Review & Giveaway: Divorce Turkish Style by Esmahan Aykol Translated by Ruth Whitehouse

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About Divorce Turkish Style

Kati owns Istanbul’s only mystery book store and, as usual, gets involved in a case that is none of her business. Every day, a beautiful woman lunches alone in the restaurant next to the bookstore. When the woman is found dead in her apartment, Kati immediately recognizes the stranger from the restaurant in images in the newspaper photos. Although the police believe it was an accident, Kati suspects something more sinister has happened. Sani Ankaraligil was an attractive young woman, in the middle of a divorce from her wealthy husband and a politically active ecologist. So who would benefit from her death? The industrial companies Sani had accused of polluting the rivers of Western Turkey, or her jealous husband seeking revenge through an honor killing, or a Thracian separatist group? The investigation pulls Kati into the murkiest of waters.

My Review

The mystery aspect was mild. The search for the culprit(s) is slow and as expected enlightening. The victim was a distant acquaintance of Kati’s and as she peels back the layers and inner circle of this woman’s life things become very interesting as secrets and possible motives are exposed. The drawn out narrative can drag a bit, however Kati’s often brash personality keeps you entertained. Fofo, Kati’s best friend and fellow amateur gumshoe have their share of witty repartee allowing for plenty of chuckles. Momentum ebbs and flows, other scenarios interrupt causing minuscule subplots.

Kati Hirschel possesses a strong personality. At times she grates on your nerves with her jagged edges, other times her edges are smooth and you appreciate her softer side. I have a better grasp of her by the end of the book, although the road was bumpy. Once you learn of her past, concerns, and there is enough presented, you understand this fiercely independent, strong woman much better.

The fact Kati is the owner of the only crime/mystery book store in Istanbul is clever. She reads so much crime she’s confident she can solve local crimes of merit, and she does. Kati is so adept at sleuthing she impresses the police, in fact they quasi consult her, adding to her over abundant level of confidence.

Another interesting aspect I enjoyed, seeing Turkey through Kati’s eyes. Kati is an expatriate from Germany, still adjusting to Turkish ways and people despite residing in Turkey for quite some time. Interesting to learn the intricacies of Turkey along with Kati as well as her comparisons of Germany vs. Turkey.

Mild mystery filled with numerous and electric characters. A few surprises along the way to solving the murder. I was off base as to the culprit, which was welcomed. Not until the very very end did all the pieces come together. Kati and Fofo will entertain you both on and off the case. Given Turkish is a difficult language to translate I found the translation strong. I still wish I could read every language to fully experience each story in their original tongue.

This is the third book in a series. I have not read the previous books, however it did not deter from my reading experience. This book is fine as a standalone, although bits and pieces of the previous books are scattered throughout the narrative gleaning enough insight into previous exploits protagonist has been involved in.

About Esmahan Aykolimage

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 four Kati Hirschel mystery novels. Hotel Bosphorus and Baksheesh are the first two and have been published in eight languages.

Giveaway

Enter to win a copy of Divorce Turkish Style by Esmahan Aykol. US residents only. Ends 12/9/15
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Published November 3rd 2015 by Bitter Lemon Press (first published October 13th 2015)

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