Turkish Gambit - Fandorin 02

Turkish Gambit - Fandorin 02

Boris Akunin

Mystery / Historical Fiction / Crime

SUMMARY: It is 1877, and war has broken out between Russia and the Ottoman Empire. The Bulgarian front resounds with the thunder of cavalry charges, the roar of artillery, and the clash of steel on steel during the world’s last great horse–and–cannon conflict. Amid the treacherous atmosphere of a nineteenth–century Russian field army, former diplomat and detective extraordinaire Erast Fandorin finds his most confounding case.It’s difficulties are only compounded by the presence of Varya Suvorova, a deadly serious (and seriously beautiful) woman with revolutionary ideals who has disguised herself as a boy in order to find her respected comrade– and fiancé–Pyotr Yablokov, an army cryptographer. Even after Fandorin saves her life, Varya can hardly bear to thank such a “lackey of the throne” for his efforts.But when Yablokov is accused of espionage and faces imprisonment and execution, Varya must turn to Fandorin to find the real culprit… a mission that forces her to reconsider his courage, deductive mind, and piercing gaze.Filled with the same delicious detail, ingenious plotting, and subtle satire as The Winter Queen and Murder on the Leviathan, The Turkish Gambit confirms Boris Akunin’s status as a master of the historical thriller–and Erast Fandorin as a detective for the ages.
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Special Assignments

Special Assignments

Boris Akunin

Mystery / Historical Fiction / Crime

SUMMARY: InSpecial Assignments, Erast Fandorin, nineteenth-century Russia's suavest sleuth, faces two formidable new foes: One steals outrageous sums of money, the other takes lives. "The Jack of Spades" is a civilized swindler who has conned thousands of rubles from Moscow's residentsincluding Fandorin's own boss, Prince Dolgorukoi. To catch him, Fandorin and his new assistant, timid young policeman Anisii Tulipov, must don almost as many disguises as the grifter does himself. "The Decorator" is a different case altogether: A savage serial killer who believes he "cleans" the women he mutilates and takes his orders from on high, he must be given Fandorin's most serious attentions. Peopled by a rich cast of eccentric characters, and with plots that are as surprising as they are inventive,Special Assignmentswill delight Akunin's many fans, while challenging the gentleman sleuth's brilliant powers of detection. Praise from England: "Boris Akunin's wit and invention are a source of constant wonder." Evening Standard "[Fandorin is] a debonair combo of Sherlock Holmes, D'Artagnan and most of the soulful heroes of Russian literature. . . . This pair of perfectly balanced stories permit the character of Fandorin to grow." The Sunday Telegraph "Agatha Christie meets James Bond: [Akunin's] plots are intricate and tantalizing. . . . [These stories] are unputdownable and great fun." Sunday Express "The beguiling, super-brainy, sexy, unpredictable Fandorin is a creation like no other in crime fiction." The Times
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Sister Pelagia and the Black Monk

Sister Pelagia and the Black Monk

Boris Akunin

Mystery / Historical Fiction / Crime

In the middle of the night, a disheveled and badly frightened monk arrives at the doorstep of Bishop Mitrofanii of Zavolzhsk, crying: "Something's wrong at the Hermitage!" The Hermitage is the centuries-old island monastery of New Ararat, known for its tradition of severely penitent monks, isolated environs, and a mental institution founded by a millionaire in self-imposed exile. Hearing the monk's eerie message, Mitrofanii's befuddled but sharp-witted ward Sister Pelagia begs to visit New Ararat and uncover the mystery. Traditions prevail--no women are allowed--and the bishop sends other wards to test their fates against the Black Monk that haunts the once serene locale. But as the Black Monk claims more victims--including Mitrofanii's envoys--Pelagia goes undercover to see exactly what person, or what spirit, is at the bottom of it all. Fans of Sister Pelagia and the White Bulldog, the first book in Akunin's Pelagia trilogy, will be instantly mesmerized--and...
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He Lover of Death

He Lover of Death

Boris Akunin

Mystery / Historical Fiction / Crime

Akunin goes noir as Fandorin meets bandits! Senka Skorikov, orphan and urchin, has been abandoned to the murky world of Moscow’s gangster district. While picking a pocket or two, he glimpses the most beautiful woman he has ever seen, and joins the gang of her overlord lover, The Prince, so desperate he is to meet her. Senka climbs the criminal ranks, uncovering a stash of precious metal, and gradually capturing the heart of his beloved Death - so named for the life expectancy of her lovers. But as the bandit community balks at his success on both fronts, threats on his life begin to pour in.A dandy and his ‘Chinese’ sidekick seem to be taking an inordinate interest in Senka’s welfare, and it becomes clear that those threatening Senka are linked to a spate of murders, grizzly even by underworld standards. Fandorin must unweave a tangled web of narcotics, false identities and organised crime - but can he survive an encounter with the ever-alluring Death unscathed? Find out in the darkest Fandorin to date!
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The State Counsellor - Fandorin 06

The State Counsellor - Fandorin 06

Boris Akunin

Mystery / Historical Fiction / Crime

SUMMARY: General Khrapov, newly appointed Governor-General of Siberia and soon-to-be Minister of the Interior, is murdered in his official saloon carriage on his way from St Petersburg to Moscow.The killer, disguised as Fandorin, leaves a knife thrust up to the hilt in his victim's chest and escapes through the window of the carriage. Can Fandorin escape suspicion?A battle of wills and ideals, revolutionaries and traditionalists and good versus evil.
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Erast Fandorin 01 - The Winter Queen

Erast Fandorin 01 - The Winter Queen

Boris Akunin

Mystery / Historical Fiction / Crime

Moscow, May 1876. What would cause a talented student from a wealthy family to shoot himself in front of a promenading public? Decadence and boredom, it is presumed. But young sleuth Erast Fandorin is not satisfied with the conclusion that this death is an open-and-shut case, nor with the preliminary detective work the precinct has done–and for good reason: The bizarre and tragic suicide is soon connected to a clear case of murder, witnessed firsthand by Fandorin himself. Relying on his keen intuition, the eager detective plunges into an investigation that leads him across Europe, landing him at the center of a vast conspiracy with the deadliest of implications.From BooklistThree million copies of Akunin's Erast Fandorin historical mystery series have been sold in Russia, where the author is a celebrity. This volume--the first of nine installments so far--should get the series off to a rousing start in the U.S. It's set in Czarist Russia and stars the naive but eager Fandorin as a young investigator with the Moscow police. Why would a university student shoot himself in the middle of the Alexander Gardens? Fandorin sets out to find the answer and soon lands in the middle of a far-reaching international conspiracy. Yakunin effectively juxtaposes the comical innocence of his hero against the decadence of nineteenth-century Moscow--aristocrats idling in gambling clubs while the winds of revolution freshen. In his debut, Fandorin comes across as an odd but appealing mix of Holmesian brilliance and Inspector Clousseauian bumbling. Occasionally, Akunin's style seems a bit affected, aping the manner of, say, Thackeray, commenting on the foibles of his characters, but at the same time, that nineteenth-century tone is part of the book's appeal. Anne Perry fans, in particular, will enjoy this series. Bill OttCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reservedReview“A galloping story of murder, suicide, deception, and disguise.”–Entertainment Weekly“As international as caviar and vodka! A crafty tale full of atmosphere, character, and action.”–Anne Perry“Marries old-fashioned manners to a nonstop array of plot twists to rival the best detective tales . . . The Winter Queen is an energetic hands-down winner.”–People“There are secret panels, hidden tunnels, a false mustache, intercepted letters, gunfights, and a glamorous female villain. . . . Akunin knows how to build suspense.”–The Boston Globe“A wondrous strange and appealing novel . . . Elaborate, intricate, profoundly czarist, and Russian to its bones, as though Tolstoy had sat down to write a murder mystery. Not quite like anything you’ve ever read before.”–Alan Furst, author of The Foreign Correspondent
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Erast Fandorin 04 - The Death of Achilles

Erast Fandorin 04 - The Death of Achilles

Boris Akunin

Mystery / Historical Fiction / Crime

Erast Fandorin returns to Moscow after an absence of six years, only to find himself instantly embroiled in court politics and scandal. His old friend General Sobolev - the famous 'Russian Achilles' - has been found dead in a hotel room, and Fandorin suspects foul play. Using his now-famous powers of detection - powers that belie his twenty-six years - Fandorin embarks on an investigation, during which the political and the personal may become dangerously blurred. With the assistance of some formidable martial arts skills, acquired whilst Fandorin was in Japan, our eccentric and ingenious hero must endeavour to discover not so much whodunit, as why...
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The Diamond Chariot

The Diamond Chariot

Boris Akunin

Mystery / Historical Fiction / Crime

The first of the interlinked plotlines is set in Russia during the Russo-Japanese War in 1905. Fandorin is charged with protecting the Trans-Siberian Railway from Japanese sabotage in a pacy adventure filled with double agents and ticking bombs.Then we travel back to the Japan of the late 1870s. This is the story of Fandorin's arrival and life in Yokohama, his first meeting with Masa and the martial arts education that came in so handy later. He investigates the death of a Russian ship-captain, fights for a woman, exposes double-agents in the Japanese police, fights against, and then with the ninjas, and becomes embroiled in a shocking finale that interweaves the two stories and ties up the series as a whole.
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Murder on the Leviathan

Murder on the Leviathan

Boris Akunin

Mystery / Historical Fiction / Crime

SUMMARY: Usually, crime writers who give birth to protagonists deserving of future series want to feature those characters as prominently as possible in subsequent installments. Not so Boris Akunin, who succeeds his celebrated first novel about daring 19th-century Russian sleuth Erast Fandorin, The Winter Queen, with the less inventive Murder on the Leviathan, in which the now former Moscow investigator competes for center stage with a swell-headed French police commissioner, a crafty adventuress boasting more than her fair share of aliases, and a luxurious steamship that appears fated for deliberate destruction in the Indian Ocean. Following the 1878 murders of British aristocrat Lord Littleby and his servants on Paris's fashionable Rue de Grenelle, Gustave Gauche, "Investigator for Especially Important Crimes," boards the double-engined, six-masted Leviathan on its maiden voyage from England to India. He's on the lookout for first-class passengers missing their specially made gold whale badges--one of which Littleby had yanked from his attacker before he died. However, this trap fails: several travelers are badgeless, and still others make equally good candidates for Littleby's slayer, including a demented baronet, a dubious Japanese army officer, a pregnant and loquacious Swiss banker's wife, and a suave Russian diplomat headed for Japan. That last is of course Fandorin, still recovering two years later from the events related in The Winter Queen. Like a lesser Hercule Poirot, "papa" Gauche grills these suspects, all of whom harbor secrets, and occasionally lays blame for Paris's "crime of the century" before one or another of them--only to have the hyper-perceptive Fandorin deflate his arguments. It takes many leagues of ocean, several more deaths, and a superfluity of overlong recollections by the shipmates before a solution to this twisted case emerges from the facts of Littleby's killing and the concurrent theft of a valuable Indian artifact from his mansion. Like the best Golden Age nautical mysteries, Murder on the Leviathan finds its drama in the escalating tensions between a small circle of too-tight-quartered passengers, and draws its humor from their over-mannered behavior and individual eccentricities. Trouble is, Akunin (the pseudonym of Russian philologist Grigory Chkhartishvili) doesn't exceed expectations of what can be done within those traditions. --J. Kingston Pierce
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