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Title: Die Tulpe des Boesen (literally translated: The Tulip of Evil)
Author: Joerg Kastner
Number of Pages: 464 pages
Book Number/Goal: 10/40
My Rating: 3/5

Review: Amsterdam, 1671: the Netherlands is recovering from "Tulip Mania" and the trade in tulip bulbs has bankrupted many people. Even so, the "Worshippers of the Tulip", an exclusive club, continues to meet once a week. One evening, one of the club's respected members, de Koning, is stopped on the street by a woman and stabbed to death. News of the attack causes a stir – de Koning is the second murder victim in Amsterdam to be found with a rare tulip petal in his hand. Inspector Jeremias Katoen takes charge of the investigation and follows the trail left by fanatical tulip lovers and equally fanatical tulip haters, only to find that it leads to an extremely rare and extremely dangerous type of tulip that was stolen from the Ottoman Empire many years ago. The demonic flower shimmers with an iridescent beauty that overpowers the minds of those who come too close. But traitors have got their hands on the deadly tulip, and Katoen's life would be worth nothing if it weren't for the devoted help of a young beggar and a girl with a talent for fencing.

It's a quick and easy read, and I enjoyed it enough to keep reading but as far as historical murder mysteries go, it's not the best book I've ever read. The plot is solid but the characters are flat and the description of life in 17th century Amsterdam was too brief.

If you like historical fiction and/or murder mysteries, try Ellis Peters' Brother Cadfael series or the Kathryn Swinbrooke series by Celia L. Grace (pseudonym of Paul C. Doherty).


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