The Baklava Club, with Jason Goodwin

'When you read a historical mystery by Jason Goodwin,' writes Marylin Stasio in The New York Times Book Review, 'you take a magic carpet ride to the most exotic place on earth.'


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In 2007, Jason Goodwin’s The Janissary Tree, set in Ottoman Istanbul in 1836, won the coveted Edgar Award for Best Novel. Translated into more than 40 languages, the series concludes with this fifth and final adventure, The Baklava Club...

Three naïve Italian liberals, exiled in Istanbul, have bungled their instructions to kill a Polish prince—instead, they’ve kidnapped him.

Personal loyalties and friendships are caught up in conspiracy and power struggles that shape the course of Europe's future.

But the real star of these adventures is Istanbul itself. As a Telegraph reviewer wrote: ‘From 'the frozen dream of a garden' of the imperial throne room to the stinking tanneries, the city lives in the paint of the kocek dancers, the hiss of a veil behind a lattice, the bedraggled splendour of the embassies, and its history is as intriguing as Yashim's race to save it.’

In the words of Michael Bywater:

‘Yashim's primary relationship is with the city itself, an organic, tentacular, lavish, reeking, nourishing creature: alive, as few cities of fiction have lived since Charles Dickens's London... And it is an astonishingly sensual world: the cooking smells and the bathhouse steam, the dark tekkes beneath the looming fire-towers, the mint tea and the morning mists, the sounds and smells of the markets, and, above all, the universal human intricacy of Istanbul.’

So come and hear about the art of writing, the process of historical research & how to marry the two, from a world-famous master of the genre.

BAKLAVA will, naturally, be served!!


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Jason Goodwin

Jason's studied Byzantine history at Cambridge University - and returned to an old obsession to write The Gunpowder Gardens or, A Time For Tea: Travels in China and India in Search of Tea, which was shortlisted for the Thomas Cook Award.

When the Berlin Wall fell, he walked from Poland to Istanbul to encounter the new European neighbours. His account of the journey, On Foot to the Golden Horn, won the John Llewellyn Rhys/Mail on Sunday Prize in 1993.

His first Yashim mystery, The Janissary Tree, won the 2007 Edgar Allan Poe Award and became an international bestseller. His books have been translated into over forty languages. He lives in Dorset with his wife Kate and their four children.




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2015Martin Keeley