Untouched by both time and tourism, the fishing port of Essaouira, Morocco, is known for its prostitutes, black magic, con artists, ghosts-and the legend of a virgin who once lured mariners to her lighthouse, worked them into a frenzy of desire, and then devoured their hearts before they could steal her innocence. Sebastian is a young, easy-going, generous English businessman living in Spain who decides to buy a small apartment in Essaouira with the hope of learning Arabic. Instead, however, he is convinced by his half-brother, Roger, to purchase a thirteen-room brothel and convert it into a hotel. As rumours suggest that the ghost virgin, Aïsha Qandeesha, still haunts the streets-enticing victims to the cemetery and then tearing them to shreds-Sebastian is mesmerized by the previous brothel owner's stories that there is a buried treasure within the house. But after he hires the madame's former maid, Aïda, to work for him, problems begin that cause Sebastian to wonder whether tragedy will follow him forever. Magic Lobsters and Flying Tagines is the tale of one man's attempt to open a boutique hotel in an exotic country as he is helplessly controlled by the strange twists and turns of his destiny.
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J. P. Whaley was born in England and has written several film scripts. This is his first novel.
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