- 45,00 kr
The third Erast Fandorin mystery from Boris Akunin, shortlisted for the CWA Gold Dagger.
'Akunin is an outstanding novelist...Fandorin is a beautifully drawn character who more than lives up to comparisons with Hercule Poirot or Sherlock Holmes...The characters are delightful and you can imagine them in a Woody Allen version of an Agatha Christie novel...Akunin's work is gloriously tongue-in-cheek but seriously edge-of-your-seat at the same time' Daily Express
On 15th March 1878 Lord Littleby, an English eccentric and collector, is found murdered in his Paris house together with nine members of his staff. A gold whale in the victim's hand leads Erast Fandorin to board the Leviathan, the world's largest steamship, as the murderer is one of the 142 first class passengers.
Commissioner Gauche of the French police has narrowed down the suspects to ten, and they are forced to eat together at every meal time in the ship's Windsor Suite until 'the Crime of the Century' is solved. But is the murderer really at the table, and can Erast Fandorin discover his or her identity before Gauche? As more passengers are murdered and the Leviathan heads towards Calcutta, Fandorin needs all his investigative skills to find the truth.
Akunin writes like a hybrid of Caleb Carr, Agatha Christie and Elizabeth Peters in his second mystery to be published in the U.S., set on the maiden voyage of the British luxury ship Leviathan, en route to India in the spring of 1878. Akunin's young Russian detective/diplomat protagonist, Erast Fandorin, has matured considerably since his debut in last year's highly praised The Winter Queen, set in 1876, and proves a worthy foil to French police commissioner Gustave Gauche, who boards the Leviathan because a clue suggests that one of the passengers murdered a wealthy British aristocrat, seven servants and two children in his Paris home and stole priceless Indian treasures. The intuitive, methodical Fandorin, who joins the ship at Port Said, soon slyly takes over the investigation and comes up with an eclectic group of suspects, all with secrets to hide, whom Gauche assigns to the same dining room. The company recite humorous or instructive stories that slow down the action but eventually relate to the identification of the killer. Gauche offers at least four solutions to the crimes, but in each case Fandorin debates or debunks his reasoning. The atmospheric historical detail gives depth to the twisting plot, while the ruthless yet poignant arch villain makes up for a cast of mostly cardboard characters. Readers disappointed by the lack of background on Fandorin will find plenty in The Winter Queen. FYI:Boris Akunin is the pen name of Grigory Chkhartishvili, a native of Georgia who has written 10 Erast Fandorin mysteries to date.