Murray Lee Eiland Jr.
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About Murray Lee Eiland Jr.
My name is Murray Eiland Jr. I was born in 1936 and attended UCLA, UC Berkeley and UCSF (MD, 1961). I worked at Napa State Hospital from 1965-2000, and then at Contra Costa County Mental Health Clinic from 2000-2011. I continue to work for the court as a forensic psychiatrist as well as consult. I am happy that I have helped many people.
In my free time I became interested in Oriental rugs. With my brother (who is still in the business) I opened a rug store. I wrote several books on oriental rugs, most recently with my son, who is an archaeologist. I have always been interested in ancient cultures, and during my travels to collect rugs I visited many areas of great antiquity. It was this experience which promoted me to write the Orfeo Saga. My foray into the private investigator genre was stimulated by my time in Los Angeles.
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Mr. Winchester Lee represents a group in the Far East that is concerned that the New York Stock Exchange is being manipulated. He states that he has every confidence that Bart Northcote and his associates are up to the task. He seems to know every secret the office has tried to hide. He must also know that such a small firm is not equipped to handle such a gargantuan task.
Mr. Lee is adamant that Bart must find his own way as not to give any indication that the conspiracy has been discovered. At the same time, Bart understands that Mr. Lee’s associates are betting on Bart to fail. After hiring a local contact in Hong Kong, everything seems to fit into place almost too easily. Another client of Bart’s firm is involved with the market manipulation. Mr. Lee is delighted with what Bart finds. The market is manipulated via a formula that makes it appear random. But Bart finds that he is being bugged and followed. He suspects his new associate. He wonders who he can really trust. His team scatters after being pursued by very motivated killers. The real question is how to resolve the situation without being liquidated.
Bart finds that his skills are no match for his new opponents. His rapidly expanding office now includes a long-suffering secretary with experience in the movie business, a tough as nails PI, an adult movie star with training in international banking, and a brilliant hacker. While Bart's literary agent assumes he is living a life of debauchery with glamorous young women, in fact he has found something closer to a new family. They have essentially taken over his business and moved into his house. Strange as it is, they make a great team, but is Bart still the boss?
They ruthlessly incorporate conquered people into their society through enslavement, and are prepared to kill those who are not useful to their plans. They have no need for the luxuries of city life. Fighting in troops of mounted archers, they mock individual heroes. Getae have a long history of reducing enemies in deadly hails of arrows while not getting close enough to lose warriors in single combat. Here Orfeo and his warriors must deal with an expanding Getae empire during the heroic age of Greece. Vastly outnumbered, can they stop an invasion that threatens not only their lives, but also their entire culture?
In the Orfeo Saga volume seven there are some familiar characters from Homer. Their motivations, as well as their history, can be radically different. Memnon is a self-made man and a petty king who craves the fabled gold of Troy. His brother Menas is king of Sparta. They assemble a coalition to sack the city. Telemon, not eager to join the expedition, is moved to act after his daughter Elena is taken. He seizes the city of Mycenae and goes to Troy. Odysees might not be as clever or brave as the man described in Homer, but he joins the expedition out of greed. He soon meets Orfeo’s son, who is in search of his first real adventure. Orfeo is on the Trojan side, and has to face the assembled military might of Greece as well as Odysees cunning plans. The Greeks have Ajax, who they count on to defeat any foe in single combat. Can Telemon - now an old man - defeat the greatest Greek warrior and recover his daughter?
The Raid on Troy might not be any closer to real history than the ancient poems, but it does offer insights into what might form the basis of the stories.
After the conquest of Babylon the victors installed the daughter of the former king as ruler of that city state. Zinaida is now beginning to feel stirrings of divinity, and seeks vengeance upon the coalition who put her on the throne. One by one surrounding kings are removed. This time there will be no grand coalition to challenge the might of Babylon. The battle will be in the shadows. Zinaida has sent spies to locate Zurga, and she is greatly concerned that he cannot be found. After an attempt on his life, Orfeo and Clarice decide to go directly to Mesopotamia in an attempt to prevent harm coming to their adopted city of Pylos.
The wild card in the equation is a small city not one hundredth the size of Babylon which is located in the lower Tigris. Can the ruler of Araka be persuaded to take on the might of Babylon? Daryush, now ruler of a small kingdom, also decides to meet the threat in an unconventional way. He trains a young apprentice named Cyrus in spycraft. Can smoke and mirrors overcome raw power?
Matt Martin is a Hollywood star from another era. He is still well known for his Westerns. His best roles - as well as his personal happiness - are apparently behind him. He contemplates spending his golden years alone. Although he plays a fearless hero, he now faces the most challenging role of this life with uncertainty. Here he employs Los Angeles private detective Bart Northcote to locate his estranged daughter.
Things turn around for Matt after he invites his daughter and the mother of his child to his idyllic estate. He kicks his alcohol habit, and enjoys his new found family. But not everyone is his entourage is happy. His daughter is kidnapped and held for ransom. Bart is given clear instructions. Neither the police nor the FBI will be involved. The matter will be handled “in house.”
Bart is drawn to Matt’s daughter, and idolizes Matt, who is now acts more like a vengeful villain in a cowboy film rather than the hero in a white hat. It is almost certain that someone close to Matt is involved in the kidnapping. In that case paying the ransom will not guarantee a happy ending, but could spell disaster. Can Bart find the culprits before it is too late?
Honorable Mention, genre based category, Hollywood Book Festival 2016.
No one is sure when the New World deity Quetzalcoatl was first worshipped. The god-man can be portrayed as a feathered serpent - and also associated with a bright green bird of the same name - but he was worshipped in a variety of ways by various cultures. Some versions of the myth state that he was a man with light hair, beard, blue eyes, and light skin. After helping humankind, he was said to have returned to his home, promising to return. It is not surprising that he has been identified as a Viking by some historians (and as an extraterrestrial by more adventuresome scholars). The Aztec Emperor Moctezuma II is reputed to have initially believed that when Hernán Cortés appeared in 1519 Quetzalcoatl had returned.
Here Orfeo has been kidnapped by a New World tribe. They plan keep him as a prisoner while presenting him to a subjugated populace as a god. He has no desire to live his life in a gilded cage. His wife, Clarice, his aging mentor, Zurga, and the jack of all trades, Daryush, must cross the ocean to save their friend. They soon find they are involved in a civil war between the Nastases and Ixtlans. It will take all their cunning to rescue Orfeo and get back alive. Back at home a war is brewing between Sparta and Pylos. This time Zurga is not there to keep the peace.
The Emperor of Babylon has captured Zurga - a brilliant inventor - and is demanding to know how to control volcanic eruptions. He also desires iron weapons, a closely guarded Hittite secret. The emperor plans conquer all the lands surrounding the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. He has a vast spy network and is preparing a huge army. Orfeo and Clarice, both trained as wanderers, must use all of their skills to save their friend and teacher. They must also stop the Emperor who believes himself to be a deity. Can they stop a madman that could destroy the entire region?
Here he is involved in tracking down the whereabouts of a fabulous antiquity, called the Ishtar Cup, which has been smuggled out of Iraq after the Gulf War. The problem is that his client, who refuses to giver her real name, wants Bart to follow one of her co-conspirators to make sure they know that they are being watched.
Bart suspects he is being played, but he has no idea why.
The story starts just before the eruption of Thera in about 1600 BC. This cataclysm destroyed the lavish Minoan culture of Crete. It also allowed the Mycenaeans to expand throughout the eastern Mediterranean. The Mycenaean culture - while originally warlike and rather rustic - developed vibrant cites, such as Pylos. This era was the setting for Homer's epic poems about the Trojan War (perhaps 12th or 11th century BC).