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Download The Bellini Card: A Novel Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Bellini Card: A Novel Audiobook, by Jason Goodwin Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (483 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Jason Goodwin Narrator: Stephen Hoye Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Related: The Yashim the Eunuch Series Release Date: April 2009 ISBN: 9781400180127
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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. Palewski arrives in disguise in down-at-the-heel Venice, where a killer is at large, as dealers, faded aristocrats, and other unknown factions seek to uncover the whereabouts of the missing Bellini. But is it the Bellini itself that endangers all or something associated with its original loss? And how is it that all of the killer's victims are somehow tied to the alluring Contessa d'Aspi d'Istria? Will the Austrians unmask Palewski, or will the killer find him first? Only Yashim can uncover the truth to the manifold mysteries. Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Audie Award winner Stephen Hoye handles the multiple accents and voices with ease. Fans of Jenny White’s Kamil Pasha mysteries…will love this superb foray into another time and place.”

    Library Journal (starred review)

  • Audie Award winner Stephen Hoye handles the multiple accents and voices with ease. Fans of Jenny White's Kamil Pasha mysteries...will love this superb foray into another time and place. Library Journal Starred Audio Review
  • “A toothsome, wryly humorous, and historically accurate view of La Serenissima, seen through the eyes of a very unusual man.”

    Booklist (starred review)

  • “Goodwin skillfully blends deduction, action sequences and period color.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Stephen Hoye’s narration is superb—his pacing and accents are wonderfully executed. His creation of distinctive, memorable characters is further enhanced by his seemingly effortless transitions between voices.”

    AudioFile

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Suzanne | 2/18/2014

    " I did not like it as much as the first one in the series. There seemed to be some plot holes at the end. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lynne-marie | 2/16/2014

    " I felt slightly dizzy as Goodwin took us this time to Venice from Istanbul and I kept thinking of hearing Salmun Rushdie talk on the similarities and differences of Venice & Istabul in re his The Enchantres of Florence though at a different time in history. Always twinned, la Venitia and Byzantium. And this such a satisfyingly twisting, turning, Gothic story!! What a read!! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Willowwind | 2/11/2014

    " I ended up just devouring Goodwin's series that features Yashim the eunuch as his protagonist. The characters and their relationships are delightful, the settings rich and the plots - well, byzantine. Great entertainment with sufficiently well drawn background to make me want to read Goodwin's actual history of the Ottoman Empire, "Lords of the Horizon". Goodwin clearly loves his subject and in shows in the little details depicting the city of Istanbul: its markets. monuments streets and diverse population. Even the stray dogs are drawn with affection. This is not to say that Istanbul (or Venice where most of the action in the Bellini Card takes place) are idealized. We are given the slums, the decay and the poverty as well as the past glories but Goodwin makes them live. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jane | 2/9/2014

    " I am completely hooked on this series! It takes the reader to another world and time, with amazing characters, rich plots, and absorbing prose. Anyone who loves Istanbul would especially appreciate Jason Goodwin's writing. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Rosemarie | 2/6/2014

    " I will look for the two earlier books by Goodwin; he writes very well. The scenes in Venice are vivid; the plot and characters are exotic. This is a readable and thoughtful mystery. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Linda | 1/30/2014

    " I always have a hard time following the denouement of Goodwin's novels. But the settings are fascinating and every book has several very good recipes that I love trying out for myself. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Allinah | 1/28/2014

    " I have found few books to be such page turners as goodwin's trilogy books. I had no doubt that moving the set to Venice would prove a good idea, after all the history of the two cities is so intertwined ... What tend to be bothersome for those who are familiar with both Istanbul and Venice are the small inaccuracies in the settings. Although the author himself admits to have sacrificed accuracy to imagination and since it is fiction after all I guess it goes overlooked. The cooking references are mouth watering and give a nice pace to the story. The main character is so peculiar that you can't help loving and cheering for him. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Melissa Berninger | 1/21/2014

    " This was good enough that I've put the two prequels in my reading list, but I did get a little lost in the rather convoluted--and only partially satisfying--solution. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Stephanie | 1/20/2014

    " Interesting -- as the previous two Yashim mysteries were -- but a little too much Venice and not enough Istanbul in this one. The end, however, makes up for the wait. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 emily | 1/7/2014

    " The other two Inspector Yashim books are much better. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Deena | 12/29/2013

    " Officially, I only skimmed the second half of this. I enjoy Yashim and his friends, but I just couldn't get through this one. After 6 months of pretending to try, I am giving up. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Sheila | 12/21/2013

    " This one was a disappointment to me. I listened to the audiobook and maybe that was the problem. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Janet | 12/18/2013

    " A little over my head but painted a good picture of Venice in the 1800's-makes you want to float through the water in a gondola and order the ethnic food of Venice. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Melinda | 12/13/2013

    " Fantastic tour of early Venice thought the eyes of Yashim and Palwski on a historical mystery. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Diana Sandberg | 12/10/2013

    " I have enjoyed all of this series. I like Yashim and I liked the expanded role of the Polish ambassador in this one. Also like the Venice setting. I did find the plot machinations got away from me a bit for a while there; I didn't quite follow what was going on, but eventually I caught up. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Peter | 12/6/2013

    " see previous reviews...though I need to add that this guy and the series grow on me. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Allen D. | 11/17/2013

    " Enjoyed the look at Venice this third book provides, but am less interested in Italian than Muslim culture. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Dan | 7/22/2013

    " Less interesting than the prior two novels because far less Istanbul (this one set chiefly in Venice) and far less Inspector Yashim. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Niki Ganong | 6/13/2013

    " Investigator Yashim returns in this book. ut it was disaapointing because there's not too much Yashim and there's not too much Turkey. Still, a good yarn to read on the place. Lots of twists and turns. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Patti | 2/28/2013

    " Good, a nice look at the Turkish/Italian connection and some history on both the Ottoman Empire and Venice "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kate Sometomato | 1/29/2013

    " This was the second time I have read this book but I enjoyed it as much or more than the first time. I really like this series and this story took the main characters out of their usual comfort zone and gave the reader a chance to see some new dimensions. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kim | 1/19/2013

    " I really liked the previous Yashim books and I love Venice, so I had high expectations for this book. While I enjoyed it, I felt it was rather jumpy and fragmented. I had a hard time at points following the action. The ending felt a bit abrupt to me. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Angie | 9/23/2012

    " Yashim is the master of his city. Istanbul has no secrets for him, but what can he do in Venice? This adventure just proves that he has no equal. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jane | 5/23/2012

    " Setting Venice...could relate. Interesting insight to food, fencing exotic references. Not a page turner but very interesting read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Liz | 4/29/2012

    " What's not to like, a highly placed Eunich from the Ottoman empire tries to find a painting of the Sultan by Bellini in Venice. Court intrigue, murders double crosses and a particular pattern. It was a bit convoluted. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Libby | 1/23/2012

    " I was a bit disappointed at first that the book took place in Venice, not Istanbul like the other Yashim books, but the writing is as rich and helped me see the interplay between the Ottomans and other European empires. Well-drawn characters, a suitably intriguing mystery. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tony | 7/22/2011

    " another great installment in the Yashim series, this one taking us from Istanbul to Venice and back. Yashim's friend Palewski plays a more active role, and Goodwin continues the delightfully descriptive cooking classes! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Margaret Sankey | 5/22/2011

    " Another in my collection of "honest detectives working for corrupt regimes": This time is is 1840 in the crumbling Ottoman Empire and the hero is a court eunuch. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jane | 4/27/2011

    " Satisfied my obsession with the Ottoman Empire and Turkish cuisine . . .
    "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kathleen | 4/26/2011

    " This is the second of this series I have Read and I enjoyed it as much as the first. A new time period and place for me to discover and an eunuch for the detective is different, too. The story is well written, too and I really enjoy the extra tidbits about Turkish cuisine. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Celine | 4/10/2011

    " A little muddy and muddled in the second half, but still a jolly good romp :) Great fun. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 HKd | 3/31/2011

    " Not as much fun as The Janissary Tree. The plot meandered - I guess it was rather byzantinian - and not enough of the delightful Yashim. But enjoyable none the less. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sean Patrix | 3/12/2011

    " • The Bellini Card by Jason Goodwin. A detective series set in 19th century Istanbul, this time with a side visit to Venice. Yashim the detective is searching for a possible portrait of Mehmet the Conqueror. Very entertaining and the period details are great. Who knows much about old Istanbul? "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Dan | 11/10/2010

    " Less interesting than the prior two novels because far less Istanbul (this one set chiefly in Venice) and far less Inspector Yashim. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Terrell | 10/6/2010

    " OK, but not great. Goodwin's writing always seems to jump around so much that I have a hard time following his train of thought. It works better for his fiction than his non-fiction, though. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Walkergm | 8/26/2010

    " escapist historical fiction. 1840s Istanbul & Venice. fun. but the plot was a bit implausible. if I recall correctly. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Gaile | 8/23/2010

    " A very good historical mystery--literate and compelling. I will try to find more by this author "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Susan | 8/12/2010

    " I enjoy this series featuring Yashim the Istanbul detective, set in the 1800s. In this one, at about 1/2 thru, the action mainly centres around is friend Palewiski, in Venice. Update: Yashim makes his appearance later- I won't give it away:) "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Angie | 8/7/2010

    " Yashim is the master of his city. Istanbul has no secrets for him, but what can he do in Venice? This adventure just proves that he has no equal. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Melissa | 6/17/2010

    " This was good enough that I've put the two prequels in my reading list, but I did get a little lost in the rather convoluted--and only partially satisfying--solution. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Melinda | 5/26/2010

    " Fantastic tour of early Venice thought the eyes of Yashim and Palwski on a historical mystery. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kim | 5/7/2010

    " I really liked the previous Yashim books and I love Venice, so I had high expectations for this book. While I enjoyed it, I felt it was rather jumpy and fragmented. I had a hard time at points following the action. The ending felt a bit abrupt to me. "

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About the Author
Author Jason Goodwin

Jason Goodwin is the author of Lords of the Horizons: A History of the Ottoman Empire, A Time for Tea: Through China and India in Search of Tea, and On Foot to the Golden Horn, among others. He lives in Sussex, England, with his wife and four children.

About the Narrator

Stephen Hoye has worked as a professional actor in London and Los Angeles for more than thirty years. Trained at Boston University and the Guildhall in London, he has acted in television series and six feature films and has appeared in London’s West End. His audiobook narration has won him fifteen AudioFile Earphones Awards.