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James von Leyden Books In Order

Publication Order of Karim Belkacem Books

A Death in the Medina (2020)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

James von Leyden is a renowned English writer of thriller, mystery, and crime fiction stories. He is particularly famous for writing the Detective Karim Belkacem series featuring the chief protagonist of the same name. Leyden was born and brought up in Durham. He studied at Oxford University and obtained a degree in Philosophy & Modern Languages. As of now, Leyden is employed in a full-time job as a brand consultant and advertising copywriter. He claims to have fallen in love with Morocco after having visited the country in 1985. His first visit to the country made him indulge in a lif-long love affair with it. This love for Morocco also made him set his Karin Belkacem stories there. Author Leyden is happily married and lives with his loving wife and two kids. He has a house each in Oualidia, Morocco and East Sussex and divides his time between the two places.

Currently, Leyden is working on the development of his next Karim Belkacem novel and is expected to finish the writing part soon. He is looking forward to exploring the various aspects of his writing talent in the years to come and use them to come up with more interesting stories. He is quite happy with the amount of success he has achieved in his writing career so far and hopes to become much more successful in the times to come. Leyden is grateful for all the love and support provided to his novels by fans all over the world. He has also expressed his gratitude to all those critics who have spoken nicely about his style of writing, character descriptions, and storytelling abilities. Author Leyden has promised himself to keep working hard and never let the hopes of his fans, book critics, and fellow authors down.

The promise showed by him in his first couple of books has helped him get noticed by the prominent personalities of the publishing world. As a result, he has been getting many offers. Numerous offers have also been pouring in from his fellow authors for indulging in collaborative work. Leyden is considering all such offers and is hopeful of coming up with something fruitful in the future. Until then, he hopes that readers across the globe will continue to read his Karim Belkacem books and help them become more popular and successful.

The debut book of the Karim Belkacem series written by author James von Leyden is entitled ‘A Death in the Medina’. It was released by the Constable publication in 2019. Leyden has set this series in Marrakech, Morocco in the month of August. This book is quite captivating, colorful, thrilling, and suspenseful. When the book opens, it is the month of Ramadan in Morocco and the climate is too hot. Karim Belkacem is introduced as a 24-year-old detective. Most of the foreigners have already left the city of Marrakech due to prickly heat, leaving behind only a few of them. Among the ones still wandering on the streets of Marrakech, there is a riad owner, an English girl, and the French boyfriend of the riad owner. Things begin to go bad when the bag of the English girl gets stolen.

Karim Belkacem struggles to hold on to his Ramadan fast while managing 2 jobs to make enough money for the upcoming wedding of his sister. When the English girl approaches Karim Belkacem to file a complaint about her stolen bag, Karim learns about the brutal killing and dumping of the dead body of a Moroccan girl in a handcart. As Karim Belkacem begins the murder investigation, he comes across many troubling secrets hidden behind the Medina’s high walls. His investigation also unravels a world filled with shadowy predators who prey on innocent girls.

When Karim found the Muslim girl in the handcart, she was dressed inappropriately and had a sign on her body that questioned her character. Later, he discovers that the innocent girl is the daughter of one of the former best friends of his father and he was betrothed to her when he was 8 years old. This makes him more determined to seek justice for the girl and make the culprit pay for his sinful crime. Shortly after beginning the investigation, Karim Belkacem is taken off the case without any concrete explanation. This makes him question the honesty of the officers on higher ranks. Karim becomes sure that attempts are being made to do a cover-up to save the reputation of an influential family that might have carried out an honor killing. His department tries to keep the case low profile so that the tourism in the city is not affected.

As questions regarding the sincerity of the investigation keep arising in his mind, Karim is compelled to take the matter in his own hand and carry out the investigation on his own. This novel is highly atmospheric and is filled with rich details about the culture and lifestyle of the historical Marrakech city of Morocco. It is expected to capture the reader’s imagination and make them undergo a virtual tour of the beautiful city. Once the reader gets used to the ambiance, names, and phrases mentioned in the setting, they will easily get transported to the wonderful north African country and become a part of it. The story carries a sense of dry heat, the Muslim call for prayer, traders’ shouts to call customers, taste and smell of sesame, honey, mint, and many other aromas.

Author Leyden was inspired to write this story based on a few real-life events. He has filled the book with his vast knowledge of Morocco and his love for it. Leyden’s deep research before attempting to write the story is quite evident from his description of the Muslim culture, their religion, and their holy book Quran. The main bulk of this book is made up of the descriptions of the culture, people, religion, and the city. All these descriptions are quite interesting. Leyden’s description of the story is wonderfully evocative. He has mentioned the action sequences taking place in the winding alleys and the souks of the Medina, which is a highlight of his story. The plotting has been done incredibly well. The characters depicted by Leyden, in spite of their stereotypical traits, seem true to life. The climax is also quite intriguing with a cat and mouse chase between the protagonist and the villain. There are thrilling and tense scenes that make the story all the more interesting and exciting.

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