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Talking Turkey

I’ve written two mysteries (so far) set in Turkey. Both were written after a trip there inspired ideas for stories, but in both cases, I found I needed a return visit to clear up some details.

For instance, in The Man on the Istanbul Train, I needed to know what the doors on the trains were like: Could a passenger open one himself? Could you open a door and jump out while the train was moving? Did they have private berths in sleeping cars? On a return trip to Istanbul, I visited Hadarpasa Station and got answers to these questions.

Later, in writing Death in Istanbul, I spent a lot of time writing a thrilling chase scene through the Hadarpasa Station, then read that the station burned down only a few months after I was there. In an obsessive attempt at total accuracy, I re-wrote the whole thing, taking the action to another railway station miles away. I reasoned that thousands of my dear readers would go to Turkey and try to follow in the footsteps of Dotsy and friends. Ha!


In the past few years, Hadarpasa Station has been closed for repairs, reopened, closed again for renovation, opened again, closed again to add tracks for a new high-speed train to Ankara, and reopened. Depending on when you read this, you may or may not be able to visit Hadarpasa Station.

Here is a picture of the baggage claim in Ataturk Airport, the start of all the trouble in Death in Istanbul.

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