The Winter Queen

I almost got a Russian minor in college. I know, I know… I’m not exactly a connoisseur of all things Russian around here, but I did have an interest in the country during my college days. (That and I had a morbid fear of Calculus. I know, I know… Russian isn’t easier than calculus. But try telling a stubborn 18-year-old that.) Anyway… I was trudging along taking classes, and mostly enjoying them until it came to the last two classes for a minor. One was conversation, and it was taught by a grumpy Russian woman, who told me that if I took her class she’d fail me. I spoke horribly. The other was the Russian literature class. I realized I just couldn’t stomach Russian literature.

Well, either I was horribly wrong (and I’ll admit that I could have been — Anna Karenina wasn’t nearly as horrible as I thought it would be… except for the last 100 pages. They were worthless) or Russian literature has changed a whole lot in the last 20 years.

Because I loved this book.

I’m not a big mystery reader, but I do love it when I find a good one. One that keeps me guessing, that makes me bite my nails, that keeps me up until late hours trying to finish it. Throw in a bit of humor, keep it relatively clean, add a winning/cute/sympathetic, detective, add a real intense ending, and you’ve got me hooked.

There you have it: Boris Akunin’s The Winter Queen in a nutshell. Really. Why bother with a plot summary, when all you really need to know is that Erast Fandorian, while no Sherlock Holmes, is an up-and-coming detective who just happens to get involved in something way over his head. And that he manages to solve the mystery anyway. And don’t forget the ending that had me going, “AAAAHHH! Where’s the next book!”

There’s really nothing more to say.

3 thoughts on “The Winter Queen

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