The Bellini Card (Yashim the Eunuch Series #3)

The Bellini Card (Yashim the Eunuch Series #3)

by Jason Goodwin
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The Bellini Card (Yashim the Eunuch Series #3) by Jason Goodwin

Investigator Yashim travels to Venice in the latest installment of the Edgar® Award–winning author Jason Goodwin's captivating historical mystery series

Jason Goodwin's first Yashim mystery, The Janissary Tree, brought home the Edgar® Award for Best Novel. His follow-up, The Snake Stone, more than lived up to expectations and was hailed by Marilyn Stasio in The New York Times Book Review as "a magic carpet ride to the most exotic place on earth." Now, in The Bellini Card, Jason Goodwin takes us back into his "intelligent, gorgeous and evocative" (The Independent on Sunday) world, as dazzling as a hall of mirrors and utterly compelling.

Istanbul, 1840: the new sultan, Abdülmecid, has heard a rumor that Bellini's vanished masterpiece, a portrait of Mehmet the Conqueror, may have resurfaced in Venice. Yashim, our eunuch detective, is promptly asked to investigate, but — aware that the sultan's advisers are against any extravagant repurchase of the painting — decides to deploy his disempowered Polish ambassador friend, Palewski, to visit Venice in his stead. Palewski arrives in disguise in down-and-out Venice, where a killer is at large as dealers, faded aristocrats, and other unknown factions seek to uncover the whereabouts of the missing Bellini.

But is it the Bellini itself that endangers all, or something associated with its original loss? And why is it that all the killer's victims are somehow tied to the alluring Contessa d'Aspi d'Istria? Will the Austrians unmask Palewski, or will the killer find him first? Only Yashim can uncover the truth behind the manifold mysteries.

The Paperback Edition Includes an Author Interview, Bonus Inspector Yashim Recipe, and an Excerpt from the Next Inspector Yashim Mystery, An Evil Eye

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780374110390
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Publication date: 03/03/2009
Series: Yashim the Eunuch Series , #3
Pages: 304
Product dimensions: 6.32(w) x 9.18(h) x 1.06(d)

About the Author

JASON GOODWIN is the Edgar Award–winning author of the Investigator Yashim series. The first five books—The Janissary Tree, The Snake Stone, The Bellini Card, An Evil Eye, and The Baklava Club—have been published to international acclaim, alongside Yashim Cooks Istanbul, a cookbook of Ottoman Turkish recipes inspired by the series. Goodwin studied Byzantine history at Cambridge and is the author of Lords of the Horizons: A History of the Ottoman Empire, among other award-winning nonfiction. He lives with his wife and children in England.

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The Bellini Card (Yashim the Eunuch Series #3) 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 13 reviews.
harstan More than 1 year ago
The Bellini Card Jason Goodwin FSG, Mar 3 2009, $25.00 ISBN: 9780374110390 In 1840, the new Ottoman Empire Sultan Abdulmecid orders the eunuch Yashim to travel to Venice to obtain a portrait of Mehmet the Conqueror painted by Bellini. However, before leaving for Italy, Resid Pasha directs Yashim to keep the expenses including the purchase down. Yashim asks his friend impoverish Polish Ambassador Stanislaw Palewski to masquerade as an American to help locate the portrait of the hero who took Constantinople from the Christians in the fifteenth century. In Venice while Palewski conducts his search, a killer has murdered two dealers connected to the Bellini masterpiece. Soon the Polish Ambassador becomes a target of this unknown murderer, but Yashim working from the shadows keeps his friend safe while trying to obtain the painting. The third Yashmin historical thriller (see THE JANISSARY TREE and THE SNAKE STONE) is an enjoyable fascinating look at Venice and at the Ottoman Empire. Interestingly Yashim plays second fiddle for much of the early part of the novel, but once he comes on stage, he and his adversary battle in am electrifying contest. Fans will enjoy this terific nineteenth century mystery due in part to the investigations into the portrait and the killer, but also because of the deep sense of time and place. Harriet Klausner
eagle3tx More than 1 year ago
The best yet. I have read all of the series and continue to recommend to friends -- a little trouble convincing them to give it a try considering the main character is a eunuch. I am fascinated by the historical perspective -- so much I didn't know about the 1830s in Istanbul. I find myself doing google earth to see the locations covered in the books. The author has a truly winning and novel approach, and the characters have grown on me in each succeeding book. Thank you to Jason Goodwin for the time I've spend reading the books.
Tennesseedog More than 1 year ago
Another enjoyable mystery from this young writer. Here, Mr. Goodwin takes us to Venice to solve a puzzle which seems straightforward enough but turns into a suspenseful riddle. The familiar Turkish operative of the Sultan in Istanbul in the early 19th Century, Yashim, matches wits with an interesting array of Venetian characters as well as villans from Austria-Hungary and his hometown of Istanbul. The mystery of the Bellini painting and the interwoven story of the Contessa make for a pleasurable reading experience. Expect that Mr. Goodwin will throw in some of his usual delightful literary touches. From the use of Italian phrases and informative descriptions of Venetian history and architecture to the little things such as Yashim's cooking and sleuthing, this makes for a pleasant ride on the Grand Canal. There even are some surprises with Yashim's pal, Polish Palewski, getting top billing in the mystery and Yashim getting physical with the Contessa. Not bad for a eunuch. This is the third in the series and the books continue to evolve with more information on Yashim and his early years plus a new Sultan and further adventures sure to follow. A quick read and worth spending the time with.
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I enjoyed the descriptive nature of the writing. I haven't run across a book with so many (120) short chapters (one has just 96 words!). There was good character development of the major characters, leading you to think that you had a good sense of how they all fit in, until, that is, near the end, when the complexities are revealed. I thought there was a bit much of deus ex machina stuff going on, but the overall effect was good. I did get some sense of how Venice fits together, though I have never been there. And the historical connections were interesting - it makes me wonder how much of that was accurate history and hoe much was fiction - perhaps I'll have to check the history books about that!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Jason Goodwin's cleverness and originality shine in the Yashim books. I don't ordinarily read mysteries or detective novels, but these are a lot of fun, and I am learning a lot about the Ottoman Empire in the 19th century. You'll be surprised how sexy a eunuch can be.