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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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English (49)  Italian (3)  Norwegian (2)  French (1)  Swedish (1)  All languages (56)
Showing 1-5 of 49 (next | show all)
This was a decent historical mystery, but it was lacking in some areas for me. I loved the colorful backdrop that the setting held, but I wish Goodwin would have given more information about the Harem murder. He focused so much on the military murders and running around after Janissaries that he almost forgot to connect the end resolution to the original murder. But, I did like the characters and he gave me a good enough taste of the setting that I'll definitely check out another in the series. ( )
  jguidry | Aug 28, 2016 |

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 | May 26, 2016 |
A historical mystery set in mid-19th century Istanbul. Yashim Ogalu is a eunuch in the service of the Sultan, called upon to find out who is murdering members of the New Guard, and incidentally, who strangled one of the harem girls just as she was about to be presented to her master. The setting is irresistible, and offers plenty of opportunity for little lessons in Ottoman history, food, art and culture. The premise is that the ousted Janissary Corps may be plotting a military coup to return to power and depose the current Sultan. There are many layers of intrigue, and the pages practically turn themselves. As so often happens with one of these high action tales, there are bits that don't bear too much thought and examination afterward, but who cares? A great escape. ( )
1 vote laytonwoman3rd | May 11, 2016 |
This was a lively read in an absorbing setting, Istanbul in 1836. A world on the cusp of change. Yashim, a eunuch in the service of the sultan, is an investigator with a gift for not being noticed. Because of his status he can move quietly between the inside and outside of the palace and he is employed to investigate the disappearance of four young officers from the New Guard, which has replaced the Janissaries, the former entrenched and utterly corrupt soldiery that ten years earlier had been violently removed from power. The forces of "keep the old ways" versus the steady creep of new ideas of democracy and equality from the west, are about to clash and Yashim finds himself at the center of the plotting. You'll be looking things up and summoning maps of Istanbul as you read. By a fine coincidence I was also reading (months late) a New Yorker article on archaeological finds in Istanbul that held up the completion of a subway tunnel under the Bosphorus for a decade. If you like historical mysteries this is, apparently, the start of a series. Hooray! **** ( )
  sibyx | Apr 11, 2016 |
This is the first in a mystery series introducing Inspector Yashim, a eunuch in service to the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire in the early 19th century. After the fall of Napoleon there's plenty of diplomatic intrigue and Istanbul is right in the center of where east meets west. Yashim is called upon to investigate multiple mysteries at the same time -- the theft of the Valide's jewels (the Sultan's mother), the murder of a girl in the harem and the quadruple murder of four young soldiers in a very gruesome manner. Could it all be tied to the Janissaries who were suppressed ten years before? Could be. There's arsonists afoot too. Yashim is a thoughtful and clever man who leads the reader through all walks of life in his investigations from dancing girls who just might not be girls, to the workings of the tannery industry, to the inner sanctum of the harem. A good adventure except for those unfortunates who got offed in the telling. ( )
  varielle | Feb 15, 2016 |
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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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