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The Baklava Club (Yashim the Eunuch #5)

3.72  ·  Rating Details ·  411 Ratings  ·  78 Reviews
Join Investigator Yashim for a final exotic escapade in this rich Edgar Award–winning series

In four previous novels, Jason Goodwin’s Inspector Yashim, the eunuch detective, has led us through stylish, suspenseful, and colorful mysteries in the Istanbul of the Ottoman Empire. Now, in The Baklava Club, Yashim returns for his final adventure—and his most thrilling yet.

Three n
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published June 10th 2014 by Sarah Crichton Books (first published June 3rd 2014)
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Jan 29, 2015 Catherine rated it really liked it
I have really enjoyed all of the Yashim novels in the series because it takes place in one of the most magnificent cities in the world . . . ISTANBUL! It is easier to picture some of the places as I have gone twice over the years but I'll never had such an intimate knowledge.

And being a bit of a small time foodie, I like the sections where he buys and prepares the food. It always makes me hungry for the cuisine that I enjoyed while in Istanbul and wishing that I had more patience and ability to
This is the last book in the Yashim the Eunuch series, which are set in 19th century Istanbul and are a really fun little jaunt through that period in the history of the Ottoman empire, and this 5th book came out in mid June. And I was sooo excited to get my hands on it when it came out and then I was soooo sad when I finished it, because man, this book is just really grim.

Those who are fans of The Hitchhiker’s Guide series probably know its last book (Mostly Harmless) is also really grim, and D
Aug 12, 2015 Wayner rated it liked it
I really liked the premise of this book but found the ending a bit disappointing. It could have used a bit more detail and effort to bring the story to a more satisfying conclusion - it felt a bit rushed.
Jul 27, 2014 Pam rated it really liked it
It appears that this might be the last of this series (deduced from author's note)but i have not doubt Jason Goodwin will continue to bring us wonderful tales, well-told, of his beloved Istanbul and Turkey.

Since reading the previous Yasim mystery we have BEEN to Istabul ourselves...even more of a treat to read these books. So many aspects - the environs, the cooking to start the list; the history straight out and the 'politics' of the time always well presented and thought out into the tale. And
Steven Bragg
Jun 29, 2014 Steven Bragg rated it it was amazing
Once again, the author shows a great deal of descriptive skill, not only concerning Istanbul, but also when he gets going on one of those unearthly culinary feasts. If he ever wants to switch careers, just do restaurant reviews. The author brings back all of the old characters and expands on Yashim's personality a bit more. The plot does not contain quite enough characters, so you can begin to guess who "did it" a ways before the end. Still, there are enough twists to make this a seriously inter ...more
Mar 18, 2015 Monica rated it really liked it
A visit to Yashim's Istanbul is always a treat - the city is a vital character and the sounds, smells and scenes on the streets and the water are wonderfully described. I really like Yashim, his friend the Polish ambassador and his patron the elegant Valide and am sorry to hear that this is the last book in the series.

The plot is full of interesting 19th century political tidbits (the Decemberists are not just an indie folk band, the Papal States were a militant anti-democratic force in Europe a
Murat Aydogdu
Jul 26, 2014 Murat Aydogdu rated it really liked it
What, no more Yashim?

This seems to be the last installment of a 5-book series which I thoroughly enjoyed. Yet another mildly thrilling, very entertaining, educating, hunger-provoking (all that detailed description of food) tale from Goodwin, where Yashim investigates a case, finds the killers, and gets the girl (well, kind of). I am tempted to go back and read all the books in a marathon.

Highly recommended, especially to those who like a novel in a historic setting.
Ampersand Canada's Book & Gift Agency Inc
Ok, this is the 5th and final (?) book in the series about Yashim the Investigator. I really hope it isn't because I just love the stories. Again, they're set in Istanbul in the waning days of the Ottoman Empire and have historical detail that doesn't get in the way of a good story. I sincerely hope the author finds that he must write another book about Yashim.
Jul 29, 2015 Angie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Yashim never disappoints. His skills are sharp. He can cook! Goodwin is a great writer. You can smell the spice and heat of old Istanbul. His food descriptions verge on the pornographic. My brain whirs and my stomach rumbles during every adventure.
Oct 06, 2014 Jon rated it it was amazing
Its hard to be objective when I love entering the world of these books so much. The mystery in this entry is weaker (more John LeCarre than Agatha Christie) but I didn't care so much. This is a series in which I would gladly read a non-mystery entry.
Mar 25, 2015 Meg rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Non è il primo libro della serie, ma si legge volentieri e senza grossi problemi lo stesso.
Più dell'indagine in sé e e della trama, ho apprezzato particolarmente la descrizione dei luoghi e delle usanze e l'atmosfera da Mille e Una Notte che si respira.
Nov 05, 2015 Aisling rated it it was amazing
The best one yet (in the series).
Sep 11, 2014 Ed rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Best yet !!
Marlene Smith
Dec 08, 2016 Marlene Smith rated it it was amazing
Last of a series of mysteries whose central character is a eunuch in Istanbul. This is not your typical Jack Reacher hero.
Jul 12, 2014 LJ rated it liked it
First Sentence: The man lives, or the man dies.

A group of young Italians, spending much of their time with Yashim’s friend Ambassador Palewski, are part of the revolutionaries striving for the reform and unification of Italy. At the moment, they are exiled in Istanbul with instructions to kill a Polish Prince. The assignation becomes kidnapping and the wounding of Palweski, causing him to become involved.

The book has an excellent opening with wonderful descriptions…”the sea is smooth like watere
Kerry Hennigan
Jun 16, 2016 Kerry Hennigan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In 19th century Istanbul, Investigator Yashim finds himself embroiled in intrigue, kidnapping and murder.

Through his friend the former Polish ambassador Palewski, the erstwhile Yashim makes the acquaintance of a group of young Italians (The Baklava Club) disgruntled with the power of the Pope in their homeland. A beautiful Danish girl accompanies them and is clearly the lover of one of them.

Enter Father Doherty, an Irish priest concerned for the preservation of ancient books, and a young Russian
Tom Donaghey
Dec 11, 2014 Tom Donaghey rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
THE BAKLAVA CLUB is a mystery tale set in Istanbul during the waning days of the Ottoman Empire. This is the late 1830s, early 1840s, when the Sultan of Turkey still held great power in the world and this town was a center for mystery and intrigue. Yashim, eunuch, protector of the Sultan’s household, trusted servant to the Valide (the mother of the Sultan) and the hero of 4 other books in this setting, once again plays detective.
The plot is rather complicated and it feels contrived at one or
Benjamin Idris
Jun 19, 2016 Benjamin Idris rated it did not like it
I have endured the first half of this book with more pain than is necessary for a recreational read. I disliked the book strongly, for the following reasons (to name but a few):

1) The pace is incredibly slow. For the first 100 pages nothing of any significance happens. E.g. a whole chapter explaining in meticulous detail how food was prepared. Another describing a rather pointless and irrelevant picnic in the Istanbul countryside. At the end of each chapter one can't help but reflect that the p
Sep 02, 2014 Lianne added it
I like historical mysteries especially in exotic locales. Nineteenth century Ottoman Istanbul is as exotic and corrupt as is needed for a dark mystery. The author Jason Goodwin, a scholar of the Ottoman Empire, has written multiple titles set in this period. His detective investigator Yashim is a minor functionary in the extended court of the Sultan. In fact, he is a eunuch. This tale is set in 1842. Istanbul is being overrun with emigres and revolutionaries from various European countries durin ...more
Nov 20, 2014 Kirk rated it liked it
Since this is the last of the series and the first I've read, I have mixed feelings. The premise of a 19th century Ottoman investigator is intriguing, and the fact that he is a castrato is also an interesting wrinkle in that it allowed him to enter the harem and interact with the Valide.

I found the writing style attractive and the plot interesting, but the conclusion was not satisfying to me. Seemed at bit rushed and muddled as to how he concluded who the murder was.

There seems to be quite some
Stacy Is Playing With Her Little Tab
I want to give this three stars but I was quite bored while reading this even though I wanted to see how everything would get tied up. I think parts of this book went right over my head-especially the ending. Perhaps someone can clear some questions I have up for me: (view spoiler) ...more
May 25, 2014 Judi rated it liked it

The Baklava Club is detective Yashim's final "and most thrilling" adventure yet. The mystery follows three naive Italian's exiled in Istanbul who have bungled their instructions to kill a Polish prince. Instead they have kidnapped him and run off to a discreet country farm house. Unfortunately, they do not realize their revolutionary "cell" is being given false orders by an impersonator. It's up to Yashim to unravel the mystery for us.

Author Jason Goodwin does an incredible job describing Istanb
Jan 24, 2016 Kerry rated it it was amazing
I can't get enough of Yashim, Count Palewski, and Jason Goodwin's writing. I mean, what a brilliant and prosaic writer. I read his description of a jail cell 2 or 3 times just because it was amazing how words strung so beautifully together could simply and completely creep me out. There were many, many times in this novel, as in the others, where the turn of phrase was something to truly savor, more so than dining at the finest restaurant you know. The man could write about town meeting and have ...more
Feb 04, 2015 Spuddie rated it really liked it
I love this series set in 1830's Istanbul and featuring Yashim, a eunuch who works for the sultan. Mostly I love the descriptions of Yashim's cooking! My mouth waters every of these days I am going to make what he's making using his don't really need a cookbook. I also am going to make some real Turkish coffee...that is one thing that is on my bucket list!

That said, I also love the whole atmosphere, the author's ability to sink you right into the heart of the place and
Elizabeth Grieve
Jun 15, 2014 Elizabeth Grieve rated it really liked it
The writing was excellent, and the author's descriptions of Ottoman Istanbul were quite wonderful. Having lived in Istanbul for 10 years, I could recognise the streets and buildings described, and I especially liked the emphasis on Yashim's cooking skills. The recipes are probably familiar to anyone who's tried Turkish food, and made my mouth water.

Having not read any of the previous books in this series, I was a little disappointed to find quite a few references to events outside this story.The
author is cambridge dude in byzantine hist. he also wrote good hist book of ottoman empire Lords of the Horizons: A History of the Ottoman Empire
this 5th yashim-the-eunuch-detective is all in the international intrigue of 1842 europe as they use the hospitality of istanbul lazzie faire (sp?) attitudes to misfit euros to manurver to a more civil rights based europe (italy, russia, poland [well, wanna be poland anyway], belgium, even england) , aaaand something very surprising and unique happens t
Gail Mead
Dec 05, 2016 Gail Mead rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What's not to like?

Murder, intrigue, exotic locale, beautiful women, delicious food, Yashim efendi - I love this series and recommend it to anyone who likes historical fiction.
Apr 15, 2016 Stephanie rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 06, 2015 Cynthia rated it really liked it
I always get so hungry when I"m reading Jason Goodwin's Inspector Yashim mysteries. He describes so deliciously all the foods he's cooking in his little tenement kitchen in 19th century venice. And the writing is excellent, the characters are interesting, the plots make sense pretty much. This isn't my favorite in the series, but it's still very good and I enjoyed it.
There is a weird kind of misogynistic subtext in it; i'm not really sure if he's trying to make a special point about women or wha
Jul 19, 2014 Ruth rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime-historical
c2014: effendi, Italians, Russians, kidnap, Ottoman. An easy read. Reading this almost straight after Evil Eye, I was disappointed that there was not more about Yashim's background and Istanbul which had been so well done in EE. I know that the author had been considering killing off Yashim and you can see the set up for this plot line. I am not altogether sure whether it worked or not. So, whilst it was an enjoyable read, I don't think that it was the best of the lot which is a pity if it the l ...more
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Jason Goodwin's latest book is YASHIM COOKS ISTANBUL: Culinary Adventures in the Ottoman Kitchen.
He studied Byzantine history at Cambridge University - and returned to an old obsession to write The Gunpowder Gardens or, A Time For Tea: Travels in China and India in Search of Tea, which was shortlisted for the Thomas Cook Award. When the Berlin Wall fell, he walked from Poland to Istanbul to encoun
More about Jason Goodwin...

Other Books in the Series

Yashim the Eunuch (5 books)
  • The Janissary Tree (Yashim the Eunuch, #1)
  • The Snake Stone (Yashim the Eunuch, #2)
  • The Bellini Card (Yashim the Eunuch, #3)
  • An Evil Eye (Yashim the Eunuch, #4)

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“When a continent is poisoned by lies, truth must be an exile.” 2 likes
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