Kati Hirschel Murder Mystery: Hotel Bosphorus by Esmahan Aykol and Ruth Whitehouse (translator)
|Kati Hirschel Murder Mystery: Hotel Bosphorus by Esmahan Aykol and Ruth Whitehouse (translator)|
|Reviewer: Louise Laurie|
|Summary: The book's location is Istanbul in Turkey. German Kati has been living in the city for many years and loves it. She feels as if her life at the moment is fine: she runs a crime bookshop - the only crime bookshop in the city, has a nice apartment and is able to pay the bills. Okay, her love life could do with a bit of a boost but no one's perfect. The tone of the book is laid-back and told in the words of Kati.|
|Buy? Maybe||Borrow? Maybe|
|Pages: 256||Date: April 2011|
|Publisher: Bitter Lemon Press|
|External links: Author's website|
Kati has a lot to impart to her readers. She burbles on right throughout the book about all sorts of things which are on her mind. So we learn about her colleagues, friends and neighbours which all gives a nice hint of the Turkish way of life. As a German national, Kati can stand back and take a cool look at all things Turkish. But does she like what she sees all of the time? She soon tells us. She's not slow to highlight stereotypical German traits - the lack of humour, the discipline etc which can be at odds with Kati now living amongst the more laid-back Turks. We also find out that the locals are passionate about the telephone and mobile phones in particular. Forever glued to an ear apparently. So much so that she thinks Alexander Graham Bell must have had Turkish genes. She also likes to go on and on about the terrible parking in Istanbul informing us that It takes thirty minutes to get from home to the shop, on foot or by car. I go by car. I particularly liked that line.
The story gets into its stride when Kati meets up with an old girlfriend, Petra. She's big in films and big in Germany. She's now hoping to make it big in Turkey so she's here with the rest of the film crew to shoot her latest film. But before we get to 'the unfortunate incident' as I'll call it, Aykol decides to take us back, way back in time to tell us all about Petra. It covers quite a few pages. I wondered if it was all necessary but I'll leave that up to you to decide.
When Petra becomes embroiled in a very serious situation in Turkey (she's barely had time to unpack her suitcase), things take a turn for the worse. The police are involved and gung-ho Kati can't bear to sit back and do nothing. She could easily do so and get on with her nice life. She even tells us that the two were not especially close and had even lost touch for a while. But Kati thinks she's very well equipped to 'help' the local police (even if only for translation purposes). She sees herself probably as a young Agatha Christie. She's confident, I'll give her that. But is she too confident? Is she heading for a fall?
But really the essence of the book is all about the wry, witty and funny observations going on in Kati's world. How those two countries differ in various ways. How the people differ too. While interesting it didn't really grab me. I found it all a bit meek and mild, to be honest. There's a smattering of 'dear reader' here and there which I just found irritating. So, while I enjoyed the story, I didn't love it. It was average for me. And at times it got bogged down with overly long monologues from Kati. But if you like a light-ish crime story with a European flavour, then this book may suit.
I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to The Bookbag.
If this book appeals then you might also enjoy Death on the Marais by Adrian Magson.
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