"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 Review
"Goodwin is an author of many strengths...[and his books] just keep getting better....The complicated plot that unfolds is deftly controlled throughout....Goodwin's prose is sharp and surprising." --The Washington Post
"Exotic...An elegant meditation on the Ottoman psyche. Goodwin is as concerned with capturing the sights, sounds, and recipes as he is with the murders." --Financial Times (London)
"Goodwin continues to create historical mysteries with an A-quality plot, excellent historical detail, and a strong sense of place....He is still at the top of his game." --Booklist
"A great addition to a superb series." --The Globe and Mail (London)
"In Yashim's investigations the stakes are high indeed....The bare outlines are enlivened by Goodwin's skillful use of color and detail, especially Yashim's recipes, which set the reader drooling. As a historian, Goodwin is scrupulous." --The Independent (London)
When the body of a Russian agent is found down a monastery well, Yashim knows exactly who to blame. Fevzi Ahmet Pasha, commander of the Ottoman fleet.
Years ago, when Yashim first entered the sultan's service, Fevzi Ahmet was his mentor. Ruthless, cruel, and - in Yashim's eyes - ultimately ineffective, he is the only man who makes him afraid. And now Yashim must confront the secret that Fevzi Pasha has been keeping all these years, a secret whose roots lie deep in the tortured atmosphere of the sultan's harem, where normal rules are suspended, and women can simply disappear.
Once again, Yashim and his friends encounter treachery and politics, played out against the backdrop of 1840s Istanbul.