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N/A A Conversation with Mary Reed and Eric Mayer about FIVE FOR SILVER, Number Five in the John, the Lord Chamberlain Mystery Series Barbara Leavy
Abstract 1

     Reed's and Mayer's series is set in Sixth Century Constantinople during the reign of the Emperor Justinian.  In FIVE FOR SILVER, the city is being ravaged by the bubonic plague. In each book, John solves a murder.  But this time his attempts are complicated by the possibility that all his efforts at investigation may be thwarted by the possibility that all of his witnesses and even the murderer may have perished because of the plague.  In addition to an exciting story, the authors have made vivid what happens during such a destructive plague that claims the lives of thousands and thousands, especially when the only remedies that can be called upon have more to do with superstition than healing.

Abstract 2

     There are two stories that coexist in FIVE FOR SILVER.  One is a continuation of the series' back story concerning John, the Lord Chamberlain.  John is Greek who had studied in Plato's Academy. In a foolhardy attempt to acquire a gift for his mistress Cornelia, he strays into enemy territory, is captured and made a slave, and is castrated, eventually sold to Justinian who finds this educated person an asset to his court.  The other stories involve murder and John's investigation at a risk to himself, for in addition to other attributes that mark him, he is a pagan at a Christian court who must always worry about his own survival.

N/A Barbara Leavy
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