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In 1882, after six years of foreign travel and adventure, renowned diplomat and detective Erast Fandorin returns to Moscow in the heart of Mother Russia. His Moscow homecoming is anything but peaceful. In the hotel where he and his loyal if impertinent manservant Masa are staying, Fandorin’s old war-hero friend General Michel Sobolev (“Achilles” to the crowd) has been found dead, felled in his armchair by an apparent heart attack. But Fandorin suspects an unnatural cause. His suspicions lead him to the boudoir of the beautiful singer–“not exactly a courtesan”–known as Wanda. Apparently, in Wanda’s bed, the general secretly breathed his last. . . .
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BORIS AKUNIN is the pen name of Grigory Chkhartishvili, who was born in the republic of Georgia in 1956. A philologist, critic, essayist, and translator of Japanese, he published his first detective stories in 1998 and quickly became one of the most widely read authors in Russia. He has written ten Erast Fandorin novels to date, which have sold more than eight million copies in Russia and been translated into nearly two dozen languages. He lives in Moscow.From Booklist:
Russian mystery buffs revere Akunin (the pen name for Russian-born essayist and critic Grigory Chkhartishvili), who renders smart, stylistic thrillers set in the late nineteenth century. In the author's fourth novel to be published in the U.S. (after 2005's The Turkish Gambit), -Sherlock Holmes-like special agent Erast Petrovich Fandorin investigates the sudden demise of his old war-hero friend, General Mikhail Sobolev, who died of an apparent heart attack in the arms of a German nightclub singer. Details soon surface about Sobolev's plans for a coup and a missing suitcase containing the rubles to finance it. Fandorin's pursuit of the loot leads to the slums of Khitrovka and the criminally minded head of the governor-general's secret chancellery. The hunter soon becomes the hunted, as Fandorin is tailed by Klonov, an enigmatic assassin. Although some readers may be rattled by the novel's abrupt shift in point of view (from Fandorin's formal style to a more lyrical retelling of the hired-gun's life), Akunin's high-energy ending makes up for the narrative glitch. Allison Block
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Book Description Scorpion Press - Orion, Gladestry UK, 2005. Hard Cover. Condition: As New. Dust Jacket Condition: As New. Signed Limited Numbered. A fine unread Signed Limited Edition, (No. 41 out of 80 copies), quarter bound in blue leather with marbled boards in a fine clear acetate dustwrapper, Signed by the Author on the limitation page. With an appreciation by H R F Keating. Signed by Author. Seller Inventory # 005795