She Lover of Death: A Fandorin Mystery
From Boris Akunin, the writer who invented the popular Russian crime novel, a gripping tale of a secret suicide society in turn-of-the-century Moscow featuring a naïve young protagonist and the inimitable hero Erast Fandorin.
Naive young Masha Mironova arrives in Moscow at the turn of the century with a modest inheritance and a determination to shed her provincial Siberian upbringing. As soon as she alights in Moscow, she becomes Columbine, a reckless and daring young woman with eccentric outfits and a pet snake worn as a necklace. In her quest for danger and passion, Columbine soon discovers the Lovers of Death--a small group of poets enraptured by death who gather nightly at the home of their leader, the Doge, and conduct séances to determine death's next chosen lover. Once named at a séance, the chosen member must await three signs from death before taking his own life. The string of suicides resulting from the group have drawn attention, becoming fodder for extensive media coverage and widespread hysteria in Moscow. As the group's numbers dwindle, a mysterious newcomer appears. Revealed to the reader as Erast Fandorin thanks to the presence of his trusty Japanese sidekick, Fandorin begins to investigate the suicides while also trying to convince the members that death is neither beautiful nor poetic and should not be sought out.
But will the gentleman detective be able to stop Columbine from taking action when she receives her three unmistakable signs? She Lover of Death is a fantastically entertaining murder mystery, where the murderer's weapons are trickery and psychological manipulation.
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About the Author
"Akunin continues to notch the most consistently varied approaches to the adventures of the Great Detective on record."--Kirkus Reviews
"Akunin (the pen name for Russian-born essayist and critic Grigory Chkhartishvili) adds interest and texture here with multiple narrators, but it's the witty Fandorin who shines."--Booklist
"Akunin's novels are a fascinating mixture of pathos and pastiche; his characters are larger than life but never absurd...[She Lover of Death] is as ingenious as the earlier Fandorin novels, and full of clever and unexpected twists."--Sunday Times
"Akunin is not out to achieve verisimilitude. What he delivers is an absurdly imaginative story, surreal and comic. His characters are outrageous and thoroughly unbelievable. Fandorin is an impossibly heroic figure. The combination is irresistible."--Times(UK)
Praise for Boris Akunin and the Fandorin mysteries:
"Mr. Akunin's idiosyncratic page-turner is stuffed with action and laced with humor. In certain ways, it is reminiscent of discursive Russian novels of the 19th century and the social-satirical suspense classics of Wilkie Collins. But comparisons cannot suffice for an author who is a virtuoso in his own right."--Wall Street Journal, on The Coronation"Akunin keeps the action fast-paced, and the logical twists head-spinning, without sacrificing humor or depth of characterization."--Publishers Weekly, starred review of The Coronation
"Droll, incisive, and fiendishly clever, The Coronation is part ripping adventure story, part Downton Abbey-ish comedy of manners, and all fun."--Seattle Times, on The Coronation
"Just when you think you know what's coming next, Akunin, the most audacious author of historical mysteries in the business, shows that he's way ahead of you."--Kirkus Reviews, on The Coronation
"I look forward to reading more Fandorin, as translated from the Russian by Andrew Bromfield, in this mystery series that defies expectations even as it thrills with its intelligence and surprises."--Criminal Element, on The Coronation
"Brimming with adventure and extraordinary vitality, a sweeping journey through a unique time and place, yet with a humanity that touches us all."--Anne Perry, on The State Counsellor
"Fandorin delights with his silken ironies and smart manoeuvres ... This latest case shows a crime star of all the Russias still blazing bright."--Independent (UK), on The State Counsellor
"Akunin's descriptions of characters' appearances and temperaments, as well as the time period, call to mind Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes adventures. Narrative sleights of hand and copious red herrings will keep readers guessing until the end."--Publishers Weekly, on The State Counsellor
"Through every twist and turn, both Akunin and his hero maintain an imperturbable decorum that makes this the most ceremonious tale of terrorism and counterterrorism you're ever likely to read."--Kirkus Reviews, on The State Counsellor"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, on The Winter Queen "Delightful romps through a stylized late nineteenth century."--New Yorker "The Russian Ian Fleming ... Akunin's accomplished writing is a treat."--Ruth Rendell, on The Winter Queen "If Pushkin had tried his hand at detective fiction, it might have turned out something like this .. A saucy and insouciant tale of derringers and derring-do."--New York Times Book Review, on The Winter Queen "Sophisticated ... A marvel of misdirection."--Boston Globe, on The Turkish Gambit "[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."--Wall Street Journal, on The Death of Achilles "Fandorin ... is a delightful character like no other in crime fiction."--Times (UK), on The Turkish Gambit "Akunin writes like a hybrid of Caleb Carr, Agatha Christie, and Elizabeth Peters."--Publishers Weekly, on Murder on the Leviathan