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. . . .
About Boris Akunin
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, Akunin published his first detective stories in 1998 and has already become one of the most widely read authors in Russia.
He is the author of eleven Erast Fandorin novels, including The Winter Queen, The Turkish Gambit, Murder on the Leviathan, The Death of Achilles, and Special Assignments, available from Random House Trade Paperbacks; and Sister Pelagia and the White Bulldog and Sister Pelagia and the Black Monk, in the Sister Pelagia series. He lives in Moscow.
“[Akunin’s] novels feature a Slavic Sherlock Holmes who speaks Japanese and English, is skilled at martial arts and has ladykiller good looks. . . . Millions of readers have been seduced.” –The Wall Street Journal
“[Akunin] writes gloriously pre-Soviet prose, sophisticated and suffused in Slavic melancholy and thoroughly worthy of nineteenth-century forebears like Gogol and Chekhov.” –Time
“Critics on both sides of the Atlantic have praised [Akunin’s] clever plots, vivid characters and wit as sharp as the sword hidden in Fandorin’s walking stick.” –Baltimore Sun
“Akunin’s wonderful novels are always intricately webbed and plotted.” –The Providence Journal