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An Evil Eye (Yashim the Ottoman Detective) Paperback – 3 May 2012

4.7 out of 5 stars 29 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Faber & Faber; Main edition (3 May 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0571239900
  • ISBN-13: 978-0571239900
  • Product Dimensions: 12.6 x 1.9 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 323,559 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"When you read a historical mystery by Jason Goodwin, you take a magic-carpet ride to the most exotic place on earth." --Marilyn Stasio, "The New York Times Book Review""Goodwin is an author of many strengths...[and his books] just keep getting better....The complicated plot that unfolds is deftly controlled throughout....Goodwin's prose is sharp and surprising." --"The Washington Post""Exotic...An elegant meditation on the Ottoman psyche. Goodwin is as concerned with capturing the sights, sounds, and recipes as he is with the murders." --"Financial Times (London)""Goodwin continues to create historical mysteries with an A-quality plot, excellent historical detail, and a strong sense of place....He is still at the top of his game." --"Booklist""A great addition to a superb series." --"The Globe and Mail (London)""In Yashim's investigations the stakes are high indeed....The bare outlines are enlivened by Goodwin's skillful use of color and detail, especially Yashim's recipes, which set the reader drooling. As a historian, Goodwin is scrupulous." --"The Independent (London)"

Book Description

An Evil Eye by Jason Goodwin is the thrilling new Yashim the Detective mystery.

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
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.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
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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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
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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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
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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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
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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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
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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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
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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