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The Winter Queen (Erast Fandorin 1) [Paperback]

Boris Akunin
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
RRP: 7.99
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Book Description

18 Mar 2010 Erast Fandorin 1

This is the first book featuring Erast Fandorin, the famous gentleman sleuth.

Moscow 1876. 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.


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The Winter Queen (Erast Fandorin 1) + Turkish Gambit (Erast Fandorin, No. 2) (Erast Fandorin 3) + Murder on the Leviathan
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Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Phoenix; New Ed edition (18 Mar 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0753817594
  • ISBN-13: 978-0753817599
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 27,443 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

A masterful tongue-in-cheek mixture of crime and historical fiction (Ash Tarhuni, Bookseller WATERSTONES BOOKS QUARTERLY)

Book Description

'An absolute delight. Think Tolstoy writing James Bond with the logical rigour of Sherlock Holmes. A hoot' Guardian

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
28 of 28 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I hope they speed up the translation pace 22 Jun 2005
Format:Paperback
I was extremely pleased to discover the work of Georgian author Boris Akunin, since I have always been a fan of Russian literature and getting to experience a novel dealing with mystery / espionage from that origin was a real treat. If I had to define the writing style of Akunin, I would say that he creates characters that show the characteristic inner turmoil present in the work of several Russian authors, like Dostoyevsky, and uses storylines that can be mirrored with a mixture of John LeCarre and Arthur Conan Doyle.
This is the first installment of a series of eleven books (up to this date) featuring the Moscow detective Erast Fandorin, and was originally published under the title "Azazel". Our hero lives in the nineteenth century, and has been unlucky in life, since his family's fortune was lost quickly and completely, leaving him in a precarious condition and working as a catalyst for his decision of joining the police force. He is getting to know the ropes around the department when he is assigned to the case of a man that committed suicide in a park. It is supposed to be an open and shut case, but Fandorin's zeal and eagerness for knowing more about the poor individual leads him to discover a complicated web of lies and deceit, which at its center holds and international conspiracy.
I enjoyed how the author describes the thoughts of our main character, since this gives the story a depth that goes beyond the mystery at hand, and creates a bond with the reader that keeps us interested in the series. Besides Fandorin, there is an eclectic set of characters that provide the story with interesting dialogues and variety of personalities.
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40 of 41 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars No mean effort from the 'bad guy' 17 May 2005
Format:Paperback
Boris Akunin is the pen name of Georgian writer, Grigory Chkhartishvili - a translator of Japanese, Akunin means 'bad guy' in that language and plays on the name of the 19th century Russian revolutionary, Bakunin.
Akunin is one of the leading lights in a new wave of writers emerging from the former Soviet Union. Crime fiction had been proscribed under the Communists - it was bourgeois and crime was not supposed to be happening. With the collapse of the regime, however, it quickly became the most popular form of literature, with pulp presses churning out a supply to meet the demand.
Hence the rapidity with which "Winter Queen" was produced. Published as "Azazel" in Russia in 1998, "The Winter Queen" represents the first of a dozen and more titles by Akunin featuring his indestructible hero, Erast Fandorin. Written in just six weeks, it became a major best-seller in Russia and rapidly attracted Western attention - film rights have been sold.
Not that it, in any way, appears hurried, sloppy, or amateurish in construction. Akunin's hero is a young man, newly enlisted in the police force of the 1870's. This is a world with no forensic science, a rigid social structure and rigid proprieties, and police investigation techniques which respect the intuition of the intelligent amateur or newcomer. Fandorin is inexperienced, naive, downwardly mobile (the family fortune having evaporated), but cultured, intelligent, diligent, and desperately enthusiastic. He doesn't so much want to impress as want to succeed ... by a process of blind self-confidence and a youthful self-delusion that he is acting logically and scientifically.
Fandorin is invited to investigate the suicide of a rich student. The young man has blown his brains out in public. How can this be suicide?
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I hope they speed up the translation pace 30 Jun 2005
Format:Paperback
I was extremely pleased to discover the work of Georgian author Boris Akunin, since I have always been a fan of Russian literature and getting to experience a novel dealing with mystery / espionage from that origin was a real treat. If I had to define the writing style of Akunin, I would say that he creates characters that show the characteristic inner turmoil present in the work of several Russian authors, like Dostoyevsky, and uses storylines that can be mirrored with a mixture of John LeCarre and Arthur Conan Doyle.
This is the first installment of a series of eleven books (up to this date) featuring the Moscow detective Erast Fandorin, and was originally published under the title "Azazel". Our hero lives in the nineteenth century, and has been unlucky in life, since his family's fortune was lost quickly and completely, leaving him in a precarious condition and working as a catalyst for his decision of joining the police force. He is getting to know the ropes around the department when he is assigned to the case of a man that committed suicide in a park. It is supposed to be an open and shut case, but Fandorin's zeal and eagerness for knowing more about the poor individual leads him to discover a complicated web of lies and deceit, which at its center holds and international conspiracy.
I enjoyed how the author describes the thoughts of our main character, since this gives the story a depth that goes beyond the mystery at hand, and creates a bond with the reader that keeps us interested in the series. Besides Fandorin, there is an eclectic set of characters that provide the story with interesting dialogues and variety of personalities.
Read more ›
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars great fast paced read
An engaging and fast paced story with characters that are likeable and hateful when appropriate. A super hero for a cretinous villain intertwined with wit and intrigue.
Published 3 days ago by poccer
2.0 out of 5 stars Not my type of book
I found this very disappointing. I thought it sounded really interesting but felt the reviewers must have been reading a different book! Read more
Published 8 days ago by isla tuck
5.0 out of 5 stars Stepping back in time for a murder-mystery novel
If you like detective novels but have now read so many that something 'new' is needed, you may enjoy this series. Read more
Published 2 months ago by REO
5.0 out of 5 stars Vintage Akunin
I have read quite a few of his works, and Erast Faninin is a grand hero, capable of incredible feats and human frailties. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Bob Innes
2.0 out of 5 stars Its ok but I didn't finish this book - 2.5 stars
**Spoiler alert** This review includes a detail of the story.

It started very promising and I loved the subtle humour, the suspense, the intriguing storyline and the... Read more
Published 7 months ago by J. Fenn
4.0 out of 5 stars Akunin's series of books
Erast Fandorin is an engaging character and the twists and turns of the story kept mt interest to the end
Published 9 months ago by Eileen Reid
3.0 out of 5 stars Let's Make This Russian Import Welcome
"The Winter Queen," a historical mystery, was penned by the pseudonymous Boris Akunin, translated by Andrew Bromfield. Read more
Published on 11 Mar 2012 by Stephanie De Pue
5.0 out of 5 stars A Fiendish plot
Boris has created an intriguing and unique character without overly plundering the homage to a classic genre. Read more
Published on 9 Sep 2011 by Lee Hanley
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 stars for book. 1 star for kindle version.
I'll focus on the Kindle edition here. The book is great. I prefer later books in the series. But this is still excellent. Read more
Published on 11 Jun 2011 by A Philosophy and Ethics Reader
4.0 out of 5 stars Great start to the series, excellent translation
Wonderfully written adventure and, what's more, wonderfully translated. Most of the time it reads as though it was written in English which is the highest compliment I can pay to... Read more
Published on 26 Mar 2011 by H. Collingbourne
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