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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Yashim is back on familiar territory
This is the 4th in Jason Goodwin's series of stories featuring Yashim the detective eunuch. Set in exotic Istanbul in the 19th century during the slow decline of the Ottoman empire this series is filled with intrigue and atmosphere and the plots aren't bad either.

The series begins with the Janissary Tree The Janissary Tree ('Yashim the Eunuch' Mystery)and it...
Published on 4 Jan. 2012 by Noel

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3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointed
I have read other books in this series and greatly enjoyed them. however I found the plot in the evil eye rather thin .
Published 14 months ago by Mrs Julie A Williams


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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Yashim is back on familiar territory, 4 Jan. 2012
By 
Noel (Belfast, UK) - See all my reviews
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This is the 4th in Jason Goodwin's series of stories featuring Yashim the detective eunuch. Set in exotic Istanbul in the 19th century during the slow decline of the Ottoman empire this series is filled with intrigue and atmosphere and the plots aren't bad either.

The series begins with the Janissary Tree The Janissary Tree ('Yashim the Eunuch' Mystery)and it is the best place to start. Here you will be introduced to the characters who feature in each succeeding story and learn the language of the imperial harem and Ottoman Istanbul. Next comes 'The Snake Stone' and the third story is 'The Bellini Card'. The Bellini Card ('Yashim the Eunuch' Mystery) For me it was the least successful of the series, much of the action of the Bellini Card takes place in Venice and I missed the claustrophobic atmosphere created so well in the intrigues of the imperial coterie in Istanbul.

In 'An Evil Eye' we are back on familiar territory in Istanbul and it does not disappoint. The action begins with a body found in the well inside an Orthodox monastery. The local muslim men get the idea that the Greek monks have killed a muslim and are holding his body. A confrontation ensues - enter Yashim to diffuse this delicate situation. He discovers the dead man is not a muslim - but who is he? How did he get into the well? Who put him there and why? Yasim's investigation unravels a web of treachery, blackmail and feud.

Meanwhile the Sultan has just died and as his teenage son takes possession of the new Beziktas Palace, the late Sultan's harem ladies are all expelled from the palace to make room for young Sultan's collection of ladies. There is uproar and confusion. Many of the 'old' ladies are relocated to the old Topkapi palace which is presided over by the valide' mother of the late Sultan. Meanwhile the late Sultan's sister rules the roost in Beziktas. Two palaces each with scheming and division and death.

As the story builds to a climax all of these story lines are brought together with an act of national betrayal which threatens the peace of Istanbul - Russia and Egypt loom as threats. But no fear! Yashim sorts it all out. An exciting, entertaining story, in a dream location with the added benefit of a few of Yashim's tasty recipes judiciously scattered to flavour the tale. I am glad to see that a 5th book is planned.

PS: I think it would be useful to have a very brief 'Glossary' at the end of the book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Affairs of state, murder, intrigue, and good cooking in Istanbul, 16 Mar. 2012
By 
Aidan J. McQuade (Ireland) - See all my reviews
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This is the 4th novel in Jason Goodwin's very entertaining series about the investigations of Yashim, a eunuch in the service of the Ottoman state. The fact that he is a eunuch is important in that he is allowed access to the harem and the world of women, as well as that of men.

The sprawling plot of this novel - drawing together the body of a murdered man dragged from a monastery well, the changes of the harem arising from a new sultan, and a threat of betrayal to the Ottoman state - can be confusing and rendered moreso by the array of characters over multiple locations. But the journey through the labyrintine plot brings with it huge pleasures, including asides on the history of the Ottoman empire, the machinations of the harem, evocative descriptions of the city of Istanbul, and good cooking: Yashim takes his cooking seriously and frequently unpicks plot difficulties while chopping his vegetables.

So an enjoyable, evocative read, that illuminates, most entertainingly, an unfamiliar time and place.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best yet, 26 Oct. 2012
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I enjoyed the first two books in this series - skipped the third as it's set in Venice, not old Constantinople. The first two are more straightforward detective stories, although complex and fascinating nonetheless. This one felt like it had a broader sweep, more mystery and intrigue rather than concentrating on the almost incidental murder that sets the whole thing off. It has a great historical sweep, wonderful descriptions of the city, the customs and intrigues of the harem and Ottoman government, and characters that you care about and are interested in. Highly recommended.

Shame about the tacky cover pic - even advertising a kindle edition it's off-putting. Needs something more atmospheric and classy for an atmospheric, classy read!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Yashim fan, 20 Aug. 2014
By 
JJ (Scotland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: An Evil Eye (Yashim the Ottoman Detective) (Paperback)
I have enjoyed all Jason Goodwin's book featuring the great Turkish 'detective' Yashim. He is a very intriguing and interesting character as are his friends and acquaintances. I like the bits where he cooks his special meals, Goodwin takes you through it all so you basically have the recipe. You can almost taste the food.
A body is found down a well at a monastery. But, as with all Yashim's stories there are many threads to wind up and some of an entirely different hue. The goings on at the palace also provides a sinister backdrop. With defections, spies, and crimes from years back rearing their heads this story will keep involved. Very enjoyable.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable as always, 10 Jun. 2012
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Amanda Hall (Co. Durham UK) - See all my reviews
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Really enjoyed this book - as I have all of the Yashim books since I discovered them 18 months or so back.

This one contains the usual ingredients of a sprawling, complex plot, the flavors, sights and smells of mid 19th Century Istanbul and as usual a huge cast of characters who all have their own secrets to hide and fear what Yashim may uncover.

This time its not only Yashim's life that may be under threat but also his life in the outer city ....
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Detective, 4 April 2013
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Y. Pees (Canvey Island, Essex UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: An Evil Eye (Yashim the Ottoman Detective) (Paperback)
Jason Goodwin's eunuch detective Yashim with privileged access to the Harem in Istanbul is once more is called upon to investigate a corpse discovered on a Greek Island. Full of atmosphere set in the 1840's, interesting and highly entertaining. Yashim is a sensitive man of principles who also loves to cook for himself and his friends. Jason Goodwin's knowledge of Istanbul and the customs and practices of the era lends an atmosphere to the whole magnificent story.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Turkish Delight, 11 Feb. 2015
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I would not want to add more to comments by earlier reviewers. But the whodunit element, common to all detective stories would not be the main reason for reading this book.
The book's pleasure is to go with Yashmin through Constantinople's streets and alleys. Readers can bury themselves in another world populated by characters ranging from the villainous, the eccentric, the mediocre and the honourable. We are passengers in boats across the Bosphorus, shiver in the Turkish winter, inhale the charcoal under the kebabs and savour the spices, especially when Yashmin is the chef. The atmospheric narrative is a real pleasure.
I have read all the books in the series up to this one. Though I would rate the first book, The Janissary Tree, as the best, I would recommend Yashmin as pleasing company through meandering plots at the centre of an Ottoman world in slow decline.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Yashim - The Poirot of Constantinople, 3 Sept. 2011
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Another dollop of murder, mystery, mayhem and marinading. Yashim the Eunoch not only solves crimes, but at the same time introduces the reader to the sights and sounds of Istanbul whilst whipping up some delicious food. Well paced with good characterisation it makes me want to revisit Topkapi (the harem was closed for work last time I went)and eat some more Imam Bayildi.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars janissary tree, 26 Jan. 2014
I loved this incredibly interesting story set in the Othoman time. Since reading Jason Goodwin's stories about Yashim, I have started looking for other historical fiction. Very rarely others are as good as this.
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5.0 out of 5 stars An Evil Eye, 8 Jan. 2013
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Having read the others in the series I knew what to expect and was not disappointed. Anyone who enjoys historical detective fiction should enjoy it.
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An Evil Eye (Yashim the Ottoman Detective)
An Evil Eye (Yashim the Ottoman Detective) by Jason Goodwin (Paperback - 3 May 2012)
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