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It is now two years after One For Sorrow and John the Eunuch, Lord Chamberlain to the Emperor Justinian, is faced with a new and byzantine problem: why are Constantinople’s holy stylites bursting into flames as they stand atop their pillars? His investigations are hampered by a pagan philosophy tutor from his youth and a heretical Christian prophet whose ultimatums threaten to topple the Empire.Then murder strikes close to home and John has only days to find a solution before he, his friends, his Emperor, and the city itself are destroyed. The sumptuous halls of the Great Palace and the riot-torn streets are filled with the same danger and deception. A colorful cast of characters that includes a runaway wife, servants and soldiers, madams and mendicants, a venomous court page and a wealthy landowner or two — not to mention John’s bete noire, the Empress Theodora — adds texture to this rich, exotic tale of sixth century life and mysterious death.
Winner of the 2001 Glyph Award for Best Mystery. Finalist for the 2001 Glyph Award for Best Novel and IPPY Award for Best Novel.