Synopses & Reviews
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.
"Near the start of Edgar-winner Goodwin's fine third historical to feature the eunuch Yashim, who serves the Ottoman rulers of early 19th-century Turkey (after 2008's The Snake Stone), Yashim's close friend Stanislaw Palewski, the Polish ambassador to the Turkish sultan, accepts an undercover assignment on the sultan's behalf. Posing as an American, the diplomat travels to Venice in an effort to locate a portrait of Mehmet the Conqueror (who reclaimed Constantinople from the Christians in 1453), painted by the legendary artist Gentile Bellini. Fortunately for Palewski, Yashim, who has a secret plan for the painting's recovery, intervenes in time to set the mission on the right track after the murder of two art dealers. While Yashim initially plays a backstage role, the eunuch and a shadowy power broker engage in an exciting and complex duel of wits in the book's final quarter. Once again, Goodwin skillfully blends deduction, action sequences and period color." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"When you read a historical mystery by Jason Goodwin, you take a magic carpet ride to the most exotic place on earth.”—Marilyn Stasio , The New York Times Book ReviewPraise for The Bellini Card “Escapist fiction at its most seductive.” —Heather ODonoghue, The Times Literary Supplement “Goodwins previous books took us into the alleys and byways of nineteenth-century Istanbul. This is an equally vivid and well-informed account of Venice in 1840 . . . The plot is lively and interesting; but the real delight in this book is the atmospheric portrait of a fascinating place.” —Literary Review Praise for The Snake Stone “Wonderfully entertaining . . . [Goodwin] uses short, punchy chapters and vibrant, atmospheric prose to bring the glory days of the Ottoman capital to life.” —Adam Woog, The Seattle Times Praise for The Janissary Tree, Edgar® Award Winner for Best Novel “Everything you could want from a novel—beautifully written, a cracking story, and, in the figure of Yashim the eunuch, a wonderfully seductive and original detective.” —Kate Mose, author of Labyrinth
"As much a literary novel and historical fiction as it is a mystery...The investigation takes these clever, endearing detectives to Venice, where lucky readers are transported to a fascinating period in Venetian history."---USA Today
"A toothsome, wryly humorous, and historically accurate view of La Serenissima...Goodwin vividly evokes Istanbul embroiled in change."--Booklist
"In The Bellini Card, Goodwin and Yashim really hit their stride.... If you want to completely escape the chilly, dreary modern world, this is the book to take you away."--The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
"As labyrinthine as the watery thoroughfares of Venice. Beautifully evocative...Series fans will not be disappointed, and new readers will find themselves seeing out Goodwins earlier works."--Library Journal
"Escapist fiction at its most seductive."--The Times Literary Supplement (UK)
Yashim, the eunuch detective who first appeared in the internationally acclaimed "The Janissary Tree," returns in this historical mystery set in 1840 Istanbul as he investigates a missing Bellini masterpiece.
In this latest entry in the evocative Edgar-award winning series, set during the last years of the Ottoman Empire, intrigue abounds when Eunuch investigator Yashim travels to Venice to recover a long lost Bellini portrait for the Sultan.
Detective. Polyglot. Chef. Eunuch.
Investigator Yashim Returns in this Edgar® Award-Winning Series
Istanbul, 1840: the young sultan Abdülmecid believes that Gentile Bellini's vanished masterpiece, a portrait of Mehmet the Conqueror, may have resurfaced in Venice. But it's not Yashim, our eunuch detective, who takes a ship across the Mediterranean. Instead, it's his Polish ambassador friend, Palewski, disguised as an American art dealer.
What begins as a simple inquiry soon turns into a murderous game of deception and suspense, played out among the faded palazzi and sluggish canals of the decaying city. Dealers, forgers, and aristocrats become fatally involved, as the search for the Bellini portrait uncovers a threat to the stability of the Ottoman throne, and the peace of Europe.
The Paperback Edition Includes an Author Interview, Bonus Inspector Yashim Recipe, and an Excerpt from the Next Inspector Yashim Mystery, An Evil Eye
About the Author
Jason Goodwin is the bestselling author of The Janissary Tree—winner of the 2007 Edgar ® Award for Best Novel—and The Snake Stone, the first two books in his series of novels featuring Yashim. Goodwin studied Byzantine history at Cambridge and is the author of Lords of the Horizons: A History of the Ottoman Empire, among other award-winning nonfiction.