Crime Fiction and İstanbul

Detective novels are works that many people enjoy reading. There is a chain of events being followed in order to solve a crime that is usually committed, and there is a great excitement until the story ends. In Crime Fiction, murder or crime is only an excuse; what is important is the chain of ongoing events.

There are many outstanding books of this particular genre in the world of literature. We are sure that while you are reading these lines, there are various examples of you. Here are seven famous books you’ll come across with Istanbul.

Murder on the Orient Express

Agatha Christie, the best-selling author of all time, is rumored to have written her famous detective novel The Murder on the Orient Express, in room 411 at the Pera Palace Hotel in Istanbul. The book does not take place in Istanbul, but the character Poirot comes to Istanbul with Toros Express for a few days after the return of Syria. Immediately after settling in Tokatliyan Hotel, due to an urgent telegraph, he books a seat in Orient Express and had to leave the country.

Have You Got Everything You Want?

Parker Pyne is an Agatha Christie character. Parker Pyne Investigates a short story collection written by Agatha Christie and first published in the UK in November 1934. “Have You Got Everything You Want?” is a part of the story collection comprises twelve of her fourteen stories featuring detective James Parker Pyne. In the story, detective Parker Pyne helps a companion who is going to Istanbul to meet with her husband to find the jewels that have been stolen. The unknown incident is solved in the Tokatlıyan Hotel in Istanbul. In the story, the famous author describes the city as; “Istanbul! The most beautiful city in the world!”.


Greenmantle is the second of five novels by John Buchan featuring the character of Richard Hannay. The book has been adapted for a movie which is directed by Alfred Hitchcock. Hannay comes to Istanbul with his friend Sandy and fights against the Germans who are interested in pulling Muslims to their side.

Stamboul Train

Stamboul Train

Stamboul Train, published in 1932, is the second significant novel by Graham Greene. A film adaptation of the book, called Orient Express was made in 1934. In the novel, the businessman Myatt, who travels to Istanbul with the Orient Express, shares the compartment with Coral Musker. The socialist leader on the train, Dr. Paul Czinner, is arrested during the same journey. The police also arrest and imprison Coral Musker, as the partisan of Czinner.

Secret of Stamboul

Secret of Stamboul, also known as The Spy in White, is a 1936 British thriller film, taken from the novel The Eunuch of Stamboul by Dennis Wheatley. However, the word eunuch(hadım) in the title of the book was changed, and the film was named “The Secret of Istanbul.” In the novel, the story takes place in an Arab prince who wants to organize a coup d’etat in the newly established Republic of Turkey. The duty of stopping Prince Ali is given to a former member of the army, who has been assigned by his girlfriend’s father in Istanbul.

Avrenos’s Client

Georges Simenon’s Avrenos’s Clients, a drama that begins in Ankara and continues in Istanbul. Bernard Jonsac, the main character in the book, comes to Istanbul after chasing the Hungarian girl Nouchi who works in a nightclub in Ankara. He then marries with the 17-year-old belly dancer to avoid her deportation from the country.

From Russia With Love

From Russia With Love

Most of the events are happening in Istanbul in the book From Russia With Love, by Ian Fleming, the creator of the famous character James Bond. While the renowned author was in Istanbul to attend the international police conference, the September 6-7 events had taken place. After this trip, the author thought about writing a cold war novel which takes place in Istanbul. Under the influence of the events he witnessed during his journey, he gave a negative role to the Turkish police in his book.


These articles may also be of interest to you:

The Prominent Leading Characters Of World-Famous Crime Novels

Top 12 Books To Read From Crime Fiction Novelist Ahmet Ümit

Top 8 Books Pera Palace Hotel Is Mentioned

History of Istanbul Archaeological Museums

Consisting of three main units, Istanbul Archaeological Museums is among the most valuable museums of Istanbul and Turkey with its historical texture, more than a…

Get More Information

Exclusive for May 19th Commemoration of Atatürk, Youth and Sports Day: Development of Ballet in Turkey

Ballet, which manages to touch the human soul by offering an aesthetic visuality, is a type of art that brings different art disciplines together such…

Get More Information