The body of a young Englishwoman washes up in Istanbul wearing a pendant inscribed with the seal of the deposed sultan. The death resembles the unsolved murder of another Englishwoman, 10 years before. A magistrate in the new secular courts, Kamil Pasha, sets out to find the killer, but his dispassionate belief in science and modernity is shaken by betrayal and widening danger. In a mystical voice, a young Muslim woman recounts her own relationship with one of the dead women and with the suspected killer.
"The Sultan's Seal"
January 1888. Vera Arti carries The Communist Manifesto in Armenian through Istanbul’s streets, unaware of the men following her. When the police discover a shipload of guns and the Imperial Ottoman Bank is blown up, suspicion falls on a socialist commune Arti’s friends organized in the eastern mountains. Special Prosecutor Kamil Pasha is called in to investigate. He soon encounters his most ruthless adversary to date.
"Not a Mystery"
The Ottoman Empire is plagued by thefts of antiquities from mosques and churches. Within days, the lost objects appear for sale in Europe. Among them is a reliquary presumed lost for 400 years and around which an elaborate, mysterious sect has grown.