cover image Murder in Megara: A John the Lord Chamberlain Mystery

Murder in Megara: A John the Lord Chamberlain Mystery

Mary Reed and Eric Mayer. Poisoned Pen, $26.95 (256p) ISBN 978-1-4642-0408-1

Reed and Mayer’s solid 11th John the Chamberlain mystery (after 2014’s Ten for Dying) finds the sixth-century sleuth no longer serving Emperor Justinian. Now living in exile from Constantinople on his family’s estate near Megara, Greece, John is discomfited to learn that those who have been in charge of managing it have been cheating him. He fires the overseer, Diocles, whom he holds mainly responsible, but Diocles warns him that his time in Megara will be short. When John’s estranged stepfather, who recently asked him for money, is stabbed to death on John’s property, Georgios, the City Defender, suspects John of the murder. Georgios initiates an investigation that John fears is driven by the man’s ambitions. The death of another person John was on bad terms with makes his position even more tenuous. Placing the lead in jeopardy in an unfamiliar setting makes this one of the more distinctive series entries. (Oct.)