Genre: Historical Mystery
Setting: Constantinople, in January 532 AD
First Sentence: The condemned man narrowed his eyes against the January sun, a brilliant translucent disk suspended in the early morning mist.
This novel is the eighth in Reed and Mayer's John the Lord Chamberlain mystery series. This series currently extends to ten novels.
This novel was a very confusing read for me. The action in this novel occurs before the beginning of the series. There was no warning of this. I was expecting the novel to pick up after the seventh novel. So, I was very confused for the first few chapters. A little warning in the prolog or the dust jacket blurb would have been appreciated.
In January of 532 AD in Constantinople there was an uprising. Mobs of people were rioting. Many wanted to depose the Emperor Justinian.
Amid the chaos, John (who is not the Lord chamberlain, but an assistant chamberlain) is tasked by the emperor to solve the murder of two men. John spends most of the novel wandering around Constantinople trying to discover who committed the murder. Compared to the number of deaths caused by the riot, the deaths of two men doesn't seem that important. However, John begins to feel that the murders, and the uprising are somehow connected.
Will John unravel the mystery?
In my opinion, this novel is not the best of the series. For me, it was a difficult read.