Author Erica Ruth Neubauer’s fourth book in her Jane Wunderly Mystery series finds the intrepid American widow and private investigator drawn into a wild goose chase in 1926 across international borders from Boston to Istanbul, Turkey, to Hungary.
She is trying to determine what happened to her father Henry, who set out on a quest with an exorbitant sum of money. For decades, Henry, an absent-minded history professor and archaeologist with little concern and aptitude for finances, has been driven by a passion to discover the lost heart of Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent, which is rumored to be buried in Istanbul, kept in an incredibly valuable gold box, and to possess mystical powers that can be transferred to whoever holds it.
Jane and her companion Redvers set out to pursue her father and to recover the money. If they don’t, Jane is horrified to realize they will lose their Boston townhouse where she grew up and now feels most secure in an uncertain world. Numerous obstacles impede them – being followed by shady individuals, discovering several murdered people, and putting up with judgemental Aunt Millie who joins the search without being invited – and false leads and red herrings abound.
Intrigue in Istanbul is as much about fragile familial connections and budding romantic relationships as it is a who-dun-it and travelogue, and it entertains without being macabre and gruesome despite its subject matter. (Kensington)