Divorce Turkish Style (Kati Hirschel Istanbul Murder Mystery) by Esmahan Aykol
|Divorce Turkish Style (Kati Hirschel Istanbul Murder Mystery) by Esmahan Aykol|
|Reviewer: Ani Johnson|
|Summary: Kati Hirschel, owner of the only crime book shop in Istanbul is back in another murder mystery. Invitingly chatty and insightful in style, riveting in content and, this time out, one for the ladies!|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 228||Date: September 2015|
|Publisher: Bitter Lemon Press|
Kati Hirschel still owns Istanbul's only crime book shop while still supplying bed and board to her former lover, Spanish lawyer Fofo. When Fofo dramatically points out the news report surrounding a young political activist's natural death, Kati doesn't pay much attention. But then she realises that the face of victim Sani is familiar, she double takes. There again this is nothing compared to Kati's next realisation: this death may not have been that natural.
Turkish author Esmahan Aykol brings back German born/Turkish adopted Kati Hirschel for the third time in an English translation. If you aren't familiar with Kati, think a younger German-in-Turkey Miss Marple mingled with the delicious informality of The No1 Ladies Detective Agency.
Once again Kati's non-Turkish origins making her our ideal guide to local ideas, sites and customs. In enabling Kati to turn away from the story for a moment from time to time, so that she can explain or point out something to us, Esmahan's excellent evocation of place shines through. For instance we're surprised by Kati's surprise when the café tea boy doesn't attend to her immediately she sets foot over the café threshold. Then we're out and out shocked when we hear about Turkish divorce law. In fact at times the murder becomes a sub-plot as more routine matters take centre stage; an observation rather than a complaint as it all adds to the layers of undoubted interest.
Fofo (the lawyer with the unlawyerish nickname) continues to use Kati's flat as a base in between gay assignations (gay in all senses of the word) but from time to time he comes in useful for more than his mischievous roguishness.
Sani, our murder victim becomes more interesting to both of them the more they discover. As well as seeking a divorce, she was an environmentalist which provides a window on the real life water pollution problems in the Thrace region of Turkey. Here Esmahan demonstrates a lightness of touch, avoiding the environmental soap box and leaving us to extrapolate our own conclusions. In treating us like adults she also makes it more dramatic.
The environment is obviously a cross-gender issue but other areas of this novel seem more female orientated. We look at the plight of the Turkish women with a 'sisters together' feel that may not appeal as much to the chaps.
For those of us who have become fans with concerns for Kati's happiness, the epilogue finishes on a nice little teaser. So here's to the next time; I'm looking forward to it.
(Thank you to the good folk at Bitter Lemon Press for providing us with a copy for review.)
Further Reading: If you've enjoyed this and are looking for more Kati Hirschels to read, try Baksheesh. If you're already a fan, then why not take the opportunity to revisit another informal but excellent murder mystery, yes the aforementioned The No 1 Ladies Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith.
You can read more book reviews or buy Divorce Turkish Style (Kati Hirschel Istanbul Murder Mystery) by Esmahan Aykol at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy Divorce Turkish Style (Kati Hirschel Istanbul Murder Mystery) by Esmahan Aykol at Amazon.com.
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