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Ten for Dying: A John, The Lord Chamberlain Mystery    by Mary Reed & Eric Mayer Amazon.com order for
Ten for Dying
by Mary Reed
Order:  USA  Can
Poisoned Pen, 2014 (2014)
Hardcover, Softcover, e-Book
* *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

It's 548 CE in Constantinople. Empress Theodora has just died. Emperor Justinian has exiled John, the Lord Chamberlain. He must blame someone for his beloved wife's death. An Egyptian magician tries to resurrect Theodora, without success.

Felix becomes John's successor. With a poor financial balance due to gambling debts, a mistress with expensive tastes, Felix must walk on eggs around the Emperor. To add to his woes, Felix is concerned about his political position. He's also given the task to find one of the holiest relics of the city, a piece of the shroud of the Virgin that has been stolen.

How could anything else go wrong? Read on! Whatever can go wrong, usually does. Felix finds a corpse on his grounds and treats us to the story of his attempt to dispose of it without anyone seeing his stealthy movements. Felix knew that if John were able to, he would help him clear up his problems while saving Felix's good name. Poor Felix.

Ten for Dying is the tenth of the John the Lord Chamberlain series. The very first, One for Sorrow, was a very good read. Each and every one since has, if possible, been better than the last. Felix took over Ten for Dying with his problems, ones he brought on himself. However, I couldn't help feeling sorry for the poor man who simply had reached the level of his abilities while more was asked of him. He is a bit of a comedic character that I enjoyed.

I do look forward to John's return to Constantinople though. He and Mary were on the way to Greece banishment! But it looks as though he has quietly arrived back in Constantinople, without Mary, to assist Felix. Ten for Dying is another good read from the husband and wife writing team of Mary Reed and Eric Mayer.

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