It’s my very great pleasure to be supporting fellow blogger and tour organiser Rachel of Rachel’s Random Resources on the An Oriental Murder blog tour.
Rachel has arranged for me to spend an evening discussing An Oriental Murder with author Jane Bastin.
Staying in with Jane Bastin
Welcome to Linda’s Book Bag, Jane. Thank you for agreeing to stay in with me. Tell me, which of your books have you brought along to share this evening and why have you chosen it?
Hi , I’ve brought my recently published detective novel, An Oriental Murder along to share with you.
What can we expect from an evening in with An Oriental Murder?
The book should take you deep into the world of Istanbul, a world that tourists might never see. Having lived in Turkey for the past 34 years, I have tried to inject the novel with a strong flavour of the place. It is a beautiful city but it is not just the beauty of the typical tourist attractions such as Topkapi and the Blue Mosque. It is a confused city, uncomfortable at times in its own skin. It moves between the conservatism and mysticism of the east and the libertarian freedom of the west but can’t quite make up its mind. I hope that the city comes across as a major character in the novel.
(I love Istanbul. I found it exactly as you say Jane – a complete mix of past and present, ease and tension. An Oriental Murder sounds as if it would transport me back there.)
An evening with the novel should also introduce to the reader the character of Sinan Kaya, an attractive detective who does not quite fit. A maverick, one who indulges in the local cuisine before following up leads, Sinan Kaya should envelope you in the world that he inhabits. Although the plot is about the murder of the Prime Minister and other civil servants, it mirrors the byzantine complexities of modern Turkey. I hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed writing it.
(Sounds good to me! Thanks for telling me all about it Jane.)
What else have you brought along and why?
I have brought a selection of mezzes which are traditionally eaten before a meal like an appetiser but can often be as much as a main meal. For example, I would love you to sample some wrapped vine leaves with some delicious pine nuts rolled in rice, herbs, spices, fennel , parsley, tomato and olive oil.
(No persuasion needed here Jane. This is my kind of food!)
What about having a taste of these titbits: courgette flowers freshly picked and stuffed with rice or some wild herbs soaked in olive oil and lemon.
(Oh! My allotment is overflowing with courgettes Jane. Let me give you some to take home at the end of the evening.)
If you’re feeling adventurous how about trying some fried pastry rolls stuffed with white cheese and parsley which are known as sigaraborek or as I have seen translated in some menus ‘cigarette pastries’! My book takes you through a menu of different Turkish foods as my main character, Sinan Kaya is obsessed with food and will stop everything if he spots a delicacy . One of the reasons why he is so attracted to Bea in the novel is that it gives him an opportunity to sample their famous menu!
And now you’ve made me hungry as well as desperate to read An Oriental Murder! Thanks so much for staying in with me Jane. I’m looking forward to reading you as soon as I can!
An Oriental Murder
The PeraPalas hotel in Istanbul, Turkey plays host to the Agatha Christie Writers’ Congress when real life imitates fiction. The bodies of the Prime Minister and his occasional mistress are found dead in one of the hotel’s locked rooms surrounded by bodyguards. Seemingly, no one could get in or out, and yet…
Inspector Sinan Kaya is convinced that foreign agents are culpable, and that the murders are linked to the recent spate of killings of Turkish government officials.
Within this complicated, crime riddled city, Sinan Kaya’s moral compass never falters. Not concerned with threats of dismissal from the force, he cuts his own path through the investigation, determined to uncover the truth.
An Oriental Murder is a tale of espionage and murder set against the backdrop of beautiful Istanbul, the ancient city where east and west meet.
An Oriental Murder is available for purchase here.
About Jane Bastin
Jane is a storyteller, writer, traveller and educator. Having lived and worked for over thirty years in Turkey, Jane has amassed a breadth of experiences that have led to the writing of the Sinan Kaya series of novels. Of course all characters and events are fictitious!
Fluent in both English and Turkish, Jane writes in both languages and has had a range of articles published in Turkish periodicals and magazines alongside British newspapers.
Jane now divides her time between rainy Devon and sunny Turkey.