It is Constantinople, 1599, and Paul Pindar, the secretary to the English ambassador, waits outside the Sultan's harem gates to present him with an extraordinary musical clock that had been sent with the goal of improving trade relations. Unfortunately, the clock has been damaged and Pindar discovers his former love, Celia, is set to become the Sultan's favorite concubine. Meanwhile, in present day Oxford, a graduate student finds a scrap of paper suggesting that a young British woman had been held captive in the Sultan's harem. She travels to Instanbul to follow Celia's trail and work out her own romantic entanglements. (booksense)
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