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An Evil Eye (Yashim the Eunuch, #4)
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An Evil Eye (Yashim the Eunuch #4)

3.8 of 5 stars 3.80  ·  rating details  ·  466 ratings  ·  76 reviews
From the Edgar® Award–winning author of The Janissary Tree comes the fourth and most captivating Investigator Yashim mystery yet!

It takes a writer of prodigious talents to conjure the Istanbul of the Ottoman Empire in all its
majesty. In three previous novels, Jason Goodwin has taken us on stylish, suspenseful, and vibrant excursions into its exotic territory. Now, in An Ev...more
Hardcover, 287 pages
Published March 29th 2011 by Sarah Crichton Books (first published 2011)
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Community Reviews

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How bad is the mystery fiction when the lead character must explain the plot to you in the last 8 pages? There are old Murder, She Wrote plots that hold your interest more.

I'm not getting my jollies by bashing Goodwin. I enjoyed the first three books in this series. But The Evil Eye is a poor addition. It reads like he phoned it in. (Example: "Hey, remember where I wrote about finding a body in a well in The Snake Stone? Well, put a body in a well here too, but don't bother with any of the inter...more
Profumi e sapori d'oriente.
Anche questo Goodwin non delude. L'investigatore eunuco Yashim si troverà a indagare in mezzo a intrighi di palazzo, maghe, equilibri politici che cambiano, in una Istambul meravigliosa e decadente.
Yashim é anche un ottimo cuoco e alcune delle sue ricette vien voglia di provarle:)
I purchased this book and recommended it to my book group based on the recommendation of a highly respected, interesting, cultured, intelligent friend. I'm not sure if I needed to have read the first three in this "set" to really appreciate the book, or if it just wasn't my style, or what, but I thought it was good! But just that: good!

This "set" is not so much a series of books that must be read in order -- I understand it is more like a set of mystery novels, that can certainly be read out of...more
Sep 18, 2014 Lianne added it
A more recent title from Edgar-award winning author Jason Goodwin. This mystery is set in 1839 after Admiral Fevzi Ahmet has surrendered the Ottoman fleet to the Egyptians. Yashim's assignment is to find out why. He is drawn into the inner sanctum of the seraglio, the sultan's harem. Yashim must confront his own history and fear of Fevzi, who originally so cruelly trained him. It is a time of uncertainty after the death of the old sultan and the ascension of the new one. A backdrop to the plot i...more
Thank you Mr. Goodwin for going back to the formula with the first two books as this book was way better than the last one! This book was jam-packed with court intrigue, several mysteries to solve, action, adventure and just fantastic storytelling. The year is 1839 and it is a couple of weeks after the death of the old sultan. His 16 year old son, Abdulmecid has just become the new sultan and this means that the changing of the households have started. The harem of the old sultan must move to ma...more
A man is found murdered in an isolated monastery well after several monks report becoming ill. No identification is found but a small patch of skin has been removed under his arm. A woman from the sultan's orchestra dies from a miscarriage. Or was it? A pasha who was once Yashim's mentor disappears. Why did he disappear? A young boy runs away from a specialk school. Are any of these incidents connected? Can Yashim find the boy and solve the mystery of the deaths and the pasha's disappearance?

I received this book and a paperback copy of book #3 in the Yashim series from the publisher Farrar, Straus and Giroux, through Goodreads First Reads. I registered to win this book because I love historical fiction and the concept sounded interesting. It did not disappoint. However, the first two thirds of the book were extremely fragmented. Granted, I have not read the previous three books in the series but the unnecessary way the author jumped from character to character and plot line to plot...more
Read in conjunction with Arabesk for a book club, this was the "old" offering in the "then-and-now" theme, even though it was written more recently. Normally, I enjoy historical fiction mysteries, especially when they are set in countries or during time periods I don't know much about, but I had a very hard time with this one. I felt like I needed to have a deep understanding of Turkey's history before opening this book and was bogged down by all of the elements that were involved in the story....more
I, once again, enjoyed Yashim's workings in Istanbul. This one centered around the Kapudan (Captain) Pasha's defection, with his fleet, to Egypt. Actually, a lot of the focus was on the drama occurring in the new sultan's harem with the Kapudan Pasha's defection in the background even though everything ties together in the end. Every time I read one of his books, Mr. Goodwin makes me want to travel to Istanbul. It is intriguing how many different cultures made up Istanbul: the sultan's women wer...more
I'm not sure what it is about Jason Goodwin's writing, but I just can't get into it. I typically really enjoy books about Istanbul and Turkey (and we all know that I'm a sucker for historical fiction AND mystery novels), but I couldn't stay focused on "An Evil Eye." I felt like there were too many characters, and I had a hard time telling any of them apart. The action jumped from place to place, and the narrative didn't do a good job of indicating that time had passed or location had changed.

Jason Bean
If there's one series of books that I love reading over and over again it's Jason Goodwin's Turkish-detective Yashim stories. The tone of 'An Evil Eye' was grittier and much more thrilling than the previous books as Yashim seemed to be jumping from one conflict to the next. He's always been a great character but the personal stakes raised in 'An Evil eye' really flesh him out and I like how were seeing a much bolder and cynical side of Yashim. His cooking scenes are as delicious as ever (mmmmmm...more
c2011: FWFTB: Russian, harem, poison, Pasha intrigue. A nice gentle outing for Yashim and the first time that I took note of Yashim's background. The poor old Polish diplomat continues to appear with a number of colourful side characters. Interesting descriptions of the harem- I wonder how much was accurate. I did guess the bad 'un but not the reasons why etc. Recommended to the normal crew.
Anne Fenwick
The cover of my edition, and the blurb on the cover do not do the book any favors. When I picked it up at the library, I was expecting something pretty silly.

Then I saw that the author's academic background and personal history make it likely that he really knows his stuff when it comes to life in 19th century Istanbul.

In the end it turned out to be a fun Agatha Christie style mystery with a main protagonist who's as laid back as Hercule Poirot, a very well created setting and ... recipes. I tho...more
What a good writer Jason Goodwin is. This latest in the Yashim series is as well put together as each of the previous boooks in the series. Well plotted with well drawn and interesting characters, it is an extremely enjoyable and satisfying read. The recipes that occur throughout the book are not bad either.

Since Alexander McCall Smith introduced the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency a large number of writers have appeared on the scene with detectives in fairly exotic times and places. I would say t...more
Linda Harkins
Book four in the series featuring Yashim, eunuch detective for the sultan, is another enjoyable read but quite complex. Familiarity with Ottoman history and certain terms is a prerequisite for understanding the plot. Yali, caique,and the harem, all integral to nineteenth-century Turkish culture along the Bosphorus, are explored in more depth than in previous novels. I would suggest that the interested reader not spoil the other books by reading this one first, however, because Yashim's past hist...more
Yashim has returned to Istanbul where with the death of Sultan Mahmut II there is much turmoil, especially in the harem as the women of the old sultan are forced to leave to make way for the women of his young son.

There is a great deal of intrigue behind these closed doors and dear Yashim is caught up in them.

While I enjoyed this I did find it quite a complex story and with such a gap between this and #3 in the series, had rather lost touch with the language of the harem, so took a while to get...more
Matt Kuhns
This one was okay. I've read all of the books in this series, and will probably read the fifth when it appears; the fourth was entertaining enough.

But I hope the fifth will be a little less convoluted. Goodwin simply got carried away with players and plots in this one, for my taste. Either that, or I'm a dunce, but even toward the end when Yashim and Palewski sit down and for a relatively hamfisted summation and review of what happened I had difficulty following it. Not least because, even at th...more
Leo Africanus
Ok. I'll admit it. I'm addicted to this series - Reading well past midnight; dark rings under my eyes the size of shopping bags; an inability to just put the book down. And now I've read them all. Need to find some alternative Class A literature.
This is the fourth in a series by Jason Goodwin that features Yashim, a eunuch in 1930's Istanbul. I rather liked the first three books, and really am rather surprised that I did enjoy a historical mystery of this sort. The idea of harems and eunuchs are so far removed from what is comfortable to westerners. I very much like the character Yashim, and his unraveling of a mystery is done pretty well. However, I didn't think this latest installment was nearly as well written as The Janissary Tree,...more
Fourth in the series that features Yashim the Eunuch who is also a special investigator for the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire. Set in the declining years of the Ottoman Empire and the rule of a new sultan, Yashmin has yet the mystery of the murder of a Russian agent whose body was discovered in the well of a Greek Orthodox monastery. With his usual brilliance, Yashmin is able to unravel this mystery as well as several others. These books are a wonderful snapshot of the culture and intrigue of thi...more
Historical mystery fans should enjoy Goodwin's latest book. A lighter touch characterizes this series set in Istanbul of the the 1830s than the more atmospheric works of Jenny White featuring magistrate Kamil Pasha. Yashim the eunuch has escaped life in the Topkapi Palace to become a special investigator, and in this fourth book, he finds himself investigating the man who taught him his craft. Is Fevzi Ahmet Pasha a friend or foe to the new sultan and the Sublime Porte?

Others have remarked that...more
I love this series of mystery! Goodwin does an excellent job making 19th Century Istanbul come alive and he's created some great characters. This book maybe had a little too much plot going strands kept getting added, while others were left behind that when Goodwin ties them all up together in the end you have to flip back to remind yourself of what he's talking about. But even so I thoroughly enjoyed the read. These books have a similar style to the mysteries of Akunin Boris
Another great book featuring Inspector Yashim. Two interesting things: in the 1820s the Admiral of the Ottoman Navy, Fevzi Ahmet Pasha, took the Ottoman Navy to Egypt. Second, there may have been a French Caribbean-raised woman in the sultan's harem around that time. That lady may have been a cousin of Josefina- Napoleon's wife. Of course, there is no clear evidence about it...but it may have happened. Overall a relaxing, good book.The Polish Ambassador is at his best and the Princes' Islands ar...more
Mar 10, 2014 Tom marked it as to-read
Shelves: turkey, g
Steven Bragg
The Yashim the Detective series is so good that I give it a minimum automatic four stars every time. The writing is fine, the descriptions of meals prepared are mouth-watering, and the descriptions of life in Istanbul are superb. The only issue I had with this book was that the story lines were very far apart, and only gradually came together, resulting in what appeared to be a more confusing story than should have been the case. Recommended despite this quibble.
Murat Aydogdu
Another fun read from Goodwin, this book, the fourth and the latest in the series, focuses on Harem. The usual killings and misteries are all here. The food is as delicious sounding as ever. Yashim, the main character, is still very clever, able, and amazing as he tries to figure out a complicated plot. The Harem life of Sultan's women doesn't sound very glamorous though. It looks like a new book is in the works. I look forward to it.
Mary Lou
This is the fourth in the series set in the Ottoman Empire of the 1830’s - and a blessed return to the sure touch of the first two. Goodwin is on familiar ground when he stays in Istanbul, unlike the segue into Venice in the last book. Lots of political intrigue - in the government and in the harem - and more of Yashim’s amazing cooking. I’d love to have him cook for me - especially the complicated sounding stuffed mackeral!
I never figure out who dunnit in Goodwin's books. I emailed the author though to suggest he add a glossary though since he uses terms from the time period and the region that are unfamiliar. He immediately responded that others had suggested that too. He also sent me a historic map of Istanbul which really does add to reading his books set there. His works remind me of Dorothy Sayer's mysteries.
Set in Istanbul during the early 19th century, this book is a combination mystery/political thriller. A new sultan has ascended to the throne, and a number of strange deaths occur in his household. At the same time, one of his advisors appears set to defect with a large part of the Ottoman navy. The author creates a fast-moving plot as well as including lots of historical detail to evoke the period.
I know I read one of this series before. The characters and writing are strong. An agent of the Ottoman Empire calmly moves through Istanbul and solves crimes with political implications. 1830's. This one was a bit slow, but JG brings an another world to life. Most of this story is centered around a harem. The main character, the agent, is a eunuch. So he's allowed in.
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book tour 1 6 Mar 06, 2011 05:11PM  
  • Arabesk (Cetin Ikmen, #3)
  • The Sultan's Seal (Kamil Pasha, #1)
  • The Death of Achilles (Erast Fandorin Mysteries, #4)
  • The Taint of Midas
  • Albert Nobbs
  • The Darkening Field (Captain Alexei Dimitrevich Korolev, #2)
  • Saturnalia (Marcus Didius Falco, #18)
  • A Death in the Venetian Quarter (Fools' Guild, #3)
  • Murder by Tradition (Kate Delafield, #4)
  • The Shadow of the Soul (The Dog-Faced Gods, #2)
  • Interrupted Aria (Tito Amato, #1)
  • A Death in Norfolk (Captain Lacey Regency Mysteries, #7)
  • Caveat Emptor (Gaius Petreius Ruso, #4)
  • Ax (87th Precinct, #18)
  • No Dark Place (Medieval Mystery, #1)
  • A Spectacle of Corruption (Benjamin Weaver, #2)
  • Cézanne's Quarry
Jason Goodwin 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 encounter the new European neighbours. His account of the journey, On Foot to the Golden Hor...more
More about Jason Goodwin...
The Janissary Tree (Yashim the Eunuch, #1) The Snake Stone (Yashim the Eunuch, #2) The Bellini Card (Yashim the Eunuch, #3) Lords of the Horizons: A History of the Ottoman Empire On Foot to the Golden Horn: A Walk to Istanbul

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