Mary F. Burns: The Eleventh Commandment

Thursday, May 19th 2022



Bookshop West Portal is proud to welcome back local author Mary Burns in celebration The Eleventh Commandment, the fourth installment of the Sargent/Paget mystery series. This event is free to attend and currently slated to be in-person in our courtyard. We are monitoring the COVID situation and remain committed to following all public heath guidelines. We are flexible and will hold this event virtually if need be.


In this fourth book of the John Singer Sargent / Violet Paget mystery series, the intrepid amateur sleuths take on their most perplexing and harrowing case yet in The Eleventh Commandment. It is based on the true story of Moses Shapira, an antiquarian dealer from Jerusalem who upended the Victorian, scholarly world of biblical savants and archaeologists by presenting fragments of writings that purported to be an earlier version of the Ten Commandments—with an extra commandment! He offered it to the British Museum for a million pounds; the daily papers could talk of nothing else for weeks in the summer of 1883, and Shapira was a celebrity. Then, the scholars decided the manuscripts were fakes, not the 3,000-year-old scrolls that Moses insisted they were. He left London in disgrace, and six months later, was found in a shabby hotel in Rotterdam, a bullet through his head. And that’s when John and Violet pick up the case....







Mary F. Burns is the author of several books of historical fiction, and member of and book reviewer for the Historical Novel Society and a former member of the HNS Conference board of directors. She has been a regular panelist and speaker at the North American Historical Novel Society Conference. She is also a member of the Henry James Society, and the International Vernon Lee Society. Ms. Burns was born in Chicago, Illinois and attended Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, where she earned both Bachelors and Masters degrees in English; she also holds a J.D. from Golden Gate University. She lives in San Francisco.

Event date: 
Thursday, May 19, 2022 - 7:00pm