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Head of Zeus
One for Sorrow
01 Dec 2012 * HARDBACK * £14.99 * 9781781850046

The first in the Death in Byzantium crime series set in the 6th century at the court of the Emperor Justinian.

Fiction / FFH (Crime Fiction)
Extent: 272 pages  Format: 228 x 145 mm
Exclusive: GB AU NZ IN ZA SG   Not for sale: CA US
One for SorrowDeath in Byzantium, 1M.E. Mayer

DEATH IN BYZANTIUM: At the heart of what is left of the Roman Empire, lies a city simmering with intrigue & treachery. Amid this maelstrom stands John, a slave who has risen to become the right hand of Justinian, the greatest of Byzantium's emperors. With violence and murder commonplace, it is John's skills as an investigator that the Emperor prizes the most.

ONE FOR SORROW: It is AD 535 and when the body of a high ranking treasury official is found in a filthy alley behind a house of ill repute, John embarks on an investigation that will stir the ghosts of his past and threaten his life. Amid rumours of soothsayers and priceless holy relics, he will follow a trail that twists and turns through the splendour and the squalor of sixth-century Byzantium. Before he reaches its end, John will defy the Patriarch of Constantinople, risk the wrath of an unmerciful Emperor and incur the undying hatred of his infamous Empress, Theodora.

 
M.E. Mayer is the husband and wife team of Mary Reed and Eric Mayer. Mary was born in Newcastle-on-Tyne and ran the Theology Faculty office at Oxford University before she emigrated to America and met her husband and co-author.

DEATH IN BYZANTIUM. It is five hundred years since the death of Christ. Rome has fallen, but in the East her empire survives. Future generations will know this enduring relic as Byzantium, its very name a byword for guile and deviousness. At the heart of Byzantium lies Constantinople, a city forever simmering on the edge of chaos, a volatile stew of creeds, cults and cultures. Presiding over it all is the Great Palace, home to the imperial court, a cauldron of ambition, competition, intrigue and treachery. At the centre of this maelstrom stands John. Born in AD 495, John attended Plato's Academy outside Athens as a young man, but grew restless and left to become a mercenary. He honed his skills fighting in Britain and Egypt before he was captured on the Persian borders of the Empire, emasculated and sold into slavery. Purchased to serve at the Great Palace in Constantinople, John's unusual talents were spotted by Justinian, the man destined to become Byzantium's greatest emperor. John's skills won him his freedom and he eventually rose to become Justinian's Lord Chamberlain – the emperor's right hand. In a city where violence and murder are commonplace, it is John's skills as an investigator that Justinian prizes the most. But the emperor is not a sentimental man. Nor is he a patient one. John knows his position is precarious. One misstep and his enemies may have him. And if they don't, the emperor himself almost certainly will.


'Darned close to being the perfect historical mystery.' Booklist

'Subtle, well-drawn characters, an outstanding historical series.' Publishers Weekly

'John the Lord Chamberlain is an unforgettable protagonist.' Library Journal

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