The Jerusalem Quartet
Sinai Tapestry, Jerusalem Poker, Nile Shadows, and Jericho MosaicA special four-in-one edition of Edward Whittemore’s epic Jerusalem Quartet
In Sinai Tapestry, it is 1840, and Plantagenet Strongbow, the twenty-ninth duke of Dorset, seven-feet-seven-inches tall and the greatest swordsman and botanist of Victorian England, walks away from the family estate and disappears into the Sinai Desert carrying only a large magnifying glass and a portable sundial. He emerges forty years later as an Arab holy man and anthropologist, now the author of a massive study of Levantine sex—and the secret owner of the Ottoman Empire.
In Jerusalem Poker, on New Year’s Eve, 1921, three men sit down to a poker game. The Great Jerusalem Poker Game, as it’s eventually known, continues for the next twelve years. The players are as exotic as the game: Cairo Martyr, a one-time African slave, now the Middle East’s chief supplier of aphrodisiac mummy dust; Joe O’Sullivan Beare, an Irish tradesman with a specialty in sacred phallic amulets; and Munk Szondi, an Austro-Hungarian Imperial Army colonel turned dedicated Zionist. And they are playing for no less than the control of Jerusalem itself.
In Nile Shadows, in 1941, a hand grenade explodes in a Cairo bar, taking the life of Stern, a petty gunrunner and morphine addict. His death could easily go unnoticed as Rommel’s tanks charge through the desert in an attempt to open the Middle East to Hitler’s forces. Yet the mystery behind Stern’s death is a top priority for intelligence experts. Master spies from three countries converge on Joe O’Sullivan Beare, who is closer to Stern than anyone, in an effort to unravel the disturbing puzzle. The search for the truth about Stern leads O’Sullivan Beare through the slums of Cairo to a decaying former brothel called the Hotel Babylon.
And in Jericho Mosaic, Yossi is an ideal agent for the Mossad. He’s recruited by an agent named Tajar, and code-named “the Runner.” Thus begins the longest-running and most successful operation in the history of Israeli intelligence. Meanwhile, in the desert oasis of Jericho, Abu Musa, an Arab patriarch, and Moses the Ethiopian, meet each day over games of shesh-besh and glasses of Arak to ponder history and humanity. We learn about the friendship of Yossi’s son, Assaf, an Israeli soldier badly wounded during the Six Day War, and Yousef, a young Arab teacher who, in support of the Palestinian cause, decides to live as an exile in the Judean wilderness.
- Pub Date
- Open Road Integrated Media
“One of America’s best writers . . . an author of seismic talents . . . sets in motion an epic of profound invention, one that promises to be as fascinating and self-contained as Lord of the Rings.” —Harpers Bazaar
“An epic hashish dream . . . cosmic . . . fabulous . . . droll and moving.” —The New York Times Book Review
About the author
Edward Whittemore (1933–1995) graduated from Yale University in 1955 and went on to serve as a Marine officer in Japan and spend ten years as a CIA operative in the Far East, Europe, and the Middle East. In addition to writing fiction, he managed a newspaper in Greece, was employed by a shoe company in Italy, and worked in New York City’s narcotics control office during the administration of Mayor John V. Lindsay. He wrote the Jerusalem Quartet while dividing his time between New York and Jerusalem.