It is 1836. Europe is modernizing, and the Ottoman Empire must follow suit. But just before the sultan announces sweeping changes, a wave of murders threatens the balance of power in his court. Who is behind them? Only one intelligence agent can be trusted to find out: Yashim Togalu, a man both brilliant and near-invisible in this world. You see, Yashim is a eunuch.
Istanbul, 1838. In his palace on the Bosphorus, Sultan Mahmud II is dying, and the city swirls with rumors and alarms. The unexpected arrival of a French archaeologist determined to track down lost Byzantine treasures throws the Greek community into confusion. Yashim Togalu is once again enlisted to investigate. But when the archaeologist's mutilated body is discovered outside the French embassy, it turns out there is only one suspect: Yashim himself.
"Another Thrilling Mystery in Istanbul."
When the admiral of the Ottoman fleet defects to the Egyptians, Investigator Yashim attempts to uncover the man's motives. But Fevzi Pasha is no stranger to Yashim: it was Pasha, in fact, who taught the investigator his craft years ago. He is the only man whom Yashim has ever truly feared: ruthless, cruel, and unswervingly loyal to the sultan. What dark secret has led his former mentor to betray the Ottoman Empire?
"yes, you really do need counterespionage."
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.
In nineteenth-century Istanbul, a Polish prince has been kidnapped. His assassination has been bungled and he’s held captive in an unused farmhouse. Little do the kidnappers realise that their revolutionary cell has been penetrated by their enemies. Yashim is convinced that the prince is alive. As he draws closer to the prince's whereabouts, Yashim finds himself in the most treacherous situation of his career.
When the body of a Russian agent is found down a monastery well, Yashim knows exactly who to blame. Fevzi Ahmet Pasha, ruthless commander of the Ottoman fleet. Years ago, Fevzi Ahmet was his mentor. And now Yashim must confront the secret that Fevzi Pasha has been keeping all these years, a secret whose roots lie deep in the tortured atmosphere of the sultan's harem.