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The Winter Queen: A Novel (An Erast Fandorin…

The Winter Queen: A Novel (An Erast Fandorin Mystery) (original 1998; edition 2003)

by Boris Akunin (Author), Andrew Bromfield (Translator)

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1,981685,013 (3.63)149
Title:The Winter Queen: A Novel (An Erast Fandorin Mystery)
Authors:Boris Akunin (Author)
Other authors:Andrew Bromfield (Translator)
Info:Weidenfeld and Nicolson
Collections:Your library
Tags:Mystery, Fiction

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The Winter Queen by Boris Akunin (1998)



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English (61)  Spanish (2)  Dutch (2)  French (2)  Swedish (1)  Norwegian (1)  All languages (69)
Showing 1-5 of 61 (next | show all)
Интересная смесь детективного и исторического романов, но всё-таки можно заметить, что автор во время писания являлся более опытным историком, чем писателем. Описание геополитической ситуации в Европе и в России во второй половине 19-ого века мне казалось очень убедительным, и на самом деле можно сказать, что автор хорошо захватил дух этого периода.

Детективный случай мне не казался очень интересным - московский студент сделал самоубийство, или, как минимум, так выглядело. Он оставил все свои активы на благотворительность. Молодой детектив Эраст Фандорин, для которого это явилось первым случаем, должен был расследовать. Но, я считаю, что автор довольно хорошо распустил дело, хотя конец можно было угадать.

Хорошее начало детективно-исторического сериала, но, автор должен обратить несколько больше внимания на развитие более интересных героев и их характеров.
( )
  matija2019 | Jan 8, 2019 |
הראשון בסדרה ארוכה של ספרי מתח רוסיים המתרחשים במאה ה 19 ושגיבורם הוא אראס פנדורוב. מעין ג'ימס בונד רוסי אבל הרבה יותר נאיבי ותמים. החלק המעניין הוא לא העלילה כי אם הפנינים שנחשפות על החברה הרוסית במאה ה 19 ( )
  amoskovacs | Dec 25, 2018 |
Surprisingly good. ( )
  zhoud2005 | Dec 9, 2018 |
This novel is set in 1870s Russia and begins intriguingly enough with the suicide of a young man in a park. The reader is then introduced to Erast Fandorin, a police officer who investigates what occurred with the suicide and finds some interesting connections. Fandorin is young and still learning the art of being a police officer and he is often awkward and cheats death a number of times. That said he is likeable and this carries the novel. The novel is interesting for the cultural difference, being a Russian novel and there is plenty of fun to be had with it. The mystery plays out fairly predictably and in many ways it has elements of farce in how it plays out. ( )
1 vote Tifi | Apr 1, 2018 |
A series of detective stories set in Tsarist Russian. There are eleven novels in the series (so far), three (so far) have been translated into English.

My main interest in this sort of book is as a gentle introduction to the manners and customs of a different time and place. If it happens to be a good story, so much the better. As it is, these are a little disappointing.

The hero starts out as a very young and very minor official in the Russian police. He is excruciatingly naive, but simultaneously gifted with extraordinary luck. He needs it, since in the first novel (The Winter Queen) what appears to be an unfortunate suicide turns into a global conspiracy (no, it’s not the bicycle riders). Fandorin meets a roguish count, a detective genius, a villainous butler and the obligatory femme fatale. He’s not the narrator, but he is the “point of view” character in that we only see what he sees. Due much more to Fandorin’s luck than his skill, (and even the villains acknowledge this) the conspiracy is eventually unmasked and thwarted, although Fandorin is permanently emotionally and physically marked by the result. Although the book’s a pleasant enough read, a lot of it just doesn’t “feel” right; in particular, there’s little to evoke the place and time of 1870s Moscow, London and St. Petersburg. It seems that with a few name and dialog changes it could just as easily be 1700 Paris or 1950 San Francisco.

The second novel (The Turkish Gambit) works better. Fandorin is now working for military intelligence in the Russo-Turkish War of 1877-78. He’s not the POV character; instead it’s the liberated young woman Varyna. Fandorin is no longer the callow youth of the first novel; he’s now worldly-wise and cynical (at 21!). This feels a little off; I suspect the author didn’t plan on a series and found himself rewriting the character’s personality. At the same time the author seems more comfortable with the time, place and characters. The mystery’s better done; it’s less obvious Who Done It. I also always approve of any book that makes me want to read more about the history and philosophy of the time, and this one does; I know very little about the Russo-Turkish War and the politics of 1870s Europe, and I’m intrigued enough to want to read more.

The third book (Murder on the Leviathan) has a multitude of POV characters; in fact, practically everybody except Fandorin. It’s an Orient Express style mystery, with some of The Moonstone or The Sign of Four thrown in; if the author’s getting derivative at least he’s copying from good sources. Fandorin keeps up the cynical detachment adopted in the second novel; apparently the boyish naivete is gone for good. This time he’s on a slow boat to China (well, Japan) with a bunch of suspects involved in the mass murder of a collector of Indian (that’s East, not American) antiquities and his entire household. Everybody’s got a secret to hide and a reason to be the killer and although it’s sorted out in the end the use of multiple POV characters works well to keep the murderer’s identity cloudy. Again, unfortunately, there’s no particular spirit of time and some seeming anachronisms; the titular steamship has electric lights, for example, that I doubt would be used in 1878 even on a state-of-the-art ocean liner.

Despite the flaws, I’m interested enough to keep following Erast Fandorin’s adventures. We’ll see how the nest couple go, at least.

(Added later: Author Boris Akunin (pen name – real name Grigol Chkhartishvili) – has explained he has identified 16 subgenres of mystery fiction, and is trying to use each one – and also use a different famous mystery author’s “voice” in each. That explains when the style changes between each novel.) ( )
  setnahkt | Dec 8, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 61 (next | show all)
He also reveals an unexpected moral subtlety. At the outset, The Winter Queen appears to display an alarming level of Russian xenophobia, in the form of an international conspiracy against Russia headed by an evil Englishwoman. But as the story progresses, so it emerges as something rather more complex. By the end, Fandorin – no longer the charming naïf but a saddened, white-haired figure – has solved the case, but in doing so has brought about a string of tragic consequences. He is faced by the uncomfortable question: has his sleuthing caused more unhappiness than it has cured?

» Add other authors (21 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Boris Akuninprimary authorall editionscalculated
Bromfield, AndrewTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Nikkilä, AntonTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Tretner, AndreasTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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On Monday the thirteenth of May in the year 1876, between the hours of two and three in the afternoon, on a day which combined the freshness of spring with the warmth of summer, numerous individuals in Moscow's Alexander Gardens unexpectedly found themselves eyewitnesses to the perpetration of an outrage which flagrantly transgressed the bounds of common decency.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0812968778, Paperback)

Moscow, May 1876. What would cause a talented student from a wealthy family to shoot himself in front of a promenading public? Decadence and boredom, it is presumed. But young sleuth Erast Fandorin is not satisfied with the conclusion that this death is an open-and-shut case, nor with the preliminary detective work the precinct has done–and for good reason: The bizarre and tragic suicide is soon connected to a clear case of murder, witnessed firsthand by Fandorin himself. Relying on his keen intuition, the eager detective plunges into an investigation that leads him across Europe, landing him at the center of a vast conspiracy with the deadliest of implications.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:19:49 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

Set in 1870s Moscow, St. Petersburg, and London, the book introduces to American readers Boris Akunin's internationally celebrated sleuth, Erast Fandorin, who investigates the suicide of a wealthy student in Moscow's Alexander Gardens and discovers that it is not an open-and-shut case but evidence of a vast conspiracy with the deadliest implications.… (more)

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