21 January 2014

Review: HOTEL BOSPHORUS, Esmahan Aykol

  • format: Kindle (Amazon)
  • File Size: 344 KB
  • Print Length: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Bitter Lemon Press (June 21, 2011)
  • First published in Turkish 2001
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • translated from Turkish by Ruth Whitehouse
  • ASIN: B004S22AFE
Synopsis (Amazon)

Katie Hirschel is the proud owner of Istanbul’s only mystery bookshop. When the director of a film starring an old school friend is found murdered in his hotel Katie starts her own maverick investigation.

After all her friend Petra is the police’s principal
suspect and reading all those detective novels must have taught Katie something.

About the author

Esmahan Aykol: Esmahan Aykol was born in 1970 in Edirne, Turkey. She lives in Istanbul and Berlin. During her law studies she was a journalist for a number of Turkish publications and radio stations. After a stint as a bartender she turned to fiction writing. She has written three Katie Hirschel novels. Hotel Bosphorus is the first and has been published in Turkish, German, French and soon in Italian.

My Take

A note from the publisher at the end of the novel gratefully acknowledges financial assistance from the Arts Council of England and the Ministry of Culture and Tourism in Turkey.

Without doubt a murder mystery, this novel is also about the interlinking of Turkish and German cultures in particular.

The central amateur detective is German born Turkish citizen Kati Hirschel, owner of a book shop in Istanbul that specialises in crime fiction. She is in her early 40s, has a mother living in Germany, and relishes the opportunity to use her knowledge of real life detection gleaned from her reading.

Kati becomes involved in the murder when her good friend actress Petra comes to Istanbul to make a film about a 19th century Sultan's wife. Petra is an unlikely fit for the main role, and Kati is surprised when she discovers that the director is almost unknown. This director is later murdered, electrocuted when a radiator is thrown into his bath. Petra is immediately a suspect for the murder.

The style of the novel is a little unusual. The younger voice of the narrator made it a surprise when I discovered her chula age. She does a good job of describing life in Istanbul. (She describes herself as an Istanbulli). Tourism is well established between Turkey and Germany, and so it is not unusual to find cultural connections such as film making.

A good choice for the 2014 Global Reading Challenge.

My rating: 4.3

1 comment:

Irene said...

I've never read a book set in Istanbul. thanks.


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