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Pelagia And The Black Monk: The Second Sister Pelagia Mystery Hardcover – 17 May 2007

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: W&N; First Edition edition (17 May 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0297850865
  • ISBN-13: 978-0297850861
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 3.2 x 22.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,477,147 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

The young nun;s second outing is as well-plotted, suspenseful and entertaining as her first. (Anna Carey The Gloss)

Book Description

Sister Pelagia, bespectacled, freckled, woefully clumsy and possessed of a not very nunnish aptitude for solving crimes, returns in a tale of monastic intrigue, murder and adventure.

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Davywavy2 VINE VOICE on 23 Mar. 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
In an isolated religious community and resort for the pious, the ghost of its founder has appeared to strike terror into the hearts of monks and visitors alike. When a series of terrible fates meet investigators sent by the Bishop, Mitrofanii, Sister Pelagia takes it upon herself to track down the secret of a ghost - and a murderer.

Apparently, Boris Akunin tries to write his each books in the style of a different mystery or adventure genre and Sister Pelagia and the Black Monk is plainly the 'Scooby Doo' entry into the canon. A creepy old ghost scaring people away from a popular resort community for mysterious ends? What else could it be!
This isn't a criticism by any means - Pelagia and the Black Monk is an accomplished piece of writing and murder mystery in its own right, and tremendously enjoyable to boot. I have to admit I certainly didn't work out the identity of the ghostly villain until late on, even though the clues were all there.

It's enjoyable seeing familiar genre tropes presented in a distinctively Russian manner - sometimes fatalistic, sometimes stoical but always with tongue slightly in cheek. Coincidences abound, characters pop from the page in gleeful description and the pages turn with definite pleasure. Recommended.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By R. W. Morrissey on 9 July 2007
Format: Hardcover
I started reading the Akunin novels a year or so ago and have been totally hooked on all of them. I was delighted when Sister Pelagia came along to add to the outstanding Fandorin novels. Althought The White Bulldog opener was a little slow to get going it introduced the foundations on which The Black Monk grows and grows. Akunin has a way of enticing you into the novel and the structure of this one is no different - cleverly conceived with a slight "off the wall" feel that keeps you turning that extra page. Although some of the Russian names can take a while to become accustomed to this in no way detracts from the plot and the strength of the characters involved. Here's hoping the next UK publication of either Fandorin or Sister Pelagia is not far away.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Keris Nine TOP 500 REVIEWER on 8 Oct. 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Akunin's second Pelagia novel is even better than the first. Having spent a lot of time providing background on the characters, the period and their location in The White Bulldog with some long diversions into mild philosophising (entertaining and highly readable though it was) - the new book, as promised at the end of the last, goes straight into the mystery with little beating around the bush.

That said, it's a while before Sister Pelagia leaps into action, and only after Bishop Mitrofanii's other trusted emissaries have failed - quite shockingly - in their attempts to uncover who or what is behind the fearsome apparition of a ghostly Black Monk at a popular place of religious retreat. Akunin handles all aspects of the thriller masterfully, with marvellous characterisation, borrowing from classic Russian literature, but putting a modern murder-mystery twist on proceedings, with plenty of cliff-hanging thrills and a genuinely unexpected outcome.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By M. Gaskill on 21 Jun. 2007
Format: Hardcover
I just finished reading Pelagia and the Black Monk, and I must say it is a fantastic book. Whereas the first Pelagia book might have been a tiny bit slow, the plot of this second installment hurtles along like a runaway train in comparison. The writing is lovely, the resolution is clever and unexpected, and the ending is pure poetic justice. I definitely recommend it.
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