A young law student commits suicide in broad daylight in Moscow's Alexander Gardens. But this is no ordinary death, for the young man was the son of an influential industrialist and has left a considerable fortune. Erast Fandorin, a hotheaded new recruit to the Criminal Investigation Department, is assigned to the case. Brilliant, young, and sophisticated, Fandorin embarks on an investigation that will take him from the palatial mansions of Moscow to the seedy backstreets of London in his hunt for the conspirators behind this mysterious death. There's a dark twist at the end that has me anxious to continue in this series ' Neil on Goodreads five stars. Odds seem good that Akunin will be the next detective to capture readers' fancy en masse ' Sarah Weinman, January Magazine.
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Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Want to Read saving…. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Other editions. Enlarge cover. Error rating book. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Details if other :. Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Andrew Bromfield Translator. Moscow, May What would cause a talented young student from a wealthy family to shoot himself in front of a promenading public in the Alexander Gardens?
Decadence and boredom, most likely, is what the commander of the Criminal Investigation Division of the Moscow Police thinks, but still he finds it curious enough to send the newest member of the division, Erast Fando Moscow, May What would cause a talented young student from a wealthy family to shoot himself in front of a promenading public in the Alexander Gardens?
Decadence and boredom, most likely, is what the commander of the Criminal Investigation Division of the Moscow Police thinks, but still he finds it curious enough to send the newest member of the division, Erast Fandorin, a young man of irresistible charm, to the Alexander Gardens precinct for more information.
Fandorin is not satisfied with the conclusion that this 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.
There are many unresolved questions. Why, for instance, have both victims left their fortunes to an orphanage run by the English Lady Astair? And who is the beautiful "A. Relying on his keen intuition, the eager sleuth plunges into an investigation that leads him across Europe, landing him at the deadly center of a terrorist conspiracy of worldwide proportions. Get A Copy. Paperback , pages. Published March 25th by Phoenix Press first published More Details Original Title.
Other Editions Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about The Winter Queen , please sign up. Lists with This Book. Community Reviews. Showing Average rating 3. Rating details. More filters. Sort order. I don't know if the charm of this novel translates well into English, but in its original Russian language this short historical mystery is delicious. The Winter Queen or as it was originally titled, Azazel is the first book in a series of detective stories whose main character is Erast Fandorin.
In this novel set in s Russia Erast is a year old wide-eyed youth who accidentally comes to investigate a strange case of public suicide. In spite of his naivete and innocence, Erast proves I don't know if the charm of this novel translates well into English, but in its original Russian language this short historical mystery is delicious. In spite of his naivete and innocence, Erast proves himself an astute detective and manages to untangle a world-wide conspiracy.
The best thing about this novel is that while it manages to give a taste of Russian history, culture and mentality, it never stops being a first-class entertainment, dynamic and fun. I would recommend this book to anyone remotely interested in 19th century Russia, but who is intimidated by Tolstoy and Dostoevsky. View all 11 comments. May 28, AM. Olga I could not help myself. I am totally hooked May 28, AM. Jan 31, Richard Derus rated it really liked it.
The Publisher Says : Moscow, May What would cause a talented young student from a wealthy family to shoot himself in front of a promenading public in the Alexander Gardens? Fandorin i The Publisher Says : Moscow, May What would cause a talented young student from a wealthy family to shoot himself in front of a promenading public in the Alexander Gardens?
My Review : 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. 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.
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. View 2 comments. Dec 04, Evgeny rated it liked it Shelves: crime-and-mystery. This is the first book of a very popular Russian series which brought fame to its author Boris Akunin real name Grigory Chkhartishvili.
Boris Akunin considers mystery genre to consist of several sub-genres - his own classification; he wrote each book of the series in each sub-genre conspiracy, spy, political, Agatha Christie-type, etc. In the first book we are presented with a conspiracy mystery. The main hero of the series is Erast Fandorin: a young man in 19th century Russian Empire; the fi This is the first book of a very popular Russian series which brought fame to its author Boris Akunin real name Grigory Chkhartishvili.
The main hero of the series is Erast Fandorin: a young man in 19th century Russian Empire; the first book takes place in A talented student from a wealthy family shot himself in a broad daylight which seems to be the obvious case of a suicide resulting from trivial reasons, but our hero is not satisfied with this conclusion. He starts digging deeper and eventually stumbles upon a vast conspiracy.
The book gives a depiction of Russian Empire at the turn of 19th century; I found the historical background to be excellent and Moscow feels really alive. As a mystery novel is fails on several accounts. A hero of a detective series can make it or break it. All of them have very interesting and bright personalities. Erast Fandorin falls flat for me. He is not that smart to begin with and he usually solves the mystery right after the solution practically jumps into his face; but I really need to cut him some slack here as this is his first case.
So what does he have going for him? His luck extends to gambling: he never loses a game of cards or dice. To me this looks like a cheap trick to make up for his deficiency in 'grey cells' area.
Conclusion: 2 stars for mystery, 4 stars for historical background which makes up for 3 stars overall. View all 8 comments. I got 3 audiobooks out of order, and today cou Olga wrote: "I second the idea of trying "The State Counsellor" In fact, I confess, I am totally hooked. I got 3 audiobooks out of order, and today could not help myself any longer, and bought the Kindle Adven If you liked them even a li Thanks to both of you.
Olga Keep us posted! May 28, PM. Mar 12, Corinne Edwards rated it really liked it Shelves: the-nook-book-club , translated , historical-fiction , , mystery , russia. This is a brilliant book. The plot is clever and full of those "no way! I laughed out loud more than once - Fandorin is such a silly and unassuming hero, and his use of the "male corset" was absolutely divine.
I did see a few things coming - but the writing was such fun to read, that it didn't spoil the book for me. I appreciate it as a work of Russian literature excellently translated - of course, the ending was incredibly Russian we can't have things be TOO This is a brilliant book.
I appreciate it as a work of Russian literature excellently translated - of course, the ending was incredibly Russian we can't have things be TOO happy, can we? I liked getting a feel for Russia and Europe during the late 19th century - and how different detective work stretching across nations must've been before the telephone and internet.
This book was a pleasure on many different levels, I'd read Akunin again. View all 3 comments. Absolutely and totally fun novel, reminiscent of those old cliffhanger series things.
The Winter Queen
Search: Title Author Article. Rate this book. Buy This Book. In this thrilling mystery that brings nineteenth-century Russia to vivid life, Akunin has created one of the most eagerly anticipated novels in years. Moscow, May What would cause a talented young student from a wealthy family to shoot himself in front of a promenading public in the Alexander Gardens? Decadence and boredom, most likely, is what the commander of the Criminal Investigation Division of the Moscow Police thinks, but still he finds it curious enough to send the newest member of the division, Erast Fandorin, a young man of irresistible charm, to the Alexander Gardens precinct for more information. There are many unresolved questions.
The Winter Queen Reader’s Guide
Humor and coincidence figure prominently in the plotting of The Winter Queen. Why is humor and chance so unexpected and thrilling in the plotting of a mystery novel? Further, how does Grushin compare with the seemingly ingenious Detective Brilling, both as a detective and as a man of character? How did this traumatic cliff hanger alter the tone of the novel?
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The novel opens on 13 May with a university student, Pyotr Kokorin, committing suicide in the public park in front of a beautiful young noblewoman, Elizaveta von Evert-Kolokoltseva. His will leaves his large fortune to the newly opened Moscow chapter of Astair House, an international network of schools for orphan boys founded by an English noblewoman, Lady Astair. The apparently open-and-shut suicide case falls to inexperienced year-old detective Erast Fandorin. He interviews Elizaveta, and immediately falls in love with her. Further investigation reveals that Kokorin was playing Russian roulette called "American roulette" in the novel with another university student, Akhtyrtsev. Fandorin tails Akhtyrtsev, who leads him to a sensuous dark-haired woman, Amalia Bezhetskaya, whom Fandorin recognizes from a picture in Kokorin's room.
The Winter Queen : An Erast Fandorin Mystery 1