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Author Interviews

Author Interview: Mary Reed and Eric Mayer

Robin's webmistress, Kim, interviewed Mary Reed and Eric Mayer, authors of the John the Eunuch series of historical mysteries, for a review site she also works on. Robin enjoyed the interview enough that she suggested linking to it here to share with her readers. Kim introduced them by saying:

I read mostly non-fiction and genre fiction, with historical mystery novels probably my favorite genre. I love the sorts of stories they tell, filled with vicarious travel to a different world, along with the adventure of solving crimes while relying on entirely different tools from those available today.

It's a genre I know well, since I also maintain a website dedicated to it. Because of that I really appreciate authors who create something new, something which doesn't readily lend itself to cover blurbs about "the next Anne Perry" or similar "name writer," offering stories that are really just variations on the same old well worn characters and settings.

Mary Reed and Eric Mayer have been doing that for years with one of my favorite mystery series, historical or otherwise. It features Lord Chamberlain John the Eunuch, trying to both solve crime and survive the deadly dance along the sword-edge of imperial favor in Justinian and Theodora's 6th C AD Byzantine Empire. It's a great setting for a mystery series, filled with real life color, intrigue, drama and danger, nicely balanced here by a relatively straightforward, Golden Age writing style that never gets in the way of the story and suits the austere hero very well. Straightforward doesn't mean dry or boring, though. These are vivid, you are there stories, lightly seasoned with dry humor. That Golden Age style also means they're vivid for the right reasons - because of well crafted plots and scenes and people - not through squeezing overwrought melodrama out of the material, as too many of the newer historicals seem to do. Mary Reed and Eric Mayer are true craftsman, showing how to do historical mysteries right... but because they're so good, you're far too busy just enjoying the stories to realize that that's what they're doing. And if you haven't been busy enjoying them, what on earth are you waiting for?

Click here to read the interview.

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