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How interesting this is, Danielle. I am loving the fact that so many mysteries can take you to countries and places that are unfamiliar and yet, the reader still gets to experience a mystery. Lovely.

I'll be looking for this one for sure. Thanks for putting it on my radar. I got a book in this last week that is set in the Arctic with an Inuit detective. Fun, fun.


This does sound good.

I have a couple of books from Bitter Lemon on my shelf (Thursday Night Wives and The Lie), and I really look forward to reading those. Almost all the books in their catalog intrigue me.


Kay--I wonder if I have the same book set in Alaska--I can't recall the name of the author but I think it is a Soho Press book. It does sound good if it's the one I'm thinking of! And I like getting a taste of other cultures via crime novels--as strange as that sounds. I'd love to read more of Aykol's books and see how Kati develops as a character.
Teresa--I really like Bitter Lemon Press and will buy just about whatever I find that they publish. I loved Thursday Night Widows, which was made into a film (though I'm not sure if it ever became available here). I think I saw somewhere that another of her books is going to be published in English, by the way. I have The Lie partially read--I started struggling with it--maybe the translation? I do want to finish though as I want to find out how it ends! I would love to hear what you think of it!


Sounds like an answer to Arjouni's novels in which he writes about a Turkish sleuth in Frankfurt. It mirrors a reality that is important to know. Berlin is, I think after Ankara or Istanbul, the biggest Turkish city. In some parts of the town everything is written in two languages. There is a huge emerging cultural production of young Turkish/German authors and filmmakers. Some of the movies move from Berlin to Istanbul and back. Anyhow, this sounds like a highly entertaining read, more so even because I'm planning on going to Istanbul. It's high on my travel wish list. I've only been in Turkey once for a day. Thanks for the discovery. I'll order it right away.


Ah so this was what you were reading! Yes, it does sound most intriguing, although it also sounds like the situation was beautifully done and the crime a little less so (so often the case in a first of a series). I will definitely look out for it and I keep meaning to check out Bitter Lemons Press - they do seem to have a really interesting and unusual list.


This is a mystery I would like to read too. Few years ago I read a novel by a Dutch author situated in Istanbul, it must be a beautiful city and until I can go there in person a story will do very well!


Interesting review, thanks. This book is on my list as I aim to read all those eligible for the International Dagger (translated crime fiction) each year. However, I'd read a review of this novel which had put me off, it sounds much better from your review!

Bitter Lemon is a good press, I agree. Thursday Night Widows (mentioned by Teresa) is very good indeed, set in Argentina it is a funny but telling social satire of the country club set. The Lie I did not enjoy, certainly compared with the author's brilliant The Sinner which was published a year earlier by Bitter Lemon. That was one of the best, and most harrowing, crime novels I've ever read, and I have read more than a few.


This sounds pretty good for a crime novel ;)


That sounds like a wonderful new addition to the crime/cozy mystery genre. I'll have to watch for this when it comes out, as the setting sounds fascinating as well.


Well this is a must for my reading list! I've read a couple of Bitter Lemon Press books and I also have been impressed.


Caroline--Do you know if Arjouni's novels have been translated into English? I like the sound of them. It would be fun to read this before or right after a trip to Istanbul as she talks a lot about places, which would be much more meaningful if you had some frame of reference to the city. Still, it was nice just imagining the place. It's interesting to think of Berlin as having so many Turkish immigrants, but probably not really considering how many guest workers they have had. The film that was being made in the novel was just as you mention--German actors/production company telling a Turkish story.
Litlove--I really like Bitter Lemon Press--I've enjoyed the books I've read they publish and have a number on my TBR pile. The mystery plot could have been stronger, but still it was an entertaining read--very off the beaten path in terms of my usual mystery choices, so a nice change of pace.
Catharina--I'd love to travel there as well. It seems so exotic to me as I know very little about it culturally. This was a nice taste and I'd be curious to know how much it really reflects Istanbul society.
Maxine--I've not yet read any other reviews of the book. I did enjoy it, but it was very much a first novel and I can see where another reader might be critical of certain aspects of it. I think it's a series that shows promise--perhaps it's the exoticism of the place but she did convey that very well--very quirky main character however. I loved Thursday Night Widows and it seems as though I read somewhere that another book by her (Pineiro) was being translated into English (hopefully am not imagining that). So far The Lie is the only clunker that I've come across with Bitter Lemon Press--I love the premise, but...maybe if it had been shorter? I'll give The Sinners a try.
Stefanie--As crime novels go, it wasn't too bad. It makes me want to go to Istanbul. Though I must say she didn't spend as much time reading as I expected...too busy questioning suspects I guess.
Kathy--I was sort of expecting something dark and noirish--but it was a little humorous--an amateur sleuth getting mixed up in murder sort of situation.
Iliana--I need to decide which book to read next from my Bitter Lemon pile!


Yes, I checked, they have been translated. The first one would be Happy Birthday, Turk. He is compared to Chandler, btw. It's quite good only I don't think the Turkish part is that strong. Kayanka, the PI, is fairly assimilated.
Arjouni writes much more literary fiction by now and is decidedly one of the most interesting voices of German literature. Maybe I should write a post?


Sorry, the name of the PI is Kayankaya.

Dorothy W.

This sounds really fun. Interesting that Kati is a bookstore owner specializing in crime who works on cases on the side. That's the same set-up as Colin Bateman's Mystery Man, but I'm sure the two books are quite different!


Caroline--Thanks for the author/title. His books are available over here so I will try the first one. It'll be interesting to compare the two authors. Do write about Arjouni--I would love to hear more about his work. I think only his crime novels are available, but maybe his other work will be translated as well.
Dorothy--It was a fun read and different than my usual mysteries. Kati did not spend much time in her bookshop I must say, but I put it down to her sleuthing and a more laid back way of life I am assuming they might have in Istanbul. I think the two are probably very different, but not a bad thing at all! :) It's a fun set up for a mystery book.


I'm so jealous of your review copy! I hope my library gets this one when it's realised; you had me at the first line. ;)


Eva--I should clarify--Kati is very much a modern woman (though 'nosy' like Miss Marple). Really, though, Miss Marple is quite forward thinking but I think she is and still would always be very prim and proper! I was very lucky indeed to get an advance copy of this and would like to read more by some Turkish authors now!

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