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

3.82  ·  Rating details ·  806 Ratings  ·  101 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 E
Hardcover, 287 pages
Published March 29th 2011 by Sarah Crichton Books (first published 2011)
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Fans of Agatha Christie and Arthur Conan Doyle may find much to appreciate in this short series of mysteries by Jason Goodwin. They are set in Istanbul, at the tail-end of Ottoman rule. Our detective is a eunuch named Yashim who's on-call to the sultan for those stickier investigations that require discretion and dispatch. His physical deficiency provides him unique access to the hidden world of the harem where, through the odd twist or turn, information can frequently be unearthed. He has a gre ...more
Jul 02, 2013 rated it it was ok
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
Mar 19, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: gialli
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
Kerry Hennigan
I have enjoyed the three Investigator Yashim novels that precede An Evil Eye, so when I finally got my hands on this one, I plunged right into it, expecting to enjoy it.

And I did - to a point. At some point the complexity of characters, locations and plot lost me sufficiently for me to put it aside in favour of another book. When I later returned to Goodwin's novel, I read through to the end, and felt somewhat satisfied at the outcome.

For me Goodwin's descriptions of Istanbul are what most compe
Sep 29, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I don't know why others are complainig about the plot it was so intersting and twisting so surprisingly that I have even suspected a child to be a serial killer. / Ciekawa akcja, intryga w haremie genialnie poprowadzona - podejrzewalam nawet dziecko o bycie morderca. A i Palewski nie jest już tym ciamajdowatym polskim ambasadorem tylko dajacym celne wskazowki z zewnatrz- mila odmiana po "The Bellini card".
Hart Roussel
Jul 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The best of the series so far

An Evil Eye is the best of the Investigator Yashim series so far. Istanbul and Ottoman Palace intrigue seemed so much more vivid. Most importantly, Yashim's character development takes a major leap as the reader begins to understand the hidden history and motivations of Yashim.
Nov 09, 2014 rated it liked it
Decent and enjoyable light reading if you're into Ottoman intrigue.
Sep 22, 2017 rated it liked it
I love Jason Goodwin's books on Istanbul. They evoke the smells, sights and sounds of the 19th century in one of the most fascinating cities in the world. Goodwin's unerring ability to conjure up people and scenes was undermined in this Yashim investigation by convoluted plot-lines, and too many characters who made appearances, then disappeared to reappear later. There is much intrigue in the Sultan's palace, among the functionaries who collect reports from far-flung corners of the Ottoman Empir ...more
Stefano Bittasi
Sempre bellissima lettura, storicamente accurata e capace di farti entrare nell'Istanbul del XIX secolo. Per chi ama questa città e conosce un po' della sua storia e di quella della fine dell'Impero Ottomano Goodwin è veramente una goduria. E' però vero che questo quarto episodio delle vicende di Yashim è un po' più arzigogolato e difficile da seguire delle precedenti (con alcune pagine veramente inutili come quelle dell' "uomo col coltello"). I nomi poi sono talvolta così simili l'uno all'altro ...more
Jason X
Jan 04, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2017
Kind of a 19th Century Turkish Sherlock Holmes meets Jack Ryan story. A Turkish to English dictionary is recommended for some of the vocabulary. The story/plot was not the best. What holds the book up are the Characters of the city of Istanbul, the culture, the food, and the Ottoman history. The author recreates an amazing lively world on the page.

I will probably read another, likely the first in the Yashim series. I felt like I jumped into a movie where I missed the first half.
Mar 01, 2017 rated it it was ok
This was my least favorite in the series.
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
Kimberly Ann
Jan 25, 2016 rated it liked it
Minus 1/2 for being confusing..... There were just too many separate stories, I never really knew who was whom, the plot was twisty. The story was not seamless, while one person was doing one thing then next chapter was about someone else, even at the end there was a gap. I knew who everyone was, but there was so much "Mystery" that I never put all the pieces (fragments, really) all together..... But I really did like the historical background of the Ottomans & the countries that stood to be ...more
Feb 13, 2017 rated it liked it
I loved all the background descriptions of Istanbul. The mystery itself gets a bit convoluted.
Aug 03, 2011 rated it liked it
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
Sep 18, 2014 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
Oct 28, 2013 rated it really liked it
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?

Dec 31, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: adult, mystery, historical
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
Sep 30, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Apr 26, 2012 rated it it was ok
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.

May 31, 2013 rated it really liked it
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
Feb 26, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
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
Dennis Fischman
May 25, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction, mystery
I like Yashim, the investigator, as a character, and we learn more about his past in this book (and get a hint of the personal mystery he will be trying to solve next). The book also presents a bit of history and a lot of the social dynamics of the Ottoman court, especially from the women's point of view. And a detective story, it works. There are details you couldn't fill in by yourself until they're explained, but all the main plot elements are there to be noticed and deduced.

My objection to t
Linda Harkins
Aug 01, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
David Fox
Dec 23, 2016 rated it really liked it
I first heard of Yashim when I was looking for recipes for lamb kebabs. He is a detective employed by the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire and coincidently loves eating good food. I started with the 4th novel in the series which I should not have done because the author, Mr. Goodwin, liberally uses Turkish phrases and words throughout the book which left me confused for some stretches of the book. Keeping track of characters and learning a new vocabulary was difficult but the reason I stuck with it ...more
Matt Kuhns
Dec 20, 2012 rated it liked it
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
Apr 02, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2014
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
May 11, 2011 rated it liked it
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
Nov 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Sono innamorato del Medio-Oriente e mi piacciono i gialli. Goodwin scrive gialli storici ambientati a Istanbul. Già basterebbe questo. Ma in più scrive benissimo ed ha la capacità di far rivivere le atmosfere della capitale dell'Impero d'Oriente. Leggendo le aventure di Yashim si rivedono Ayasofya, le stradine di Sultanhamet, i caffè con le sheesha ed il Topkapi con l'harem ancora popolato dalle donne del sultano. In più le vicende sono un susseguirsi di colpi di scena e di sorprese, con alcuni ...more
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book tour 1 6 Mar 06, 2011 05:11PM  
  • Arabesk (Cetin Ikmen, #3)
  • Forex Frontiers "The Essentials of Currency Trading"
  • The Piccadilly Plot (Thomas Chaloner, #7)
  • The Sultan's Seal (Kamil Pasha, #1)
  • Любовник смерти (Erast Fandorin Mysteries, #9)
  • The Smoke
  • The Death of Achilles (Erast Fandorin Mysteries, #4)
  • The Darkening Field (Captain Alexei Dimitrevich Korolev, #2)
  • Saturnalia (Marcus Didius Falco, #18)
  • The Taint of Midas (The Greek Detective #2)
  • The Namesake (Commissario Alec Blume #3)
  • The Fugitive King (Professor Simon Shaw, #3)
  • Death and the Maiden  (Liebermann Papers, #6)
  • Albert Nobbs
  • A Death in Norfolk (Captain Lacey, #7)
  • Cézanne's Quarry
  • Interrupted Aria (Tito Amato, #1)
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)
  • The Baklava Club (Yashim the Eunuch #5)