Ayesha Dean: The Istanbul Intrigue is the debut novel of Melati Lum. Lum is a multiracial Australian Muslim Lawyer. Her protagonist, Ayesha Dean, loves good food, solving mysteries, traveling, books, and awesome friends.
The Istanbul Intrigue is a very fast young adult read I really liked. It was the kind of mysteries you would normally read in a Nancy Drew's series. I has a lot of cliffhangers and it's engaging as well. I hardly put it down and I read it in less than 8 hours! It was nice to see such a brave character who loves connecting dots. It also reminded me a little bit of the movie The Librarian with some of the vocabulary.
So what's this YA book about?
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!
The book is not preachy at all. It has sprinkles of Arabic words that are very common knowledge these days like hijab. Anyone who is still a child at heart can enjoy it because the plot is not religion based but about clues and crime solving. I aslo recommend it to anyone who wants to travel to Turkey without having to buy a ticket to go there. It certainly took me back to my trip there a few years ago. Read it here if interested.