One for Sorrow: A John, the Lord Chamberlain Mystery and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more

Vous voulez voir cette page en français ? Cliquez ici.


or
Sign in to turn on 1-Click ordering.
or
Amazon Prime Free Trial required. Sign up when you check out. Learn More
More Buying Choices
Have one to sell? Sell yours here
Start reading One for Sorrow on your Kindle in under a minute.

Don't have a Kindle? Get your Kindle here, or download a FREE Kindle Reading App.

One for Sorrow [Paperback]

Mary Reed , Eric Mayer
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 19.95
Price: CDN$ 14.56 & FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25. Details
You Save: CDN$ 5.39 (27%)
o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o
Only 1 left in stock (more on the way).
Ships from and sold by Amazon.ca. Gift-wrap available.
Want it delivered Thursday, July 31? Choose One-Day Shipping at checkout.

Formats

Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition CDN $1.06  
Hardcover --  
Paperback CDN $13.83  
Paperback, Oct. 1 2000 CDN $14.56  
Join Amazon Student in Canada


Book Description

Oct. 1 2000 John the Lord Chamberlain Mysteries
Byzantium, capitol of the 6th century Roman Empire, simmers a rich stew of creeds, cultures, and citizens with a sprinkling of cutthroats and crimes. John the Eunuch, Emperor Justinian's Lord Chamberlain, orders a Christian court while himself observing the rites of Mithra. Thomas, a knight from Britain, Ahasuerus, a soothsayer, and two ladies from Crete stir up events and old memories for John, who must ask how the visitors link to the death of Leukos, Keeper of the Plate. An Egyptian brothel keeper and a Christian stylite know more than they are telling....
In due course, John gets his man - and a love scene....

Product Details


Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Painting an enticing picture of sixth-century Byzantium, Reed and Mayer ably evoke court intrigue and the conflict of religious beliefs in the Christian capital of Constantinople. The sleuth is John the Eunuch, lord chamberlain to Emperor Justinian. When the body of Leukos, the Keeper of the Plate, is found in a filthy alley behind a house of ill repute, the emperor asks John to investigate. John obliges because, as Leukos's friend, he can't imagine what a devout Christian such as Leukos was doing in a whorehouse or who would have wanted to murder the kindly man. The obvious suspect is an old, itinerant soothsayer. But again, John can't fathom why his friend would be courting pagan practices such as having his fortune told. Oddly, after John talks to him, the old man vanishes, rumored to have drowned in the sea while trying to flee the city. Another suspect is a knight from King Arthur's court on a quest for the Holy Grail. After the soothsayer disappears, however, Emperor Justinian seems suddenly cool to John's efforts to pursue evidence against other possible culprits. John's investigations are further hampered by the sudden appearance of his ex-wife and a daughter he did not know he had: years earlier, John had been captured and sold into slavery, forever separated from his wife and emasculated by barbarians. Their prose suffers from affected archaisms, but the authors gracefully intertwine John's personal history and the traffic in holy artifacts with the early history of Christianity. (Nov.)
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Review

""By nature, the historical mystery genre offers a wealth of opportunity for creative settings and characters. From Steven Saylor we have Gordianus the Finder, a clever detective in the ancient Rome of Pompey and Crassus. From Lynda S. Robinson, we have Lord Meren, the Eyes and Ears of Pharaoh in ancient Egypt. And now, joining these ancient sleuths we have John the Eunuch, the Lord Chamberlain to Emperor Justinian in sixth century Byzantium. Previously featured in short stories, authors Mary Reed and Eric Mayer have released their first novel, One for Sorrow, featuring this unusual and intriguing character.
John is a middle-aged man who holds an important position in Justinian's Christian court; he is sort of like today's Chief of Staff. While Christianity has overtaken much of the empire, John is still a quietly practicing Mithraic. John is not a eunuch by choice; in fact, he still longs for his lover from years ago. When he tells his sad tale to a new friend, it is both horrifying and compelling. Even though he might seem to have lost some of his ""manliness,"" John is a trusted and wise figure under the emperor, and is portrayed here as fully able to protect and defend.
The plot of One for Sorrow revolves around an unexplained murder. One of John's closest friends, Leukos, Keeper of the Plate (think treasury official) has been killed in a dirty alleyway. Could someone have murdered him for a precious religious relic? (Saints' bones and chalices seem to be everywhere.) A newcomer from Bretania seems to believe so.
Thomas, a knight from the court of King Arthur has journeyed to Constantinople to search for the Holy Grail. He is one of the last people to have spoken withLeukos before his death. John seems to trust the hearty soldier, but he appears too often in John's path for it to be coincidence. Then there is the ancient soothsayer Ahasuerus, who has been making a name for himself reading fortunes. Even the Empress Theodora may have been one of his clients. Why would Leukos, a professed and seemingly devout Christian, be visiting this fortuneteller at the run-down Inn of the Centaurs? And what about the brothel near the Inn? Was Leukos visiting a woman before he was murdered?
As John delves further into Leukos' final days, the path seems to split in many directions. Why does the Patriarch Epiphanios seem to be interfering in the investigation? And why does the murder of a young prostitute at the brothel seem to be tied in to the first murder as well?
For readers who enjoy historical fiction written by knowledgeable authors, One for Sorrow won't disappoint. In fact, the glossary at the back of the book will be essential for many of us who missed some classes in ancient history. For example, the unusual holy men called stylites play a role in this tale. And typical expressions from this period such as ""Owls to Athens"" are also explained in this glossary.
Even better, Reed and Mayer are able to create an interesting cast of characters and well-crafted plot. People like the stylites, the Madam, and palace servants are believably drawn and developed. And of course the bull leapers (women from John's past) are a fascinating and unique addition, and also add to John's character development. (Unfortunately, they disappear rather abruptly, one of the novel's weak points.) Certain events also help to flesh the story out, such as an ancientMithraic ceremony in which John's friend Anatolius is initiated into a higher rank of the ancient religion.
In the end, most readers will come away from One for Sorrow finding they enjoy the company of a clever eunuch. As the authors plan to continue John's stories, we can look forward to spending more time with an interesting new addition to the historical mystery world -- John the Eunuch.
--Martha Moore, The Mystery Reader, 11/8/99""

Inside This Book (Learn More)
Browse and search another edition of this book.
Browse Sample Pages
Front Cover | Copyright | Excerpt
Search inside this book:

Customer Reviews

5 star
0
2 star
0
1 star
0
3.7 out of 5 stars
3.7 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars A Mithraic eunuch Sept. 28 2009
By Prairie Pal TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
In creating the character of John the Chamberlain, Mary Reed and Eric Mayer have given us a detective somewhat out of the mainstream. While eunuch heroes are not unknown (see the Yashim the Eunuch series by Jason Goodwin), castrated worshippers of Mithra are somewhat rarer in the ranks of protagonists. John, therefore, is a man never quite at home in Constantinople of the 500s despite his high rank in the emperor Justinian's service. He is not the whole man and warrior he once was; he is a pagan in an officially Christian state; and he is the enemy of the nasty empress Theodora.

In One for Sorrow, the first in a series of mysteries centred around John (there are eight novels at last count), the murder of a court colleague leads to involvement in the search for the Holy Grail, the shady trade in fake relics, more deaths and an encounter with a lost love. It's not the best-written mystery you will ever read and the sense of experiencing the exotic culture of a long-ago civilization is not always strong, but the plot keeps the reader moving along. Lots of sequels too if you find you like it.
Was this review helpful to you?
4.0 out of 5 stars Good story - abominable editing April 2 2002
Format:Paperback
I enjoyed this story, read the next book in the series and have ordered the third. However, I have never in my life read a book that had so many glaring spelling, grammar and other editing errors. It's as if an early draft was accidentally printed or, if this was a final, it was proofed by a not very well-trained chimpanzee. There are errors on almost every page. It's very distracting. If you can ignore that and finish the book, the second book has fewer appalling editing failures. The protagonist in this series is a rather fascinating character - interesting enough to make me curious to read his continuing adventures.
Was this review helpful to you?
4.0 out of 5 stars Muder in Byzantium Nov. 26 2001
Format:Paperback
If you like the ancient Rome centered mystery novels of Lindsey Davis, John Robert Maddox, and Steven Saylor and want to try a different locale, read "One for Sorrow". It takes place in sixth-century Byzantium and takes place in the streets, docks, cisterns, and Great Palace. Scenes occur at the Hippodrome, the Church of Holy Wisdom (Hagia Sophia), and even atop a column with a stylite. While this ancient capital is officially Christian, Mithraism and Egyptian religions influence the tale. Details of life in the capital of the Eastern Empire include references to Kollyba, Liquamen, and even an early type of organ, the Hydra.
The hero is John the Eunuch, once a mercenary but now Lord Chamberlain in Justinian's court who seeks to solve the murder of the Keeper of the Plate. Bodies turn up and John seeks to find the answer that ties together a soothsayer, a red headed knight from Britain, and the victims while protecting his former lover (from before the incident that gave him the appellation) and daughter.
Mary Reed and Eric Mayer provide a great detective story set in a different time and place. The copy I read from Poisoned Pen Press was crisply printed with a very readable type setting. It includes a small map of Byzantium and ends with an 8 page glossary (in case you don't know who Zeuxippos was).
Was this review helpful to you?
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.8 out of 5 stars  18 reviews
36 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best historical mystery Feb. 10 2000
By Charlotte Austin - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Byzantium, the heart of the Roman Empire in the 6th century, contains a rich mixture of old gods, deadly rituals and Christian doctrine. Justinian rules the land as a Christian Emperor, yet The Lord Chamberlain, one of the most honored in his court, holds fast the traditions of Mithra, an ancient religion that honors the great bull god.
The Lord Chamberlain, also known as John the Eunuch, is a man of loyalty, to his Caesar and to his faith. When his friend is murdered, the quest to discover his killer leads John down a trail full of twists and turns that challenge him to examine his beliefs, his past and even his deepest fears.
One for Sorrow captures the horror of the mutilation of John's body as well as the maiming of his soul. When he once again faces the woman he loved long ago, and the daughter he never knew he had, John also has to face his own deeply buried desires. At the same time, he cannot forget that a murderer is walking the streets of Byzantium. Who is the killer? Who will be next? And what part does a peculiar ancient soothsayer play in the strange events that swirl around John like a troubled sea of confusion and death?
The authors weave an intricate tapestry of characters and plot along with a fascinating look into the day to day life of the Byzantine Empire. There is even a mysterious knight who claims to have been dispatched from King Arthur to search for the Holy Grail of Christ, making this a mesmerizing mix of fact and fantasy that serves to make the story even more absorbing.
Mary Reed and Eric Mayer originally introduced John the Eunuch through several short stories, and have now brought him out as a full-time ancient sleuth. One for Sorrow is a novel that is hard to put down. The authors are superb artists who paint a well-presented mystery with the colors of a civilization that seemed shrouded in history until viewed on their life-like canvas.
I whole-heartedly recommend this novel for any mystery fan. A second novel Two for Joy is set to be released by Poisoned Pen Press in October 2000, with the paperback edition of One For Sorrow. I can hardly wait.
22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Impressive historical whodunnit! Oct. 16 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Fascinating new series. Roman Empire - 6th century. The authors have generously included a map and glossary. John the Eunuch must solve the murder of his friend Leukos, Keeper of the Plate. After stumbling upon his body in an alley, John finds himself on the path to solving it. The authors tell a candid tale of whodunit when they write about the Roman Empire and a lifestyle their protagonist was forced to live in his time. The reader will meet many impressive characters and experience the authors' historical knowledge of Roman times and the different religions. I believe there are enough characters and twists to keep the reader's interest. Historical mystery readers will be thrilled to have another Roman mystery series.
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Muder in Byzantium Nov. 26 2001
By W. S. McKenzie - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
If you like the ancient Rome centered mystery novels of Lindsey Davis, John Robert Maddox, and Steven Saylor and want to try a different locale, read "One for Sorrow". It takes place in sixth-century Byzantium and takes place in the streets, docks, cisterns, and Great Palace. Scenes occur at the Hippodrome, the Church of Holy Wisdom (Hagia Sophia), and even atop a column with a stylite. While this ancient capital is officially Christian, Mithraism and Egyptian religions influence the tale. Details of life in the capital of the Eastern Empire include references to Kollyba, Liquamen, and even an early type of organ, the Hydra.
The hero is John the Eunuch, once a mercenary but now Lord Chamberlain in Justinian's court who seeks to solve the murder of the Keeper of the Plate. Bodies turn up and John seeks to find the answer that ties together a soothsayer, a red headed knight from Britain, and the victims while protecting his former lover (from before the incident that gave him the appellation) and daughter.
Mary Reed and Eric Mayer provide a great detective story set in a different time and place. The copy I read from Poisoned Pen Press was crisply printed with a very readable type setting. It includes a small map of Byzantium and ends with an 8 page glossary (in case you don't know who Zeuxippos was).
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars AN EXCITING NEW MYSTERY SERIES Jan. 15 2001
By Mark D. Terry - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Mary Reed and Eric Mayer's One For Sorrow kicks off one of the most entertaining, thought-provoking new mystery series I've read in a long time. It takes place in 6th Century Byzantium, is rich with period detail and character. The main character, John the Eunuch, is the Emperor's chief advisor, a job that requires intelligence, tact and guile; many a chief advisor for the Roman emperor has had his head removed from his body for not accommodating his boss.
The second in the series, Two For Joy, is a treat as well. You don't have to be a fan of historical mysteries to like this book or this series. (I'm not, in particular). You just have to like well-written mysteries with terrific plots, even better characters and a depth of texture and detail that makes many, many other novels seem anemic by comparison.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A missed opportunity. Jan. 18 2012
By Marj - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
John is the High Chancellor, a man (or actually, a eunuch) in a position of power, raised in status from that of slave. He has quite a history, we gather from the intriguing hints given, but that is all there are - hints of the past. In this story, he finds an ex-lover, and discovers he has a daughter he never knew of, but instead of exploring this theme, he appears to forget all about them for a chapter or two, and the relationship between them is never explored. I feel the story of John's past and present would be far more interesting than what we have - a mystery with a few twists, the writing somewhat disjointed in parts, though with occasional flashes of brilliance. An exploration of John himself could have been a great book, which is why I have headed the review, 'A Missed Opportunity.'
Search Customer Reviews
Only search this product's reviews

Look for similar items by category


Feedback