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Murder in Megara: A John, the Lord Chamberlain Mystery    by Mary Reed & Eric Meyer Amazon.com order for
Murder in Megara
by Mary Reed
Order:  USA  Can
Poisoned Pen, 2015 (2015)
Hardcover, Softcover, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

If you have been following the Lord Chamberlain series, you already have made the acquaintance of John, the former Lord Chamberlain and his wife Cornelia. You know that John has fallen into disfavor with the Court of Justinian in sixth century Constantinople. Instead of suffering a death sentence, he has been sent to live in exile in the village where he grew up.

If you are unfamiliar with this engaging series, where have you been? You are lucky. It is easy to get caught up with the story. The authors' wonderful research and writing skills clue you in with no trouble at all.

John, Cornelia and their household are not welcomed in the village. They are beginning to be fearful. John's stepfather appears unexpectedly and no one is happy to see him. John recounts the horror of growing up with a man who proved to be very cruel. However, before he can leave, he is murdered! As if John doesn't have enough on his mind, his neighbors from the village try to set his house on fire Ė with them in the house. No one seems to understand that John doesn't want to be there as much as the villagers donít want him there.

Murder in Magara's plot could probably fit in any century, but choosing this one allowed me to learn about a time that I really knew very little about. And I took it all in with no pain and enjoyed the murder mystery at the same time. The story is well written, with characters you can love and others you can hate. They exhibit the same characteristics we find today in those around us. The setting seems very real. I'm glad I live today, but am happy to read about yesterday. Look forward to doing so again.

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