I first read this book last year and I really enjoyed it. So when I was lucky enough to become part of the street team for the next Ayesha Dean book I decided to reread this to refresh my memory before reading the arc of the new book.
Synopsis from Goodreads:
Ayesha and her friends Sara and Jess jump at the chance of accompanying Ayesha’s uncle on a trip from Australia to Istanbul. But when Ayesha discovers a mysterious note as a result of visiting an old bookshop, their relaxing holiday starts to get a whole lot more complicated! Ayesha finds herself trying to uncover a hundred-year-old Ibn Arabi mystery, while trying to avoid creepy villains, and still making sure that she gets to eat the best doner kebab Istanbul has to offer. It’s all in a day’s sleuthing when you’re Ayesha Dean. Lucky she can count on her best friends to always have her back!
This book was such a fun read! I really loved the mystery and intrigue, there’s plenty of plot twists that kept me interested and trying to figure out the secrets until the end. It’s a really great detective mystery type book and reminded me of Nancy Drew.
One of my favourite things about the book was how well fleshed out Ayesha was as a character. She is a smart, resourceful, brave person. She knows what she wants and she is always curious about everything. Once she picks up a mystery she has to follow through until she solved it! She is also a badass! At the very beginning we see her take down a man who was running from airport security after stealing something and even throughout the book when things start to get a little scary, she doesn’t back down. She remains calm and is quick thinker which helps to save her life and catch the bad guys at the end!
I also love her friendship with Sara and Jess and how close they are with each other. They have fun and support and care for each other and it was so nice to see that in a book. I don’t get to see lots of great female friendships in stories. I also loved how she has such a good relationship with her uncle and that they actually talk about everything. She is open and honest with him and he trusts her judgement.
I loved seeing the great Muslim rep throughout the story from Ayesha wearing a hijab to the adhaan being heard to the rich Islamic history we are told throughout the book. I really loved how she wore her hijab in different styles and that she was always dressed stylishly. I related to this so much because I love matching my hijab to my clothes and making sure my hijab looks nice and smart. Especially when I was 18!
The story is also set in Istanbul so we get to see the culture of the Muslims there and how they live. I loved seeing how friendly and open many people that Ayesha interacts with are. It reminded me of the lovely community feel that we often experience I Muslim countries. I felt like I was with Ayesha and her friends as they visited the tourist sites and I always ended up craving the food they ate! I could see how much research Melati did about Turkey.
If you enjoy detective stories then this is a really great read. It’s fun, fast paced and has a really interesting and unique mystery that Ayesha discovers! I’m really looking forward to reading her next story!