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Filed under: B, GLBT interest, Historical, Mystery, Swedish
HÃ¤sten frÃ¥n Porten
by Carina Burman
Albert Bonniers FÃ¶rlag
First line: FÃ¶r andra gÃ¥ngen kom jag till Philadelphia.
Back cover blurb:
Han hette Djinn. Ã…tminstone var det sÃ¥ hon kallade honom, succÃ©fÃ¶rfattarinnan Euthanasia Bondeson, nÃ¤r de mÃ¶ttes i den syriska Ã¶knen.
Det fanns varken lugn eller inspiration dÃ¤r i hettan, dÃ¤r sanden letade sig in Ã¶verallt och stÃ¤derna mest bestod av ruiner. Ã…terigen mÃ¥ste Euthanasia Bondeson utreda ett fÃ¶rsvinnande. SÃ¶kandet leder henne till den myllrande storstaden Konstantinopel, pÃ¥ grÃ¤nsen mellan vÃ¤st och Ã¶st.
I Ã¶kensol och bland mÃ¶rka grÃ¤nder mÃ¶ter Euthanasia mystiska resenÃ¤rer, tvetydiga poliser och tillmÃ¶tesgÃ¥ende haremsdamer. Det Ã¤r mars 1853, och den nyfikna fÃ¶rfattarinnans svÃ¤rmeri fÃ¶r antiken mÃ¥ste stÃ¥ tillbaka fÃ¶r den alltmer pÃ¥trÃ¤ngande politiken. Under andningspauserna mellan Ã¶verfall och utredningar gÃ¶r hon Ã¤ven fÃ¶rvÃ¥nande fynd inom erotiken—men ingenting fÃ¶rbryllar sÃ¥ som Djinn, den vackraste arabhÃ¤sten av dem alla.
Very short synopsis in English: Euthanasia Bondeson, amateur detective and writer of fiction, has left Europe for the Middle East. In the Syrian desert, she meets Djinn, the most gorgeous of horses, who soon thereafter disappears. Stolen, as far as anyone can tell, but why and by whom? Miss Bondeson’s investigations take her back to the border between East and West, to Constantinople, where she suddenly finds herself involved in political intrigue.
Thoughts: I’ve been waiting for this book. I would’ve got it the second it was published, if I hadn’t made that month one of the two of my embargo on book buying. The moment the embargo was lifted, however, I made it down to the bookshop to procure it. Of course, they didn’t have it in, so I had them place a special order and the week after I popped ’round to pick it up (at a discounted price, I might add).
I then proceeded to read it in one sitting. Now, it’s not as good as my favourite in the series (Babylons gator, now out in English as The Streets of Babylon, which is set in London, 1853 and has molly houses and all sorts of other good stuff), but it’s still more than just okay. An old favourite of mine, from the first book, is back, which was nice, and even though this installment is not quite as queer as the previous two, it still has its moments.
Now, I’m not sure if it was intentional, or if it’s just my mind going places it shouldn’t, but I get disturbing “sailor and his goat”-vibes Ã la Patrick O’Brian’s Master and Commander from a certain character. Probably it’s just my mind. I certainly hope so. (Talk about omnisexual, though.)
What else? There is a wonderful moment of not-so-subtle mocking of Jan Guillou’s Arn books (which I don’t ever plan on reading—yuck!) that had me laughing out loud.
To conclude: yes, good book! (a B rating, methinks), but not quite queer enough (though certainly queerer than I was lead to expect by other reviews) and if the author ever finds out about my “sailor and his goat”-vibes, I shall be most cross. I’m just sayin’.