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Boris Akunin is the pseudonym of Grigory Chkhartishvillihas, who worked as a translator before writing fiction. He has been compared to Gogol, Tolstoy and Arthur Conan Doyle, and his Erast Fandorin books have sold over eight million copies in Russia alone. He lives in Moscow.
Photograph Â© Basso Cannarsa
Intriguing, complex and a perfect antidote to the fast paced American crime novel. Sister Pelagia is a young Russian Miss Marple with more than a hint of Sherlock Holmes. Not a book to read commuting (unless you have a long journey) but well worth getting into the characters, pace and late 19th Russian settings of these clever and very readable whodunits.
Top-notch crime and historical fiction in one package. This is the second in the Erast Fandorin series and it’s simply enormous fun to read.
Strange and awful things begin to happen again in formerly the quietest and the safest Zavolzhsk province. Around remote Novo-Araratskiy monastery, in the very north of the region, rumours about some ghostly Black Monk proliferate and increase. This not only frightens random people, but can even bring them to death. But the real horror begins then, when all envoys of bishop Mitrofani, who were sent by him to the far monastery with the task of figuring the mysteries out at the scene, one by one die or at the best go insane. The bishop himself was laid low by dismay and grief. So, nun Pelagia starts out for far Novy Ararat, without permission and pastoral blessing...
RUSSIA, 1918 The young Soviet state is in turmoil. Chekists walk along the streets. Hunger, cold and mud crawl away in the former aristocratic quarters of Moscow. The old order has been turned upside down, leaving room for political infighting and dark subterfuge. This is the world Erast Fandorin - the celebrated detective - wakes up to after three years in a coma. His faithful assistant Masa might have nursed him successfully back to life, but there is no guarantee that the old Fandorin, with his razor-sharp intellect and superhuman strength, will ever be back. Determined to leave behind Moscow - a city he doesn't recognise anymore - Fandorin embarks on one last great adventure. But who can he trust in a country torn apart by civil war?
Eliza Altairsky-Lointaine is the toast of Moscow society, a beautiful actress in an infamous theatre troupe. The estranged wife of a descendant of Genghis Khan, her love life is as colourful as the parts she plays: her ex-husband has threatened to kill anyone who courts her. He appears to be making good on his promise. Fandorin is contacted by concerned friend - the widowed wife of Chekhov - who asks him to investigate an alarming incident involving Eliza. But when he watches Eliza on stage for the first time, he falls desperately in love . . . Can he solve the case - and win over Eliza - without attracting the attentions of the murderer he is trying to find?
In the new book of Boris Akunin collected historical miniatures that will surprise you, make you happy, make you think, and maybe even "e;withdraw from the comfort zone."e; The lives of remarkable (and sometimes even ordinary - at first glance) people and animals so accurately convey the mood and color of times past, as if we are facing a strange kaleidoscope of extraordinary events and striking characters.
"e;Altyn Tolobas"e; is the first novel from the cycle "e;Adventures of a Master"e;, which already tells about the grandson of the famous sleuth Erast Fandorin - Nicholas. By a twist of fate and history, Nicholas Fandorin is a British subject, Master of History. His scholarly endeavor is dedicated, first of all, to studying the history of the Fandorins' family. And thus, an interesting historical document comes to his hand. This document not only denotes location of an ancient mysterious treasure, but is also indicative of the fact that the progenitor of the Russian branch of the old European family von Dorn is directly relevant to this buried treasure. To study it all out, Nicholas has to go to modern Russia. At once two storylines are skillfully intertwined in the novel. The second one refers to the beginning of the XVII century and tells about the very progenitor - Cornelius von Dorn, invited to the court of tsar Aleksey Mikhailovich for military service. The remote great-great-grandfather and his present-day descendant are following almost the same route - to Moscow. Incredible adventures, almost fairy tale treasure and true love await both of them. You know, history often repeats itself...
Nicholas Fandorin, the last descendant of the honoured family of the von Dorns and a grandson of the famous sleuth Erast Fandorin, now lives in Russia, too. He even runs his own business, a fairly peculiar one - he gives people advice. Serious, and most importantly - thorough life advice. And these pieces of advice always work. Even in such an extreme and horrifying situation, when a daughter of a distinguished and well-known plastic surgeon is kidnapped, and when one needs to decide, what is worth more - the child's life or glory and wealth. It is aligned with the second storyline, when one of the Fandorins - Danila Larionovich, in the epoch of the reign of Catherine the Great, is also to choose - either honours and a meteorical career, in exchange for a trifling favor. Or saving lives of an innocent talented child and a woman in love. What will the Fandorins choose?
Nicholas Fandorin is travelling on board a huge cruise liner "e;Falcon"e;, enjoying his quite well-deserved rest. But all at the same time he tries to crack the mystery of a manuscript leading to teeming treasures. By the way, Nicholas's rich kinswoman - aunt Cynthia - both paid for the cruise and sent the manuscript. But why in the world did she display such lavishness, as-yet unheard? One should always be in for surprises from remote relatives of the von Dorns-Fandorins... Here again the principle of historical parallels and analogies works - in the XVIII century, in the same waters, a caper frigate "e;Swallow"e; used to sail. To be sure, this coincidence is also not random.
The first book, or, as the author himself, Boris Akunin, called it - "e;film"e;, from the 10-series cycle "e;Bruderschaft with Death"e;. Almost the entire cycle represents exciting short stories, full of the most unexpected and incredible adventures, the action in them taking place in the years of World War I. "e;The Infant and the Devil"e; is a story of the confrontation between Russian and German military intelligence literally in the first days, or, rather, hours of the beginning of the war. A young student of mathematics Alexei Romanov unintentionally, out of ignorance, helps a German resident agent Sepp von Theofels escape. Having realized his awful error, Alexei asks the chief of Russian counterintelligence division to give him the chance to atone for his guilt and to let him participate in a further attempt of catching the spy. Will he be accorded such a permission, and will the elusive spy be catched red-handed?
Alexei Romanov, already familiar to the reader from the first film of "e;Bruderschaft with Death"e;, enlists to the German front, in order to clear his skirts. But after being wounded, he is invalided out of the army. His quiet life isn't much of a success, either - Alexei's fiancee married another man. Full of despair, the young man is already about to take his own life, but, by way of chance, he is saved from suicide by first lieutenant Kozlovsky - the chief of the counterintelligence division from the first part. The first lieutenant suggests Alexei's taking part in a new operation of his service. It is necessary to get across to Switzerland, under the guise of strolling actors, and steal the inestimable card-index of agents from so called "e;Spy share market"e;. Will such a daring operation be a success? And what surprise, for Alexei himself, does the detailed card-index of spying agents hide?
And again the German spy and resident agent Sepp von Theofels tries, in every possible way, to do harm to the army of the Russian Empire. This time his goal is the newest domestically made super-aeroplane "e;Ilya Muromets"e;. Von Theofels longed not only for sabotaging the trial run of this aeroplane, converted to a powerful bomber, but also for destroying it. And, preferably, together with its implementer - Igor Sikorsky. But the Russian counterintelligence is out in the way of the star of German espionage. Plus the courageous crew of "e;Muromets"e;.
And again the hardened German spy Sepp von Theofels, together with his inseparable servant and bodyguard Timo, gets across to the territory of the Russian Empire. This time the goal of his elaborated covert operation, an ingenious and cunning one, is discrediting the head of Russian military counterintelligence - general Vladimir Zhukovski. In order not only to deprive this very service of its leader, but also to defame it in every possible way. But the "e;German genious"e; is again jeopardized by inquisitive Slavonic minds.
Alexei Romanov, who already rose to the rank of second lieutenant, receives a new assignment. He needs, with utmost care and accuracy, to deflect attention of German and Austrian spies away from so called "e;section 12"e;, by any means. Here, in strictest confidence and kept secret even from some local units, preparation for the well-known breakthrough of Austrian front by Russian troops begins. That one, which will go down in war history as the famous "e;Brusilov Offensive"e;. But this will happen later. And now the main question is - in what way to convince the hostile intelligence, believing to no one, of absolute quiet in "e;section 12"e;?..
German intelligence, in the person of same old Joseph von Theofels, is designing a monstrous act of sabotage in the very heart of Black Sea Fleet - in Sevastopol. And it sounds like no one is already able to disturb plans of the Germans. Even Russian counterintelligence is quite lagging behind, this time. So, should one just throw in the towel now? Is it really impossible to save the "e;pearl"e; of the fleet - battleship "e;Imperatritsa Mariya"e;, remaining off the harbor, or the daughter of the commanding officer, commodore Ivan Kozeltsov, Maria? And what kind of astonishing secret does connect these two names - "e;Mariya"e; and Maria?
And again, in front of us is a confrontation of Joseph von Theofels, the best resident agent of German intelligence and a lieutenant of Russian counterintelligence Alexei Romanov. This time the aim of the operation worked out in German General Staff is the life of the emperor of Russia Nicholas II himself. Who of the persons closest to the emperor can become a real instrument of death? And how to hamper this monstrous design?
Major Joseph von Theofels is not destined to have a thorough rest after a severe abdominal wound. A representative of the German General Staff delivers a secret assignment to him, right into his bed. The assignment is that he is to insure, at all cost and by all manner of means, a steady going transit through Germany and absolute security while travelling from Switzerland to Russia of one of the leaders of Russian Bolshevik party with the nickname "e;Lysyi"e;. The Staff has special designs on this man and no one is going to ask Theofels for his opinion. The famous and elusive German resident agent, despite all countermeasures of Russian graymen, fulfils his task. "e;Lysyi"e; does come to Petrograd. The German General Staff buries a mine having tremendous destructive force under the very existence of the Russian Empire. But will dear Vaterland be spared, when all this "e;blows"e;?..
The last part of the cycle "e;Bruderschaft with Death"e;, the 10th film. Staff captain Alexei Romanov, under rough conditions of decomposition process of Russian army, artificially organized by enemies of the state, helps create so called "e;battalions of death"e; - shock troops, consisting solely of volunteers. It so happened then in history, that when men couldn't and didn't want to defend their own country with deadly force, this matter had to be tackled by women. The "e;battalion of death"e; of Alexei Romanov first commits to attack during the last offensive of the Russian army in June 1917. It charges to win and to make the other units join the attack... The epilogue is worth particular attention - there, a special surprise awaits the reader, the final of some very long-running story.
In front of you is the first book from the experimentative literary cycle by Boris Akunin "e;The Genres Project"e;, where each of the books was to be represented only in one particular genre. These, according to the author, are "e;pure"e; examples of different genres of fiction, provided that each of the books is referred to the corresponding genre. In "e;Children's Book For Boys"e; the readers are to meet the adventures of a son of Nicholas Fandorin (the cycle "e;Adventures of a Master"e;) - Lastick. The fifth grader not only had the luck to make a head-spinning journey through a chronohole to the remote past. He also manages to rectify all the mistakes made by founder of their family Theo von Dorn during Crusades...
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