Yashim is no ordinary detective. It's not that he's particularly brave. Or that he cooks so well, or reads French novels. Not even that his best friend is the Ambassador from Poland, whose country has vanished from the map. Yashim is a eunuch. As the Sultan plans a series of radical reforms to his empire, a concubine is strangled in the palace ...
Yashim is no ordinary detective. It's not that he's particularly brave. Or that he cooks so well, or reads French novels. Not even that his best friend is the Ambassador from Poland, whose country has vanished from the map. Yashim is a eunuch. As the Sultan plans a series of radical reforms to his empire, a concubine is strangled in the palace harem. And a young cadet is found butchered in the streets of Istanbul. Delving deep into the city's crooked alleyways, and deeper still into its tumultuous past, Yashim discovers that some people will go to any lengths to preserve the traditions of the Ottoman Empire. Brilliantly evoking Istanbul in the 1830s, "The Janissary Tree" is a fast-paced literary thriller with a spectacular cast, from mystic orders and lissom archivists to soup-makers and a seductive ambassador's wife. Darker than any of these is the mysterious figure who controls the Sultan's harem.
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Superb historical mystery -thriller which combines historical scholarship with engaging characters, offering rare insight into a vanished world with the ambiance of Humphrey Bogart in Casablanca. Goodwin's first novel is brilliant and richly embellished by research for his previous non-fiction books " Lords of the Horizon: A History of the Ottoman Empire," and " On Foot to the Golden Horn: A Walk to Istanbul."
Absolutely a delightful and entertaining work of fiction that will leave you wanting more. This could be a great movie.
Jul 19, 2007
Great 1st in a series
I'm hoping that the author will write additional mysteries in this series. The author suceeds in re-creating a past time and city. I was reminded of Steve Saylor's Roman mystery novel series. If you enjoy Saylor's books, you'll enjoy this book.
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