Title: An Oriental Murder by Jane Bastin
Publisher: Crooked Cat Books
Date Published: 12th July 2018
The Pera Palas hotel in Istanbul, Turkey plays host to the Agatha Christie Writers’ Congress when real life imitates fiction. The bodies of the Prime Minister and his occasional mistress are found dead in one of the hotel’s locked rooms surrounded by bodyguards. Seemingly, no one could get in or out, and yet…
Inspector Sinan Kaya is convinced that foreign agents are culpable, and that the murders are linked to the recent spate of killings of Turkish government officials.
Within this complicated, crime riddled city, Sinan Kaya’s moral compass never falters. Not concerned with threats of dismissal from the force, he cuts his own path through the investigation, determined to uncover the truth.
An Oriental Murder is a tale of espionage and murder set against the backdrop of beautiful Istanbul, the ancient city where east and west meet.
The Agatha Christie Writers convention is in full swing at The Pera Palas Hotel in Istanbul when the Prime Minister and his mistress are found dead without anyone entering or exiting the room.
A tired and overworked Inspector Sinan Kaya is called to the scene and is immediately confronted by a group of amateur detectives wanting to solve the case. Only this might not be the only murder. A string of Turkish officials have been found mutilated and dumped down alleyways in the sketchier parts of the city. Can Sinan stop this killer before they strike again.
This is a fast paced, action packed mystery with plenty of intriguing characters set against the exotic backdrop of Istanbul.
The city of Istanbul was almost a character in its own right. So full of contradictions! You have the strict Muslim, tradition aspects rubbing up against the more liberal western ideas.
Inspector Sinan is quite an intense character. He’s in his thirties, unmarried (much to the disappointment of his mother) surrounded by a police station that seems to be crumbling to bits and a senior officer Haris intent on making his job harder. The only thing he really seems to enjoy is his food. The book is packed to the brim of delicious sounding food and made me feel quite hungry while I was reading it.
I did feel that there was a few plot holes and the romance aspect of the story seemed a forced. We hear that someone called Ani was part of his life and it doesn’t really explain who she was and what happened to her but that Bea, his love interest in the book, reminds him of her. Then again, Bea herself is not all that likeable, looking for husband number six.
I would recommend this to mystery lovers who like a well researched and vivid setting with an interesting cast of characters.
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Author Bio –
Jane is a storyteller, writer, traveller and educator. Having lived and worked for over thirty years in Turkey, Jane has amassed a breadth of experiences that have led to the writing of the Sinan Kaya series of novels. Of course all characters and events are fictitious!
Fluent in both English and Turkish, Jane writes in both languages and has had a range of articles published in Turkish periodicals and magazines alongside British newspapers.
Jane now divides her time between rainy Devon and sunny Turkey,
Social Media Links – https://twitter.com/JaneJanebastin