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Mary Reed

Two for Joy
Poisoned Pen, 2001
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Everyone living in sixth century Constantinople is shocked when three stylites sitting on their perches suddenly go up in flame. Caesar Justinian assigns Lord Chamberlain John to investigate. John finds little evidence that explains what happened. However, he eliminates spontaneous combustion from within the bodies of the dead men as an option as the corpses' insides were not roasted. The Emperor sends John to meet with a heretic, Michael, at the healing Shrine of Michael. John is shocked when Michael demands more than just an audience with Justinian I. Michael wants to be named the Patriarch and the Emeperor's co-ruler. John wonders if Michael is linked to the deaths of the three stylites since the latter boasts of a cleaning fire. John continues his inquiries as Michael's fame and following grow geometrically and are becoming a threat to Caesar. TWO FOR JOY is 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; his star shines in this novel as it did in his delightful debut in ONE FOR SORROW. Harriet Klausner 12/2000

- Harriet Klausner, 12/1/2000

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