Friday, March 20, 2009
The Janissary Tree
By Jason Goodwin.
This murder mystery is set amongst the rich and fascinating setting of Nineteenth century Istanbul. A concubine from the Sultan's harem has been killed and it is the task of Yashim, a eunuch to discover the killer. He is also charged with discovering the murderer of a cadet in the New Guard.
Yashim is an entertaining and unique protagonist. As a eunuch, he has unrestricted entry to places most would not be allowed upon pain of death. I enjoyed his particular quirks, and learned way more about eunuchs than I ever wanted to. I found it a slightly meandering book, but the pleasure of the journey with Yashim made it well worth the read.