Tuesday, June 27, 2006

THE JANISSARY TREE by Jason Goodwin

A mystery set in 1830s Istamboul, with the investigator a eunuch? Harem life, street life, exotic food, minarets, minions, palace spies, what's not to like? Goodwin has previously written non-fiction books about the Ottoman Empire, and this is the first of what promises to be very entertaining series of mysteries. The plot is fine, complicated and satisfying to unravel, but the real joy of the book is the characters, the setting, and the essential oddity of the main character. A good summer read.

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