Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The Honored Dead by Joseph Braude

Welcome to the blog tour for Joseph Braude's The Honored Dead: A Story of Friendship, Murder, and the Search for Truth in the Arab World.  

The Honored Dead: A Story of Friendship, Murder, and the Search for Truth in the Arab World
There are many ways to describe The Honored Dead

On the one hand, The Honored Dead is a gripping murder mystery of sorts.  A Jewish American investigator and his companion conduct a secret investigation into the death of a homeless Arab Bedouin man in the middle of Casablanca.  Joseph is brought into the investigation by his police contacts, but when his interaction with the victim's closest friend leads him to dig beyond the results of the official investigation.  The investigation take Joseph to deeply held secrets, outlying provinces, wealthy Jewish enclaves, and the high echelons of power.

 The Honored Dead is also nonfiction that takes us to the Arab world and provides us with the background, analysis, and a framework to better understand the region, its complex politics, and rich and many cultures - as we join Braude in his dangerous and clandestine murder investigation.   Braude is the ideal writer/narrator for this adventure.  He's an American writer/Middle Eastern specialist who had unprecedented access to investigations conducted by the security and police forces in Morocco when he traveled as a respected observer and an "embedded" investigator of the police system in Iraq.   Braude  was also uniquely positioned to analyze what he was seeing and learning through his training and professional background.  He studied Near Eastern languages at Yale, Arabic and Middle Eastern History at Princeton, worked as a consultant with the FBI.   But Braude also holds cultural and personal ties to the region - raised by a Jewis Iraqi mother, he has lived, studied, and worked in most Middle Eastern capitals.  But this second description doesn't do justice to the book - you might think that the book is packed with facts and discount the power of its story.

This is how Braude described his book on his blog, Bridge:
It’s about a murder in the Arab world.  It’s about the Arab detectives who cracked the case.  It’s about why the murder happened, and why the police tried to cover it up.  And it’s about the culture and politics of North Africa and the Middle East that formed the backdrop to the killing.

But at the heart of the book is the story of a man who lost his best friend and couldn’t go on with his life until he learned the reasons why.
The book is even more than the three descriptions above.  And it's certainly a fascinating read.  If you enjoy narrative nonfiction and want to learn more about the Arab world or if you love a good murder mystery and detective novel, or if you are just looking for an engrossing and satisfying read, I highly recommend Joseph Braude's The Honored Dead: A Story of Friendship, Murder, and the Search for Truth in the Arab World.

ISBN-10: 0385527039 - Hardcover $26.00 
Publisher: Spiegel & Grau (June 14, 2011), 336  pages.
Review copy provided by TLC Book Tours and the publisher.

About the Author:
Born to an Iraqi-Jewish family in Providence, Rhode Island, Joseph Braude studied Near Eastern Languages at Yale and Arabic and Islamic history at Princeton. He is fluent in Arabic, Persian, and Hebrew, and has lived, studied, and worked in most Middle Eastern capitals.  His writing has appeared in The New Republic, The Los Angeles Times Sunday Magazine, Playboy, Glamour, and Best Life.  Since July 2010, his weekly commentary in Arabic, “Letter from New York” (“Risalat New York”) has aired nationally in Morocco on Radio MED. He is also the author of The New Iraq (Basic Books, 2003). In his spare time, Braude plays jazz piano and enjoys running and yoga.  Learn more about Braude on his website at

Spiegel & Grau have generously sponsored a giveaway of The Honored Dead. If you'd like to win your own copy, enter the contest below. : )


To enter,  ask the author Joseph Braude a question below OR comment on why you'd love to read this book.

1. Please include your email address, so that I can contact you if you win. No email address, no entry.
2. You must be a follower to join the contest.

The contest is limited to US only. No P.O. boxes. The contest ends at noon on July 8, 2011.

Want to learn more about The Honored Dead or increase your chances of winning a copy? Drop by the other Tour Sites

Monday, June 6th:  Man of La Book
Wednesday, June 8th:  Rundpinne
Thursday, June 9th:  Reading, Reading & Life
Monday, June 13th:  Life is a Patchwork Quilt
Wednesday, June 15th:  Chaotic Compendiums
Monday, June 20th:  Lesa’s Book Critiques
Wednesday, June 22nd:  Starting Fresh
Thursday, June 30th:  Wordsmithonia
Tuesday, July 5th:  Jen’s Book Thoughts
Thursday, July 7th:  Silver’s Reviews
Monday, July 11th:  Tedious and Brief


  1. I'm so glad you enjoyed this one - it sounds like a very compelling read.

    Thanks for being on the tour. I'm featuring your review on TLC's Facebook page today.

  2. I would like to read this book because it sounds like a fascinating read. Please enter me in contest.

  3. this story fascinates me...thanks for the chance to read this novel :)

    kmkuka at yahoo dot com