Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Sister Pelagia and the Red Cockerel: A Novel” as Want to Read:
Sister Pelagia and the Red Cockerel: A Novel
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Sister Pelagia and the Red Cockerel: A Novel (Sister Pelagia Mysteries #3)

3.74 of 5 stars 3.74  ·  rating details  ·  597 ratings  ·  48 reviews
The ship carrying the devout to Jerusalem has run into rough waters. Onboard is Manuila, controversial leader of the “Foundlings,” a sect that worships him as the Messiah. But soon the polarizing leader is no longer a passenger or a prophet but a corpse, beaten to death by someone almost supernaturally strong. But not everything is as it seems, and someone else sailing has ...more
Paperback, 432 pages
Published August 11th 2009 by Random House Trade Paperbacks (first published 2000)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Sister Pelagia and the Red Cockerel, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Sister Pelagia and the Red Cockerel

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 848)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
This book reminds me somewhat of a mayonnaise gone slightly wrong. It has all the required ingredients, many of which are of the highest quality, but their proportions, the way in which they have been added and the sequence of their incorporation and direction of 'stir' are not the best and the result lacks smoothness and satisfaction. If I were to rate this book on the basis of its last 2-3 chapters I would give it 5*****. They are striking in their intensity, imagination, profundity and audac
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Religious mysteries seem to be in vogue, but this was just stupid. I've never heard of "special caves" or their relationship to red roosters before, maybe it's a russian thing or completely from the author's imagination, but that plot point was so out-there it ruined the story for me. The strange town and castle with the psychotic russian nobleman were hardly believable, but the super-assassin and the graphic details of his kills were stomach-churning and ultimately unresolved. This is supposed ...more
OK, I struggled through this one trying to decipher what was going on due to the various characters (all in love with the nun) and their investigations....should not have bothered since the ending was so sacrilegious for reasons nothing to do with the nun.
Have rooster, will travel.
Jim Leffert
Boris Akunin (the pseudonym of Georgian writer Grigory Chkhartishvili) has written 11 detective novels, taking place in the 19th century, which feature Russian secret agent and detective Erast Fandourin. Five of these novels have appeared in English. The present book is the third volume in a more recent series that takes place in the waning years of the Russian Empire—around 1910—and that feature an inquisitive and adventurous nun, Sister Pelagia, as the hero.

Having missed the first two install
On the surface, this book, part of a series by Akunin, is a mystery - a murder is committed, and the nun Sister Pelagia goes against her promises to her superiors to investigate. But the book is so much more than your typical mystery - it includes commentary by the author on Russian history, Orthodoxy, and religion in general. My only complaint is that, because of some of these off-shoots into commentary, one tends to have difficulty remembering the basic mystery's plot, characters, and clues.
Melissa Proffitt
I'm not sure what I think about this book. On the one hand, Akunin is a master storyteller, and he keeps the tension high, alternating Pelagia's account of her journey through Russia and Palestine with that of the merciless killer stalking her. On the other, this mystery is very different from those of the first two books, and I'm not sure that's a good thing. Pelagia is chasing a holy fool, a strange mystic with the power to read people's characters and change their behavior with a word. She's ...more
PELAGIA & THE RED ROOSTER is the third book (and I believe the last) in this series by Russian author Grigory Chkhartishvili aka Boris Akunin. Readers may be more aware of the six Erast Fandorin novels, which I understand have sold over 18 million copies in Russia alone.

This is the first of the Pelagia novels I've read, having had the pleasure of a few of the Fandorin novels before, and I was reminded again of the absolute feeling of 19th and, in this case, 20th Century Russian sensibility
I don't know if I'd necessarily have someone start with Pelagia or recommend this series to friends. I think you'd have to be crazy not to like the Erast Fandorin books, but Pelagia is...different.

One of the recurring troubles for Pelagia in this book made me think of a parallel to myself as well. The first impression she gives off to people is a rather ungainly, overly curious, red-headed unnattractive nun, but then a few days in her company and they're madly in love.

So this happened to me too
Boris Akunin's last of his Pelagia trilogy - Pelagia and the Red Rooster - is out. I haven't taken to this intrepid nun as much as to Erast Fandorin, Akunin's other great hero. But Akunin's declared that he is done with this series, and its ending is more bitter than sweet, for Pelagia, with her red hair and freckled face, her keen mind and impetuous enthusiasm, is a sympathetic character, and perhaps I have developed an affection for her. This book is more serious and polemic than Akunin's othe ...more
Akunin's previous Pelagia novels have seemed a little Miss Marple, but in this he gets much more politically contentious and contemporary, and there are considerably more corpses than in either of the previous titles. Like all detective novels this is at heart conservative (the solution of the 'crime' means that order and stability are restored) except in this case we are not entirely sure what the result is: the conspirators remain concealed, Pelagia seems to have disappeared, central character ...more
Helen Farrell
This is an extraordinary book, with almost Dickensian characters. I haven't read the first two in this series, but certainly would like to. I wish I had more knowledge of Russian history, because this book, set just into the 20th century, refers to many religious developments in Russia that I simply had not been aware of. There are so many obscure religious groups and sects referred to, all of which help make up a massive beautiful patchwork of belief and experience. Even in translation, the pro ...more
Ma pole küll teisi Pelagia raamatuid lugenud, kuid see, seeria viimane osa, jättis sügava mulje. Tegu polnud klassikalise ja lihtsakoelise kriminaalromaaniga - mulle jäi mulje, et teised raamatud pigem on -, ja see võib kahetisi tundeid tekitada. Müstilised sündmused on aga esitatud omapärasel, pragmaatilisel kombel, mis mulle sümpatiseeris. Institutsionaalne religioon sai jällegi hillitsetut, kuid halastamatut kriitikat, ühtlasi leidsin raamatust enda jaoks täiesti vastuvõetavaa kristluse tõlge ...more
В целом, понравилось, но рассказ показался очень длинным, состоящим из двух независимых частей: русской и палестинской. Я был готов расстаться с героиней уже после окончания первой детективной истории. :) Автору, как всегда, удалось создать массу замечательных героев и эпизодов, например, вор на корабле в начале книги.
Miss Karen Jean Martinson
Whoa. A very strange Pelagia, but I liked it. Odd synchronicity as well, as we just saw the R. Crumb illustration of the Book of Genesis at the Hammer.

I'm still mulling over the ending, which I see as a departure from the previous Pelagia books. A nod to wonder and faith as opposed to rationalism.

SORT OF SPOILER: This seemed like the most gruesome of the Pelagias - much higher death count than most - and I was struck by how few of these murders Pelagia actually knew about. Almost all of them ha
Catherine Woodman
The book is VERY Russian, which I would see as a plus, but the allegorical qualities morph into a full blown hallucinatory armageddon at the end, which seemd over the top, even for a Russina, especially in the genre of murder mystery--which is really not what this book is--like there is no murder that the book is centered on finding a solution to--which seems like the minimum criteria for a murder mystery. The writing is very Russian and nice to read in that respect. Nun gets lost in cave is tol ...more
Deb Oestreicher
A stunning close to Akunin's Sister Pelagia trilogy, in which Akunin continues his shameless borrowing from Russian masterpieces like Anna Karenina and The Grand Inquisitor (and likely other places I'm not learned enough to catch) and transforms his mainly realistic historical detective series into something frankly fantastic (or at least mystical). The only drawback is that this is definitely the last of Sister Pelagia... I still anticipate further translations Akunin's Fandorin novels, though- ...more
I really enjoyed this series. I found them to be informative & interesting. However, the ending of this last book was a major letdown for me. There was a lot going on in this book, great insights into politics, culture, spiritual/religious debates, but the ending did not live up to the bar set by the rest of the story. For the last book of a series it felt very unfinished. I would still recommend this series. The characters are very interesting. They are beautifully written & are thought ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
it got tiring with the protagonist getting into one scrape after another. I much prefer his Erast Fandorin series.
In my opinion, this is the best of the Pelagia series by Akunin. In general, I like this series less than Akunun's other projects, but it is decent. This book is completely ridiculous, with a plot like something out of the Da Vinci Code.
SPOILER ALERT: Christ has traveled in time to late 19th Russia via a magical cave. Now he is a prophet, wandering the world, seeking to return to Jerusalem and be crucified as intended.
Kasia James
What an odd-ball book this is. Very very Russian.
If you can manage the long patronymics, then it is a curiously edgy tale, flirting with religion, cults and gay freedom, all told from the eyes of a very vivacious nun.
There are supernatural elements which will leave you guessing, and perhaps a little baffled. A very interesting read, unlike most of the other books you will stumble across this year.
Jelena Cvetković
The book has blown me away, really swept me off my feet.
It was bold of the writer to explore the subject the way he did, but I think he did it wonderfully.

I see this book as his answer to The Da Vinci Code, and, though I like 'Code', I think I love 'The Red Rooster'.
I think I would like to read everything that Boris Akunin writes. This is not a cut to the chase mystery/thriller. It's a peramulation through history, literature, religion, psychology through the lens of an original cast of characters. You can get other Sister Pelagia "myteries" , including Sister Pelagia and the White Bulldog and Sister Pelagia and the Black Monk, in e-book form. Do so!
I usually love the Sister Pelagia books, but this one really was bizarre. The mystery was not fully explained, and it seemed as though Sister Pelagia had totally abandoned her faith at the end of the book. To spend so much time in the long hunt for explanations, the ending was rather disappointing. This book was also much more gruesome than any of the previous books.
Aug 04, 2014 Mari marked it as might-pick-up-again  ·  review of another edition
This book went in so many different directions and had so many side stories, that by the middle of the second tome the main intrigue was completely buried and i had forgotten half of the main characters' names. So painfully boring that i could not finish it. Maybe i'll pick it up again. One day. Just not any time soon...
Ehh, õde Pelagia kohtus Jeesukesega ja osutus ise üldse vist Maarja Magdaleenaks või midagi...Ei tunnepiibli muinasjutte nii hästi et oskaks kindla peale öelda. Mõistatus, kes tappis laeva peal prohvet Manuila ja kes Pelagiat mitu korda ära tappa tahab, saab küll lahenduse. Hea, aga see Akunini puhul on tavaline...
I thought I was done reading it halfway through and then got sucked back in. The politics and intrigue were a little too detailed for me at times, and I got lost. Probably says more about my ability to track while snatching time to read. I am hopeful that the ending will not mean an end to the series...
Pelagia gets herself into trouble again when she becomes a witness to a murder of a mystic on a riverboat of pilgrims to the Holy Land. As usual, she works out the solution well before others because of her curiosity and intelligent mind. Another enjoyable novel in this series
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 28 29 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Казус Кукоцкого
  • Dead and Buried (Benjamin January, #9)
  • Легенды Невского Проспекта
  • Дети Арбата. Книга 2. Страх
  • Мастер и Маргарита. Собачье сердце
  • Days of Atonement (Hanno Stiffeniis, #2)
  • Урфин Джюс и его деревянные солдаты (Волшебник изумрудного города, #2)
  • The Railway Detective
  • Time to Depart (Marcus Didius Falco, #7)
  • Land of the Firebird: The Beauty of Old Russia
  • Rag and Bone (Billy Boyle World War II, #5)
  • Похороните меня за плинтусом (Похороните меня за плинтусом, #1)
  • The Leper's Bell (Sister Fidelma, #14)
  • Death of a Dissident (Porfiry Rostnikov, #1)
  • The Tomb of Zeus (Laetitia Talbot, #1)
Real name - Grigory Shalvovich Chkhartishvili (see Grigory Chkhartishvili), born in Tbilisi, Georgia, in 1956. Since 1958 he lives in Moscow. Writer and translator from Japanease. Author of crime stories set in tsarist Russia. In 1998 he made his debut with novel Azazel (to English readers known as The Winter Queen), where he created Erast Pietrovich Fandorin.

B. Akunin refers to Mikhail Alexandr
More about Boris Akunin...
The Winter Queen (Erast Fandorin Mysteries, #1) Murder on the Leviathan (Erast Fandorin Mysteries, #3) The Turkish Gambit (Erast Fandorin Mysteries, #2) The Death of Achilles (Erast Fandorin Mysteries, #4) Special Assignments (Erast Fandorin Mysteries, #5)

Share This Book