The Winter Queen by Boris Akunin
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.
…yeah, I got nothing. Probably picked up from Book Lust or perusing Publishers Weekly my first year of blogging. I’ve mentioned before that I tend to be burnt out on mystery—nothing grinds my teeth like formula—but I’m always willing to give a shot, and I’ve read very few books set in Russia at this time, so, hey, it could be awesome!
Christina at the Blue Bookcase enjoyed it, especially the protagonist and the setting. Corinne at The Book Nest found it exceedingly clever. Eva at A Striped Armchair liked it; the translator decided to mimic Russian syntax as much as he could, giving it a unique style. Olduvai at Olduvai Reads, however, find it just decent.
The Winter Queen was published in Russia in 1998; in English on May 6, 2003.