The Sultan's Seal
"A wonderful read…. An historical novel of the highest quality."—Iain Pears
Rich in sensuous detail, this first novel brilliantly captures the political and social upheavals of the waning Ottoman Empire. The naked body of a young Englishwoman washes up in Istanbul wearing a pendant inscribed with the seal of the deposed sultan. The death resembles the murder by strangulation of another English governess, a crime that was never solved. Kamil Pasha, a magistrate in the new secular courts, sets out to find the killer, but his dispassionate belief in science and modernity is shaken by betrayal and widening danger. In a lush, mystical voice, a young Muslim woman, Jaanan, recounts her own relationships with one of the dead women and her suspected killer. Were these political murders involving the palace or crimes of personal passion? An absorbing tale that transports the reader to nineteenth-century Turkey, this novel is also a lyrical meditation on the contradictory desires of the human soul. Reading group guide included. Includes the first chapter of the next Kamil Pasha novel.
- February 2007
- 5.5 × 8.2 in
/ 368 pages
- Territory Rights: Worldwide including Canada, Singapore and Malaysia, but excluding the British Commonwealth.
Endorsements & Reviews
“A passionate debut. . . . Lyrical . . . enchanting.” — Publishers Weekly
“Starred Review. CSI goes Ottoman Empire . . . with readers easily transported back to those days when mystery and intrigue lurked around every corner.” — Booklist
“Intricate and subtle as a Turkish carpet, lush as silk upon the skin. . . . A fascinating and remarkably knowledgeable look at a society in flux, its very appealing characters caught between East and West, Islam and Christianity, and bound in a web of murder and treachery that only the lucky few may escape.” — Diana Gabaldon
“Set in nineteenth-century Istanbul, The Sultan’s Seal lingers in the mind like the strong, delightful smell of an incense you will remember the next time you catch it in the air.” — Elif Shafak, author of The Saint of Incipient Insanities
Also by Jenny White