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Back to John...(the Eunuch, that is)...
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I finished Seven For A Secret and Eight For Eternity by Mary Reed and (Journalscape blogger) Eric Mayer yesterday. These were two strong stories that again brought to life the Byzantine Roman Empire under the rule of Justinian.

In the first, John meets up with Zoe, who appears to be the model for the girl depicted in the mosaic on his study wall, and then when she turns up murdered, he cannot stop himself from investigating the crime. The plot goes far deeper than the murder of an actress or prostitute, or whatever Zoe's model has become. John finds, in the end, that it is more dangerous to quit his private investigation than it is to continue, though neither choice is without risk.

In the second and last (to date) of the series, we are taken back in time a bit, and given a scenario where John is instructed to investigate the murder of two racing faction members (of opposite sides). The stakes here are quite high; the overthrow of Justinian appears imminent and the reluctant replacement for the Empire is living in John's house, under his protection, as ordered by Justinian. In this book we meet many historical figures, including Belisarius and Narses, and a famous charioteer.

I could sit here and say (again) that the stories are well plotted, well written, and bring a time and place that doesn't otherwise cry out for my interest to vivid life. I want to know more about this historical period, and the authors give more to the reader in terms of historical fact mixed into the fiction that is John's life and actions. I have been both educated and entertained (edutained? a Walt Disney word) by this series to date, and will be looking forward to future entries in John's saga.


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