The Ottoman world is such a visual feast that I almost wish we could have illustrated detective stories again… but here, instead, are a few things that have inspired The Latin Reader, which is out later this year.


This is a beautiful writing box, from the period. In The Latin Reader, the Valide (or Queen Mother) uses a box like this to write and store her private correspondence.

ImageAnd this is a duck shoot, of course. When Polish ambassador Palewski finds a pair of good French fowling pieces in the Residency, he goes off in the very early morning to the lakes…



This is the Rome ghetto, where Jews were expected to live in the days when the Pope was a temporal as well as spiritual ruler. 



Ottoman prisons were grim… this is Piranesi’s imaginative version.

0 thoughts on “Inspirations

    1. jasongoodwin Post author

      True about Piranesi; but the prison Yashim visits in The Latin Reader is rather horrible. For beauty I’d go for the writing box, the duck shoot or the ghetto!

  1. patti tetrault

    I read and re-read. Yashim is such a beautiful character- I feel I know him as a friend. Are you continuing his story? I certain hope so. Part of my enjoyment is remembering Istambul. Thanks. Patti

  2. Patti Tetrault

    I’m about to fall off the edge of the world, at age eighty-amost-three, so I’m trying to remember favorite things it seems to be too hard to get to. Istambul has got to be in the top five and a little house in the Dordogne near Coly right up there. I would put Cape Cod in there except that that’s where I am in my house right now.


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