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The Janissary Tree by Jason Goodwin

The Janissary Tree (2006)

by Jason Goodwin

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Inspector Yashim Togalu (1)

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1,073467,752 (3.49)110
19th century (37) 2008 (7) audiobook (7) crime (30) crime fiction (18) detective (31) eunuchs (46) fiction (149) historical (48) historical fiction (94) historical mystery (28) historical novel (11) history (14) Istanbul (97) Janissaries (9) literature (7) murder (13) mystery (188) novel (25) ottoman (10) Ottoman Empire (55) own (8) read (12) series (9) signed (8) thriller (11) to-read (22) Turkey (95) unread (13) Yashim (7)

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English (39)  Italian (3)  Norwegian (2)  French (1)  Swedish (1)  All languages (46)
Showing 1-5 of 39 (next | show all)
This book is the first in a series I believe and I found it interesting enough to want to read more of the series.

Yashim is a eunuch attached to the Sultan's household although I'm not sure what his exact job description is. Probably it is whatever the Sultan wishes him to do is what he does. At the beginning of the book a concubine in the harem is killed just before she is due to head to the Sultan's bed the first time. Yashim is asked to investigate the murder. Then 4 officers from the New Guard disappear and their bodies start appearing in unusual places having suffered unusual and disturbing deaths. While visiting the Russian ambassador's residence to question an embassy employee who was last seen in the company of the missing officers Yashim notices an old map of Istanbul. Convinced that the map could help him solve the puzzle of the places where the bodies were left he returns to the Embassy to have a look at it. Although he is not admitted by the butler he manages to get in but while hiding he ends up in the ambassador's wife's bedroom. Rather than screaming the wife is delighted to have Yashim visit. Between decoding the map the pair make love (apparently eunuchs can achieve erections but cannot ejaculate). Yashim believes that the Janissaries, the former guard who were let go after rioting, are behind the murders. The more he learns the more he believes that a coup is coming. As a loyal servant of the Sultan Yashim must do all he can to prevent this but is it enough?

The narrator was a delight. ( )
  gypsysmom | Apr 1, 2014 |
A harem girl has been murdered, the Valide Sultan's jewels have been stolen, and four guardsmen have gone missing. Is there any connection between these events?

Combination detective story and political thriller set against a backdrop of Sultan Mahmud II's attempts to modernise the Ottoman empire in the 1830s. Fascinating evocation of an exotic time and place I for one knew very little about. Because I am so ignorant, I would have appreciated a map of the City and some sort of afterword from the author about the historical background, though a lot of it was covered very naturally in the text. ( )
  Robertgreaves | Feb 28, 2014 |

I'm not completely familiar with Turkey or the Ottoman Empire or books about one of them. But I thought it was an interesting book, I don't know how accurate the book was exactly in the way it described it, but I feel like I've found out several new things. Something I always liked. Set back in the 19th century, it of course it slightly different from the thrillers that are most common, but I really liked this for a change. Still planning on reading the second book as will, but still so many other books to read, so it is possible it will take some more time... ( )
  Floratina | Jan 23, 2014 |
We sold our house! We are house hunting! We are moving! Soon! So, I'm releasing all BookCrossing books that I stumble upon so we don't have to pack/move/unpack them in whatever we find. We're downsizing, so the book collection gets thinned again.

Hopefully, I'll be able to find another copy of this book sometime.
  bookczuk | Jan 12, 2014 |
Another example (like The Pale Blue Eye, for instance) of choosing an underutilized time and place (unlike Victorian England, for instance) to set a well-plotted mystery that lines up with the specific history very well. I'm not sure #s 2,3,4 can be as satisfying in the same setting, but I'll read them to find out. ( )
  randalrh | Sep 21, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 39 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (20 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Jason Goodwinprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Rossem, Nina vanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For those who have Awareness,

a hint is quite enough.

for the multitudes of heedless

mere knowledge is useless.

-- Haji Bektash Veli
To Kate
First words
Yashim flicked at a speck of dust on his cuff.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0312426135, Paperback)

Winner of the Edgar Award for Best Novel
It is 1836. Europe is modernizing and the Ottoman Empire must follow suit. But just before the sultan announces sweeping changes, a wave of murders threatens the fragile balance of power in his court. Who is behind them? Only one intelligence agent can be trusted to find out: Yashim, a man both brilliant and near-invisible in this world, an investigator who can walk with ease in the great halls of the empire, in its streets, and even within its harems--because, of course, Yashim is a eunuch. His investigation points to the Janissaries, who, for four hundred years were the empire's elite soldiers. Crushed by the sultan, could they now be staging a brutal comeback? And can they be stopped without throwing Istanbul into political chaos?
This first book in the Investigator Yashim series is a richly entertaining tale, full of exotic history and intrigue.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:47:51 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

"It is 1836. Europe is modernizing, and the Ottoman Empire must follow suit. But just before the Sultan announces sweeping changes, a wave of murders threatens the fragile balance of power in his court. Who is behind them? Only one intelligence agent can be trusted to find out: Yashim Lastname ... a eunuch. He leads us into the palace's luxurious seraglios and Istanbul's teeming streets, and leans on the wisdom of a dyspeptic Polish ambassador, a transsexual dancer, and a Creole-born queen mother. And he introduces us to the Janissaries. For 400 years, they were the empire's elite soldiers, but they grew too powerful, and ten years ago, the Sultan had them crushed. Are the Janissaries staging a brutal comeback?"--Publisher description.… (more)

» see all 7 descriptions

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Jason Goodwin is a LibraryThing Author, an author who lists their personal library on LibraryThing.

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Average: (3.49)
1 5
1.5 2
2 21
2.5 6
3 86
3.5 46
4 98
4.5 9
5 24


Four editions of this book were published by Audible.com.

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