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The Bellini Card by Jason Goodwin
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The Bellini Card (2008)

by Jason Goodwin

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Inspector Yashim Togalu (3)

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English (16)  Italian (2)  Dutch (1)  French (1)  All (20)
Showing 1-5 of 16 (next | show all)
[Snake Stone] is the second Yashim the Eunuch mystery by [[Jason Goodwin]]. Like the first it is full of detail about life in early modern Istanbul. 1840's. This one also has detail about the Greek Revolution of the 1820's and the involvement in that war by Lord Byron and other romantics. It is also full of engineering and archeological detail about the city that I found fascinating. This one has incredible detail about the water system. Today there are tours available about the Roman cisterns and aqueducts.

I don't really care for the narrators voice but I like these mysteries. They are set in an exotic place and involves a way of life that is gone. They are so much more than mysteries. The series is all about culture and social customs as well as full of unique history that brings a far distant place and its past alive. There will be more of them in my car in the future. ( )
  benitastrnad | Mar 27, 2017 |
I enjoyed this book much more than the first book. I don't know if it was because of the location of this one (Venice, Italy) or the content. This book involved Yashim's friend Palewski more than anyone and I liked his "bumbling" personality. Yashim did step in to save the day and tie up loose ends, but that was okay. Overall, it was a decent storyline and I enjoyed the read. ( )
  jguidry | Nov 22, 2016 |
This is the 3rd in the series.... but I read it second. In fact it seems as I am reading backwards, but it all works out, for this was better than the last: "An Evil Eye". There was still the alternating chapters with the main characters & what the murder was doing, but it was much less confusing. I was better able to understand what was going on.

I find it interesting, that even in 1840, that the canals of Venice was a stinking mess of sewage, yet when I take into consideration when Venice was built, there would have been more than enough time to have passed to make it so.

1840 in Istanbul, the young Sultan has heard that there is a portrait of his (Great?) Grandfather by Bellini. The previous Sultans did not believe in such vanity, so the portrait disappeared.... The Sultan calls upon Yashim to locate and return the portrait to him, however, the Sultan's young Vizier makes it perfectly clear to Yashim that it would be in his safest interest to not to follow the Sultan's orders.

In a quandary, Yashim, sends his friend, the Ambassador of Poland, Palewski in his stead...... Enter the intrigue & murderer......

I enjoyed this book very much, it was very interesting, especially reading about the history of the Ottoman Empire, Venice, & the world of art forgery. ( )
  Auntie-Nanuuq | Jan 18, 2016 |
I read the first book in this historical mystery series last year (actually I listened to it) so when I was looking for some more audiobooks to download I was happy to see the next two were available. However, I ended up listening to this one first and now I have to go back to Book 2. I wasn't as happy with this novel as I was with the first one mostly because Yashim doesn't really come into the action until the last half.

A new and young Sultan has taken over the throne in Istanbul. It remains to be seen how he will conduct himself. He has learned that a painting done by Gentile Bellini during the reign of Sultan Mehmet II (Mehmet the Conqueror) of the Sultan is for sale in Venice. He instructs Yashim to go to Venice and buy the painting. However, the Sultan's vizier, Reshid Pasha, warns Yashim against going so Yashim talks his friend, the Polish ambassador Palewski, into going. Palewski poses as an American, Mr. Brett, in Venice. An impoverished nobleman, Count Ruggierio, befriends Brett and circulates his card. Two art dealers are killed right after Palewski arrives and then Ruggierio is also killed. The police suspect Palewski but he is provided an alibi by a beautiful young courtesan, Maria. Palewski is shown a painting in a darkened palazzo but then a gunfight breaks out and he has to swim the Grand Canal. He is beginning to wonder if his search is going to end in his own death.

There is a lot going on in this book and I'm not sure if it was all necessary to the plot. Yashim is an interesting character but he is not in evidence until close to the end. I also did not care for the Italian accent the narrator used for the Venetians. All in all, I wouldn't recommend this unless you have read the first two and just have to have another fix. ( )
  gypsysmom | Oct 20, 2015 |
All through the book I felt that I was missing the undercurrents - a typical ugly American being confronted with Eastern subtlety. But if someone more subtle than I can follow the unspoken story, it's no less enjoyable for that. The twists and turns are - there is no other word for it - Byzantine, and the scenic descriptions of both Istanbul and Venice bring a great deal of realism to the story. Recommended for anyone who likes their mysteries with a dash of Eastern spice, a sprinkling of historical fact, and just a pinch of the mysteries of the ages. ( )
  benfulton | Sep 29, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 16 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Jason Goodwinprimary authorall editionscalculated
Hoye, StephenNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Com'era, dov'era [As it was, where it was] - Venetian motto
Never judge a painting or a woman by candlelight. - Venetian proverb
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For Bibby
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He sank slowly through the dark water, arms out, feet pointed: like a Christ, or a dervish, casting a benediction on the sea.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0374110395, Hardcover)

Investigator Yashim travels to Venice in the latest installment of the Edgar® Award–winning author Jason Goodwin’s captivating series
 
Jason Goodwin’s first Yashim mystery, The Janissary Tree, brought home the Edgar® Award for Best Novel. His follow-up, The Snake Stone, more than lived up to expectations and was hailed by Marilyn Stasio in The New York Times Book Review as “a magic carpet ride to the most exotic place on earth.” Now, in The Bellini Card, Jason Goodwin takes us back into his “intelligent, gorgeous and evocative” (The Independent on Sunday) world, as dazzling as a hall of mirrors and utterly compelling.
 
Istanbul, 1840: the new sultan, Abdülmecid, has heard a rumor that Bellini’s vanished masterpiece, a portrait of Mehmet the Conqueror, may have resurfaced in Venice. Yashim, our eunuch detective, is promptly asked to investigate, but—aware that the sultan’s advisers are against any extravagant repurchase of the painting— decides to deploy his disempowered Polish ambassador friend, Palewski, to visit Venice in his stead. Palewski arrives in disguise in down-and-out Venice, where a killer is at large as dealers, faded aristocrats, and other unknown factions seek to uncover the whereabouts of the missing Bellini.
 
But is it the Bellini itself that endangers all, or something associated with its original loss? And why is it that all the killer’s victims are somehow tied to the alluring Contessa d’Aspi d’Istria? Will the Austrians unmask Palewski, or will the killer find him first? Only Yashim can uncover the truth behind the manifold mysteries.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 17:58:35 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

Sent to investigate rumors that a stolen art masterpiece has resurfaced in Venice, eunuch detective Yashim delegates negotiations for the work's return to Polish ambassador Palewski, in an unexpectedly dangerous case with ties to the alluring Contessa d'Aspi d'Istria.… (more)

» see all 4 descriptions

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Tantor Media

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