Special Assignments: The Further Adventures of Erast Fandorin Hardcover – 11 Jan 2007
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Intricate, incredible, pleasurable. (Jessica Mann LITERARY REVIEW)
Fandorin is a delightful creation - a quirky gentleman sleuth who cuts an impeccably groomed dash through the courts and political intrigues of 19th century Russia...With an eccentric cast of supporting characters and a fleeting romance, Akunin's whodunit formula is irresistible. (EASY LIVING (February))
a double treat for fans. (Omer Ali TIME OUT (10-17 January))
Akunin brilliantly ratchets up the tension...and Fandorin's unveiling of the clues will keep you enthralled. (Richard Mead FQ (January/February))
an excellent read. (Laura Wilson GUARDIAN (13.1.07))
This...demonstrates Akunin's underlying seriousness of purpose in writing the Fandorin novels, whose clever devices and mischievous tricks disguise a determination to strip bare the extremes of human behaviour. (Joan Smith SUNDAY TIMES (14.1.07))
The perfect Sunday afternoon read. (Kath Murphy SCOTLAND ON SUNDAY (21.1.07))
ingenious and craftily plotted exploits. (GOOD BOOK GUIDE (February))
this elegantly written book is fast-moving, witty and compulsively readable...The story packs a surprisingly powerful emotional punch, proving there's more to Akunin than jolly pastiche. Highly recommended. (GLOSS MAGAZINE (March 2007))
Whether in skittish or sombre mood, Akunin is immensely readable (and excellently translated by Andrew Bromfield); the beguiling, super-brainy, sexy, unpredictable Fandorin is a creation like no other in crime fiction. (Marcel Berlins TIMES (10.2.07))
Fandorin [is] a debonair combo of Sherlock Holmes, D'Artagnan and most of the soulful heroes of Russian literature...Andrew Bromfield's translation is key to maintaining the entertaining period pastiche...Fandorin is very much a figure from the time of his creation: an all-knowing yet taciturn functionary with a past in espionage and a love of Japanese martial arts working in a Russia beset by internal division. (Roger Perkins SUNDAY TELEGRAPH (19.2.07))
The daring Russian sleuth Erast Fandorin takes on two new cunning adversariesSee all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
The Jack of Spades is a slightly more light hearted battle of wits between Fandorin and the eponymous swindler. It manages the neat trick of turning the readers sympathies around in the middle of the story.
The Decorator is a much darker affair and whilst the previous stroy has pace and a satisfying conclusion, its greater function in this context is as a prelude to this second story. A serial killer stalks Moscow and Fandorin along with his young pupil Tulipov are out to catch him/her(?)
This is crime writing at its very best, what anyone could be wanting more than this from a crime novel is beyond me. This pairing of books is almost perfect.
If 'The Decorator' is the darkest of Akunin's stories so far, albeit leavened with his usual humour, then 'Jack of Spades' is one of his lightest - a delightful romp telling the tale of a conman and his wonderful assistant, who I for one desperately hopes will appear in a future episode.
Boris Akunin affirms himself once again as one of the world's greatest living writers in any language.
The Jack of Spades is an entertaining adventure of a cat-and-mouse chase between Fandorin and a clever conman and master of disguise who is not only making fools of the general public in Moscow, he has even taken in some prominent government officials with his schemes, leaving behind his calling card and causing major embarrassment for all concerned. It's an entertaining light romp, Akunin capturing the wonder of the detective's methods from the admiring viewpoint of a new assistant Tulipov who has been assigned to him.
The Decorator is a much darker prospect. After the first Erast Fandorin novel Azazel/The Winter Queen, the reader will be accustomed not to expect Fandorin's investigations to run along too smoothly or without some serious consequences, and here his adversary is one of the most deadly - none other than Jack the Ripper himself. Akunin presents a strong and convincing psychological portrait of an intelligent and quite mad serial killer, but the appropriation of Jack the Ripper feels lazy, the investigation lacks focus and urgency, and some of the deaths that occur feel unnecessarily manipulative, the whole thing leaving a rather bitter taste in the mouth - and not in a good way.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I had read all the other Fantorin books but was slightly confused in terms of continuity. I do think that 'the diamond chariot' should be read before the books written by Akunin... Read morePublished on 15 April 2014 by ronald william james smith
Interesting reading lots of factual streets used the equivalent of Sherlock Holmes well done will read the rest. of his worksPublished on 29 May 2013 by Mr.R.Harrison
Once again the quality of these used books was excellent - and I am enjoying reading the further adventures of Mr Fandorin. Read morePublished on 23 Oct. 2012 by Mittie
Boris Akunin's Special Assignments (Weidenfeld & Nicolson) narrates two episodes in the life of that talented detective and stammerer Erast Fandorin. Read morePublished on 17 Mar. 2009 by Feanor
Boris Akunin's 'Erast Fandorin' sries are amongst my few must-buy reads. Akunin is a tremendous writer who has managed to create an extremely interesting and likable character in... Read morePublished on 16 Jun. 2008 by Davywavy2
In general, I'm not keen on novellas, but prefer full-length novels that you can get your literary teeth into. Read morePublished on 2 April 2008 by Friendlycard