The year is 1871. Prince von Ahrensburg, Austria’s military attaché to St. Petersburg, has been killed in his own bed, on the Street of Millions. The murder threatens diplomatic consequences for Russia so dire that they could alter the course of history. Leading the investigation into the high-ranking diplomat’s death is Chief Inspector Ivan Putilin.
As the clues accumulate, the list of suspects grows longer; there are even rumors of a werewolf at large in the capital. Suspicion falls on the diplomat’s lover and her cuckolded husband, as well as Russian, Polish, and Italian revolutionaries, to say nothing of Turkish spies.
True to his maxim that “coincidence and passion are the real conspirators,” Putilin looks for answers in the diplomatic circus as well, which leads him to struggles not only with criminals but with the notorious Third Department - the much-feared Tsar's secret police.
The retro-detective story Harlequins Costume by Leonid Yuzefovich is part of an award winning trilogy about detective Putilin, recently successfully filmed in Russia.