The Winter Queen

Apologies for the sparseness of this post - no pretty pictures, no nice Amazon links. My laptop has had a heart attack and is currently in intensive care (i.e. lounging on the sofa until I can work out what the heck is wrong with it), and I'm working on a laptop that was old 3 years ago, and has major problems coping with more than 1 Windows screen at a time (i.e. it freaks out, and cowers in a corner shivering).

So to the point : Winter Queen is the first in Boris Akunin's series of stories about the Moscow policeman Erast Fandorin. The series has been a huge success in Russia, and has now taken the English speaking world by storm. This is richly deserved, a weird mix of Bulgakov, Conan Doyle, Dostoevsky, George Macdonald Frazer and Saxe Rohmer, it's an absolute delight of a story. By turns funny and witty with a clever plot at the centre, Akunin's portrayal of nineteenth century Russia and England (the English are very perfidious in this tale) is a rip-roaring fun adventure story, with an unexpectedly black twist in the tail.

Fandorin is adorable, charming and gauche with a liking for sultry femmes fatales and the Lord Byron corset (his not theirs), it's a great fun gallop of a tale. Well worth reading and also an interesting light on Russian history. Highly recommended. It also completes the European leg of my 666 Challenge.


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