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Other titles in the Erast Fandorin Mysteries series:

The Winter Queen

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The Winter Queen Cover

ISBN13: 9780812968774
ISBN10: 0812968778
Condition: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

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.

Review:

"Ludlum would probably take about a thousand turgid pages to work it all out; Akunin does it in under 250 pages that race along but that find room for a fair amount of social history....Akunin knows how to build suspense, but he also enjoys himself; he shows the reader a good time." Richard Dyer, The Boston Globe

Review:

"The familiar police procedural formula exists here, but it is made appealingly strange by the unusual setting and by Fandorin's zany delight in contemporary consumer products....The Winter Queen offers the reliable kick of the basic formula, with some quirky new tangs." Maureen Corrigan, The Washington Post

Review:

"[A]tmospheric, smartly plotted, and driven by a host of finely etched characters....[A]s Erast follows the breathtaking (but blessedly convincing) twists and turns of his investigation, he finally faces an enemy who is a real surprise. Highly recommended..." Library Journal

Review:

"[A] rousing start....Occasionally, Akunin's style seems a bit affected...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 Ott, Booklist

Review:

"If Pushkin had tried his hand at detective fiction, it might have turned out something like this. In fact, the narrative's combination of impulsive passion and cool ratiocination...suggests the early years of the 19th century rather than the period in which the novel takes place." Richard Lourie, The New York Times Book Review

Review:

"Mystery readers should enjoy this story. It is as Russian, and as international, as caviar and vodka! A crafty tale full of atmosphere, character, and action. I look forward to hearing more about the young detective Erast Fandorin." Anne Perry

Review:

"Elaborate, intricate, profoundly Czarist, and Russian to its bones, as though Tolstoy had sat down to write a murder mystery and came out with The Winter Queen. A wondrous strange and appealing novel, and not quite like anything you've read before." Alan Furst

Review:

"Atmospheric and engrossing, The Winter Queen is a historical thriller from the world of the czar. Boris Akunin is Russia's answer to Caleb Carr." Kevin Baker

Review:

"[Akunin] is the Russian Ian Fleming....[The Winter Queen] features abduction, villains, beautiful women and, of course, espionage....Akunin's accomplished writing is a treat." Ruth Rendell, The Sunday Times (London)

Review:

"A galloping story of murder, suicide, deception, and disguise." Entertainment Weekly

Synopsis:

Moscow, May 1876: What would cause a talented young student from a wealthy family to shoot himself in front of a promenading public in the Alexander Gardens? In this thrilling mystery that brings 19th-century Russia to vivid life, Akunin has created one of the most eagerly anticipated novels in years.

About the Author

Boris Akunin is the pen name of Grigory Chkhartishvili, who was born in the republic of Georgia in 1956; he is a philologist, critic, essayist, and translator of Japanese. He published his first detective stories in 1998 and in a very short time has become one of the most widely read authors in Russia. He has written nine Erast Fandorin novels to date, and is working on two other series as well. Akunin enjoys almost legendary popularity in Russia. He lives in Moscow.

Andrew Bromfield was born in Hull in Yorkshire, England. He has lived in Moscow for long periods, where he co-founded and edited the literary journal Glas, and now lives and works in rural Surrey. He is best known for his acclaimed translations of the stories and novels of Victor Pelevin, including The Life of Insects, Buddha's Little Finger, and Homo Zapiens.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 4 comments:

Victoria J DiLorenzo, January 31, 2011 (view all comments by Victoria J DiLorenzo)
The Book Report: Young, orphaned Erast Fandorin has landed a comparatively cushy job for one whose comfortable future in czarist Russia was snatched away by the machinations of capitalists, beggaring and causing the suicide of his father: Erast is a fourteenth-class state functionary, serving a police official as amanuensis and errand-boy. It leads him into some odd alleyways, serving his about-to-retire master; his wit, his proficiency with language, his unquenchable curiosity lead his boss to allow, amused and indulgent of his junior's silly fascination with nothing criminal, Erast to investigate some odd goings-on among Moscow's Bright Young Things, including the suicide of a youth whose estate, over a million rubles, is left to elderly English philanthropist Baroness Adair.

That one fact, that odd itchy ill-fitting wool sock of a fact, unravels an international conspiracy touching every government in the world, though it is unclear that this conspiracy has any evil intent, at least to me. Erast, extremely young and naive at the outset of the book, ends it extremely young, concussed, and in no possible sense naive and inexperienced any more. How that comes about is a page-turning pleasure to read.

My Review: For once, I am glad I read the second book in the series before the first. I felt much more like I was investing my time wisely after reading Turkish Gambit than I might have had I read this book first. It's good, don't mistake me, but it's not as good as "Gambit" and it's not as clear and succinct, either.

But good golly Miss Molly, it's a ripping good read full of explosions, betrayals, and general all-around wickedness and sneakiness. It's got young love, it's got hopeless infatuation, it's got comradeship and affection, and even a *very* memorable wedding scene. I am completely entranced with its picture of czarist Russia; I am excited to discover the roots of some of Erast's oddities; and I hanker to see these books turned into movies or TV shows, like Montalbano has been. I really feel I can SEE the action as I'm reading, and that's usually so much less of an issue for me; but this series is supremely visual.

Read, and enjoy, and don't fear the commitment of time a new series requires, because like Rutledge, like Montalbano, there are a lot of 'em and they get better as time goes by.
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Kristen M, January 21, 2010 (view all comments by Kristen M)
Akunin is a fantastic writer but I also give credit to the translator of this book, Andrew Bromfield. He does an admirable job of translating this book from its native Russian. It is an insightful look into 1876 Moscow and also a strong start to a great series!
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toadcrystal, January 2, 2010 (view all comments by toadcrystal)
This book is extremely well written with entertaining characters. Akunin really gives you a sense of the Tsarist Russia of the past. The plot twists and turns (good) and some of the elements are a little hard to believe (silly), but the book is so well done otherwise, it really doesn't matter. Despite the tragic ending, it is a a cover-to-cover read and a great introduction to this wonderful new detective.
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(1 of 1 readers found this comment helpful)
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780812968774
Author:
Akunin, Boris
Publisher:
Random House Trade
Translator:
Bromfield, Andrew
Author:
Akunin, B.
Author:
Bromfield, Andrew
Subject:
General
Subject:
History
Subject:
Mystery & Detective - Historical
Subject:
Private investigators
Subject:
Mystery fiction
Subject:
Russia History 1801-1917.
Subject:
Mystery & Detective - General
Subject:
Mystery Historical
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Series:
Erast Fandorin Mysteries
Publication Date:
March 9, 2004
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
264
Dimensions:
8.06x5.24x.58 in. .42 lbs.

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Mystery » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Mystery » Historical

The Winter Queen Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$8.95 In Stock
Product details 264 pages Random House Trade - English 9780812968774 Reviews:
"Review" by , "Ludlum would probably take about a thousand turgid pages to work it all out; Akunin does it in under 250 pages that race along but that find room for a fair amount of social history....Akunin knows how to build suspense, but he also enjoys himself; he shows the reader a good time."
"Review" by , "The familiar police procedural formula exists here, but it is made appealingly strange by the unusual setting and by Fandorin's zany delight in contemporary consumer products....The Winter Queen offers the reliable kick of the basic formula, with some quirky new tangs."
"Review" by , "[A]tmospheric, smartly plotted, and driven by a host of finely etched characters....[A]s Erast follows the breathtaking (but blessedly convincing) twists and turns of his investigation, he finally faces an enemy who is a real surprise. Highly recommended..."
"Review" by , "[A] rousing start....Occasionally, Akunin's style seems a bit affected...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."
"Review" by , "If Pushkin had tried his hand at detective fiction, it might have turned out something like this. In fact, the narrative's combination of impulsive passion and cool ratiocination...suggests the early years of the 19th century rather than the period in which the novel takes place."
"Review" by , "Mystery readers should enjoy this story. It is as Russian, and as international, as caviar and vodka! A crafty tale full of atmosphere, character, and action. I look forward to hearing more about the young detective Erast Fandorin."
"Review" by , "Elaborate, intricate, profoundly Czarist, and Russian to its bones, as though Tolstoy had sat down to write a murder mystery and came out with The Winter Queen. A wondrous strange and appealing novel, and not quite like anything you've read before."
"Review" by , "Atmospheric and engrossing, The Winter Queen is a historical thriller from the world of the czar. Boris Akunin is Russia's answer to Caleb Carr."
"Review" by , "[Akunin] is the Russian Ian Fleming....[The Winter Queen] features abduction, villains, beautiful women and, of course, espionage....Akunin's accomplished writing is a treat."
"Review" by , "A galloping story of murder, suicide, deception, and disguise."
"Synopsis" by , Moscow, May 1876: What would cause a talented young student from a wealthy family to shoot himself in front of a promenading public in the Alexander Gardens? In this thrilling mystery that brings 19th-century Russia to vivid life, Akunin has created one of the most eagerly anticipated novels in years.
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