In Special Assignments, Erast Fandorin, nineteenth-century Russia’s suavest sleuth, faces two formidable new foes: One steals outrageous sums of money, the other takes lives. “The Jack of Spades” is a civilized swindler who has conned thousands of rubles from Moscow’s residents–including Fandorin’s own boss, Prince Dolgorukoi. To catch him, Fandorin and his new assistant, timid young policeman Anisii Tulipov, must don almost as many disguises as the grifter does himself. “The Decorator” is a different case altogether: A savage serial killer who believes he “cleans” the women he mutilates and takes his orders from on high, he must be given Fandorin’s most serious attentions.
Peopled by a rich cast of eccentric characters, and with plots that are as surprising as they are inventive, Special Assignments will delight Akunin’s many fans, while challenging the gentleman sleuth’s brilliant powers of detection.
Praise from England:
“Boris Akunin’s wit and invention are a source of constant wonder.”
“[Fandorin is] a debonair combo of Sherlock Holmes, D’Artagnan and most of the soulful heroes of Russian literature. . . . This pair of perfectly balanced stories permit the character of Fandorin to grow.”
–The Sunday Telegraph
“Agatha Christie meets James Bond: [Akunin’s] plots are intricate and tantalizing. . . . [These stories] are unputdownable and great fun.”
“The beguiling, super-brainy, sexy, unpredictable Fandorin is a creation like no other in crime fiction.”
Special Assignments: The Further Adventures of Erast Fandorin
Boris Akunin, Author, Andrew Bromfield, Translator . Random $13.95 (335p) ISBN 978-0-8129-7860-5
In this thrilling collection of two novellas, Akunin (The Winter Queen ) pits Erast Fandorin, his brilliant Russian detective who serves as the deputy for special assignments to the governor-general of czarist Moscow, against two different but equally deadly foes. In the comical “The Jack of Spades,” Fandorin finds a Watsonian sidekick in Anisii Tulipov, a luckless and overeducated errand boy whose life changes when Fandorin takes him under his wing. The pair must face a cunning con man and thief, reminiscent of the great French antihero, Arsène Lupin. Things take a darker turn in “The Decorator,” when Fandorin fears that Jack the Ripper is continuing his slaughter of prostitutes, this time in 1889 Russia. Clever writing and tight plotting, coupled with a willingness to shock readers by sacrificing significant characters, continue to cement Akunin's reputation as one of the finest contemporary authors of classic crime fiction. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 12/03/2007
Release date: 02/01/2008
Peanut Press/Palm Reader - 230 pages - 978-1-58836-669-6
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