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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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1,166526,950 (3.46)132

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English (45)  Italian (3)  Norwegian (2)  French (1)  Swedish (1)  All languages (52)
Showing 1-5 of 45 (next | show all)
I really enjoyed this murder mystery set in 19th century Istanbul. The world’s culture is changing, and the effects of modernization have swept across Europe. The sultan of the Ottoman Empire feels he must go along, but just as he’s about to announce sweeping political change, a grisly murder occurs within the court. So he calls for Yashim – a eunuch and a special detective . Goodwin treats us to an exotic locale - luxurious seraglios, noisy market places, and filthy tanneries. And he populates this world with a colorful cast of characters, including a dyspeptic Polish ambassador, a transsexual dancer, the Creole-born queen mother, and even a 300-lb wrestling deaf-mute.

I listened to the audio book, performed by Stephen Hoye. This is the second time I’ve listened to Hoye narrate an audio book. I was really turned off by his delivery on the first book, but he is perfect for this. He hits just the right tone for the carefully thoughtful and not easily perturbed Yashim. ( )
  BookConcierge | Jan 29, 2016 |
It is a good thing that I did not read this book first, because otherwise, I might not have continued with the series.

We meet Yashim, a Eunuch who is free to go about his life, except when needed by the Sultan or one of the Palace officials to investigate.

The Valide Sultan's jewels (which were a gift from her dear friend, Empress Josephine) have gone missing and a young concubine who is to spend time w/ the Sultan has been found murdered.

At the same time, outside of the palace, four young military men have gone missing...but one by one their grossly mutilated bodies are turning up around Istanbul. Yashim is called in to investigate.

The descriptions are lush and evocative of another Romantic time gone by. The descriptions of Yashim's dinner preparations are mouth watering.

What I didn't like, was all the military stuff.... I didn't really care for the knowledge of the Janissaries and I would have liked to have had more written about the murder in the Oda (Harem). ( )
  Auntie-Nanuuq | Jan 18, 2016 |
It's the last days of the Ottoman Empire and Yashim is tasked to uncover a complex series of murders that lead him to suspect that the powerful Janissaries who were suppressed ten years earlier will attempt a coup. The mystery is fair and holds together. I like Yashim quite a bit as a character and would like to read more in the series, though I thought this first outing was a bit "too clever by half" in resolving the coup(s).

( )
  Tonstant.Weader | Nov 22, 2015 |
This is a setting driven book. I really liked learning about Turkey during the 1800s. The character's daily lives are interesting in a way they can only be as historical fiction. The main character, Yashim, is a neat guy. I would like to know him if he were real. However, the storyline is not as compelling as it could be. I would give this book an extra star or half star if the storyline was more engrossing. The mystery starts out as interesting, but the conclusion/big reveal is not exciting. There aren't many suspense building moments like you would expect from a mystery. I would recommend it, it's a solid 3.5 stars, but I don't know if I'll continue with the series. I just have too many other things to read to move it to the top of my list. ( )
1 vote ladonna37 | Feb 27, 2015 |
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 4, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 45 (next | show all)
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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
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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 Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:18:21 -0400)

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"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)

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Average: (3.46)
1 6
1.5 2
2 24
2.5 7
3 99
3.5 48
4 105
4.5 9
5 25


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

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An edition of this book was published by Tantor Media.

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