Special Assignments Boris Akunin

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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Starred Review. 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.)
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