empress, and John the Eunuch, the Lord Chamberlain. Even I, the editor, am deeply impressed with the sequel to One for Sorrow ."
--Barbara Peters, Poisoned Pen Press (Our editor)

"A thrilling and tense story of religious fervour and political tension."
--Alan J. Bishop Read the whole review at Criminal History

"What is wonderful about the Reed/Mayer team is their comfort level not only with the daily details of the lives of their multi-faceted characters, but also with the city of Constantinople which they paint in broad and vividly colorful strokes. I've learned a lot about living, working and ruling in Constantinople, not all of it good. The research is impeccable and the use of that research in telling the story is seamless. I anxiously await the publication of the third installment."
--Ilysa Magnus
From Historical Novels Review, published by the Historical Novel Society.

"I really like how the books in this series feel, the writing is lovely to read, with characters that I'm interested in knowing and a solid plot."
--Monique Cuillerier, a reader.

"...filled with suspense, entertainment and classic-whodunit mystery style. Two for Joy is not just on my list of recommended titles -- it's my pick for best historical mystery of 2000. Don't miss it. "
-- Cathy Gallagher, About Guide to Mysteries
Read the whole review at About Mysteries

"With greater confidence than is expected of sophomore novelists, Reed and Mayer offer here not only an engrossing story line, but a rich study of a time and place that never reads like a history lesson...Three cheers for Two for Joy."
--J. Kingston Pierce
Read the whole review at January Magazine

"If the perfect historical mystery is one that uses the past to let us see the present from a new angle, then this is darned close to being the perfect historical mystery."
--David Pitt
Read the entire review at Booklist .

"A fascinating historical, with glimpses of eunuchs, slaves, politicians, and prostitutes, this.sweeping adventure is suitable for all collections."
--Library Journal
Read the review at Barnes & Noble .

"...a powerful and insightful look at the Roman Empire through a mystery that brings to life the capital, its ruler, and its people. The story line is fast-paced and loaded with a feel for the era. John is everyone's favorite eunuch as his star shines in this novel like it did in his delightful debut (see ONE FOR SORROW). "
-- Harriet Klausner
Read the whole review at Harriet Klausner's Review Archive.

"... one of the best novels I’ve read. Mary Reed and Eric Mayer have created a splendid detective and placed him in magnificent surroundings. A must read for anyone who enjoys unique detectives and great mysteries. "
--Nancy Mehl
Visit Nancy Mehl's website .
Read the the whole review from The Charlotte Austin Review

"...the true hero in Two for Joy is John .... His mind is analytical and sane, despite the craziness constantly swirling around him, which makes him the perfect detective. "
--Susan McBride
Visit Susan McBride's website .
Read the whole review from The Charlotte Austin Review

"A rollicking good yarn with an excellent mix of mystery and wit and genuine and well-timed final surprises. Justinian & Theodora are well taped and the Byzantine atmosphere again perfectly captured. This series should run and run. In an ideal world, you'd publish one every week, so get your noses back to the grindstone!"
--Barry Baldwin
Ellis and Anthony Award nominated mystery writer, Emeritus Professor of Classics, University of Calgary, and author of several books and many articles on Byzantine History and Literature.

"The authors successfully create a setting in which Christianity, now the dominant religion under Emperor Justinian, is not only challenged by other beliefs but contested from within by competing factions. Fascinating historical details..."
--Publisher's Weekly
Read the review at Barnes & Noble .

"...a powerful book full of finely drawn characters and the evocation of a time and place so different from our own. While engrossed in the book, one feels not only the pull of Asia Minor but also the sensation of having entered a real time machine... not-to-be-missed ..."
--Doris Ann Norris
Read the whole review here .

"In starting Two for Joy, I found there was no stopping. The intriguing mystery, genuine characters, and historical quality captivated me. Two for Joy is a historical whodunit that will keep its readers in place until the last page is turned."
--Brenda Weeaks
Read the whole review at MyShelf.Com .

"The characters are deftly drawn, complex and fascinating. The threads of plot are intricate and satisfying. . . an especially bright spot in this year's output of mystery novels. "
--Mark Terry
Author of BLOOD SECRETS, a Dr. Theo MacGreggor Mystery Novel.
Visit Mark Terry's website .
Read the whole review at ForeWord Online.

". . .a joyful read. "
--Lou Proctor
Read the whole review at A Compleat Mystery Bookshop.

"The splendor and squalor of Byzantium are all here, from the decadent court to the filthy alleyways. . . It is the last gasp of the ancient world before it gives way to the modern and in its exotic mystery it seems to embody something of each.
--Rachel Hyde
Read the whole review at Rachel Hyde's Crime Thru Time Review Page.

"...jam-packed with historical detail and a gripping mystery. The conclusion kept me guessing until the very end..."
--Tracy Farnsworth
Read the whole review at The Romance Reader's Connection

" excellent read and like its predecessor One For Sorrow, it effortlessly takes the reader back in time. Highly recommended."
--Ian Andrews
Read the whole review at BookEnds

"... keeps the reader turning the pages. Lots of colorful detail about life in one of the ancient world's great cities."
-- Dean James
Manager of Murder by the Book, Houston, and author of POSTED TO DEATH (Kensington Publishing, 2002)
Visit his Website.

"The complex plot and colorful characters . . . make this enriching and enjoyable reading."
--A library staff selection in The Friends of the Sacramento Public Library Newsletter.

". . .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 a fan (and author) of mystery, science fiction, and romance fiction.
Read the whole review at

This was my first of the John the Eunuch books, and again I intend to read more. The Byzantine Empire is one of my areas of considerable interest, and the authors of this book certainly have done a tremendous amount of research on it. John is a most interesting character, there's a lot of suspense in the story, and the narrative moves quite rapidly. Very well executed.
--Gene Stratton
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.

"The clever meshing of the fictional story of John the Eunuch and his friends and the true tales of the insanity of the days when Christianity was beginning to take over the known world makes for a very powerful book. The scenes in the streets of the ancient city are vivid. The Sea aflame is an image that is especially memorable. Reed and Mayer have done their research, and it shows in a story that flows faultlessly to a surprising conclusion."
--Barbara Franchi
Read the whole review at

"Plotting as byzantine as you’d expect, along with gore, whores, and an eight-page glossary."
Read the whole review if you don't mind SPOILERS !

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