Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Pg. 69: Jason Goodwin's "The Bellini Card"

The current feature at the Page 69 Test: The Bellini Card by Jason Goodwin.

About the book, from the publisher:
Istanbul, 1840: the new sultan, Abdulmecid, has heard a rumor that Bellini’s vanished masterpiece—a portrait of Mehmed the Conqueror—may have resurfaced in Venice. Yashim, our eunuch detective, is promptly sent 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-at-the-heel 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 how is it that all of 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 to the manifold mysteries.

Jason Goodwin’s first Yashim mystery, The Janissary Tree, brought home the Edgar Award for Best Novel. His second, The Snake Stone, more than lived up to expectations. In The New York Times Book Review, Marilyn Stasio hailed it 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” (Independent on Sunday) world, as dazzling as a hall of mirrors and utterly compelling.
Preview The Bellini Card, and learn more about Jason Goodwin and his work at his website and blog.

The Page 69 Test: The Snake Stone.

My Book, The Movie: The Snake Stone.

The Page 69 Test: The Bellini Card.

--Marshal Zeringue