BORIS AKUNIN is the pen name of Grigory Chkhartishvili, who
was born in the republic of Georgia in 1956; he is a philologist,
critic, essayist, and translator of Japanese. He published his
first detective stories in 1998 and in a very short time has become
one of the most widely read authors in Russia. He has written nine
Erast Fandorin novels to date, and is working on two other series
as well. Akunin enjoys almost legendary popularity in Russia. He
lives in Moscow. ANDREW BROMFIELD was born in Hull in Yorkshire,
England. He has lived in Moscow for long periods, where he
co-founded and edited the literary journal Glas, and now
lives and works in rural Surrey. He is best known for his acclaimed
translations of the stories and novels of Victor Pelevin, including
The Life of Insects, Buddha's Little Finger, and Homo
The Moscow-based Akunin is a best-selling author internationally, and it's easy to see why: his American debut is atmospheric, smartly plotted, and driven by a host of finely etched characters. Our hero is Erast Fandorin, a naf in 19th-century Moscow who lost his standing in society upon his father's death and has joined the police force. His first case involves a dandy's dramatic suicide in the Alexander Gardens, which he instinctively senses is more complicated than it looks. His investigations soon lead him to the dramatic Amalia Kazimirovna, whom he dubs Cleopatra; as he trails her to England and a shabby hotel called the Winter Queen, he starts uncovering a plot of truly grandiose proportions to upend the current social order. Fittingly, these schemers aren't after wealth or glory but a sort of twisted social justice-this is the Russia of Dostoevsky and Decembrist plots, after all-and as Erast follows the breathtaking (but blessedly convincing) twists and turns of his investigation, he finally faces an enemy who is a real surprise. Highly recommended for public libraries. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 2/1/03.]-Barbara Hoffert, "Library Journal" Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
"A galloping story of murder, suicide, deception, and
"As international as caviar and vodka! A crafty tale full of
atmosphere, character, and action."
-Anne Perry "Marries old-fashioned manners to a nonstop array of plot twists to rival the best detective tales . . . The Winter Queen is an energetic hands-down winner."
-People "There are secret panels, hidden tunnels, a false mustache, intercepted letters, gunfights, and a glamorous female villain. . . . Akunin knows how to build suspense."
-The Boston Globe "A wondrous strange and appealing novel . . . Elaborate, intricate, profoundly czarist, and Russian to its bones, as though Tolstoy had sat down to write a murder mystery. Not quite like anything you've ever read before."
-Alan Furst, author of The Foreign Correspondent