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All Greek To Me
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While doing a sweep for internet news of our books I was surprised to discover that the second Byzantine mystery has been published in a Greek edition by Govostis.

I can't read Greek but Babel Fish tells me that the title, literally, is The Byzantium Is Aflame. Which, I reckon translates to Byzantium Aflame.

To be honest, I prefer that title to Two For Joy. Sure, it's melodramatic, but it gives a better idea of what the book is about. Holy stylites burst into flame atop their pillars and at one point the sea is set afire by a religious zealot who threatens to destroy all of Constantinople. I also like the cover with the exotic costumes and the fire in the background. Fire is exciting. I'm sure fire sells books.

The title One For Sorrow arose from a discussion our detective, John, had with a shady fellow who called himself Sir Thomas and claimed to have traveled from Britain in search of the Holy Grail. "One for sorrow" is the first verse of a traditional British rhyme foretelling the future by counting magpies or crows. It made sense for Thomas to know the rhyme, provided you accept it might have originated before the sixth century.

In our naivete, Mary and I were only thinking about a name for that particular book. We hadn't considered how titles are used to number the books in a series or we would have tried to come up with something more appropriate. Counting crows is not a Byzantine tradition, ao far as I'm aware, so the titles are not very descriptive, even if the wonderful period mosaics on them are.

Maybe we ought to start looking for a Byzantine mosaic with flames in it.

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