Eight for Eternity
Mary Reed and Eric Mayer
Poisoned Pen, Apr 1 2010, $24.95
In Constantinople in A.D. 532, two criminals escape custody. Emperor Justinian is informed and is very concerned as each supported rival chariot racing teams at the Hippodrome and he knows how sports fans are insanely fanatics. He orders his loyal Lord Chamberlain, John to investigate.
John quickly finds the corpses of both men in a cistern. Meanwhile, as the city is torn by rioting that impedes his investigation, two influential nephews of a former ruler declare their support of General Belisarius encouraging him to lead a rebellion; they want to rule.
This is a great ancient historical mystery series that ironically uses numerals in the titles (see Seven for a Secret), but never goes by the numbers in telling the story. The current entry is a strong period piece that highlights the riots of 532 AD and the rivalry to snatch the throne from Justinian. John's inquiry provides fans a deep look at Constantinople in the sixth century wrapped inside a strong investigation. Sub-genre fans will believe Mary Reed and Eric Mayer are eight for eight and want nine for reading soonest.