by Sunny Frazier
Details at the end of this post on how to win a copy of Murder in Megara, and a link to purchase it where a portion goes to help support KRL.
The year is 548. Under Emperor Justinian, the Roman capitol is now in the Byzantine city of Constantinople.
Due to politics and the hatred for him by Empress Theodora, the emperor’s Lord Chamberlain, John, is exiled to Greece. John’s family once owned a farm near the town of Megara and now he’s bought an estate in the region. But, when he and his wife Cornelia arrive they find much has changed in the intervening years. The townfolk consider him an outsider now. They also look down on him for being a eunuch, although that was one condition for serving the emperor. One thing that hasn’t changed is John’s hatred for his stepfather.
At his new, rustic estate, John discovers it has been run by a corrupt overseer. The man has kept slaves chained up, neglected repairs and embezzled. Because the former owner was an absentee landlord, the overseer has gotten away with his actions for years and has no intent to change. When John dismisses him and orders him to leave the area, the man is out for revenge.
When John’s father is found dead at an shrine to the ancient gods, John is the obvious suspect. The crime is also the town’s convenient way to get rid of John. Megara’s City Defender accuses John not only of murder but also blasphemy. John has been showing an interest in temples of ancient gods at a time when Christianity is trying to stamp out beliefs of false idols.
This is the 11th book in the series, but there is enough background information to piece together John’s previous story. Because of his discord with his stepfather when he was young, John was sent to Plato’s Academy to study. He ran away and became a mercenary. At some point, he was enslaved. Years later, he has worked his way up to Lord Chamberlain for Emperor Justinian and incurred the wrath of Theodora. This newest novel in the series starts a new chapter in his life.
I enjoyed this book, especially since I love historical fiction. It is well written, historically interesting, and makes a reader want to go back and read the series from the beginning
It may come as a surprise to some readers to discover that Constantinople, now Istanbul, was once the capitol of Rome. Founded by Constantin in 326 A.D., the city became the capitol of the Eastern Roman Empire. At the fall of Rome in 410 A.D., Constantinople assumed full status as the seat of Rome. It was able to sustain Roman civilization to some extent due to its geographical location (Northern Turkey) and therefore bypassed by the hoards of invaders to Italy.
To enter to win a copy of Murder in Megara, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “megara,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen January 9, 2016. U.S. residents only. If entering via email please include your mailing address, and if via comment please include your email address.
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