Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Особые поручения (Erast Fandorin Mysteries, #5)” as Want to Read:
Особые поручения (Erast Fandorin Mysteries, #5)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Особые поручения (Erast Fandorin Mysteries #5)

4.07  ·  Rating details ·  2,746 Ratings  ·  100 Reviews
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, ...more
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published 2010 by Zaharov (first published January 1st 1999)
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 Особые поручения, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Особые поручения

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

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
Sort: Default
Oct 04, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
הספר מכיל 2 נובלות. הראשונה על חבורת נוכלים שמפילה בפח את עשירי מוסקבה וגם את פנדורין. בשנייה פנדורין חוקר סידרת רציחות בסגנון ג'ק המרטש.
הנובלה הראשונה קלילה ומשעשעת, אבל בעיני נמרחה יותר מדי. מצאתי אותה פחות מעניינת מהשניה. הנובלה השנייה הייתה אפלה ומותחת והחזירה את פנדורין המאושר והשבע לתקופה הדכאונית שלו (שהופכת אותו לדמות הרבה יותר מעניינת לקורא).
לנובלה הראשונה הייתי נותנת 3 כוכבים, לשנייה 5 כוכבים (כך ששתיהן יחד קיבלו ציון משוקלל של 4 כוכבים).
Melissa McShane
This pair of novellas puts Erast Fandorin on the trail of two Jacks. In "The Jack of Spades," Fandorin pursues the titular character, an infamous con artist who's come to Moscow to fleece the public; in "The Decorator" Fandorin must track down none other than Jack the Ripper.

"The Jack of Spades" is a good caper story. Momos, the Jack of Spades, is nearly as clever as Fandorin and has an excellent criminal mind. He cons Fandorin, Fandorin cons him, back and forth, and the ending is either unexpec
Nancy Oakes
This book is actually 2 novellas, if you will, containing two different stories.

In story #1, "The Jack of Spades," Fandorin is up against a clever con man whose calling card is the jack of spades. He leaves it behind when he has pulled off a very successful swindle, and things come to a head when an Englishman is swindled out of a huge amount of money that the government must repay. Enter our hero and his new assistant, Tulipov. This one was pretty light hearted and very enjoyable to read.

Aug 27, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Akunin’s “Fandorin adventures” is a perfect choice if you are: a) a real detective lover b) admirer of classic Russian literature. In his novels Akunin depicts Russia (and not only Russia) at the end of XIX- beginning of the XX centuries where a brilliant detective, heartbreaker and admirer of Japanese philosophy Erast Fandorin elegantly solves the cruelest and trickiest crimes, getting acquainted with the members of Romanov dynasty, Ottoman pasha, Japanese ninja, most notorious criminals and mo ...more

Well, I was almost sorry to get to the end of this book, because it means the end of the Erast Fandorin mysteries, at least until any more of the Russian versions get translated into English.

In this final English installment of the Moscow special investigator, we get two novellas. The first, "Jack of Spades," involves Fandorin with a master con artist, and it has a lighter touch than many of the other mysteries -- more humor, and in some ways, Fandorin's most worthy opponent.

The second, "The Dec
Jul 14, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The fifth Inspector Fandorin mystery, this one is two chronologically sequential novellas. In the first, a mysterious con artist nicknamed the Jack of Spades is embarrassing the higher ups in Moscow, particularly Prince Dologorukoi, who dispatches Fandorin to set an elaborate con of his own to catch the swindler. This book also introduces a new assistant for the inspector, the desperately eager to please Anisii Tulipov, a sort of comic relief figure. With improbable disguises galore, full of the ...more
This is the first book from Akunin I've read and I really liked it. Usually I can't bring myself to read English translations from Russian - I don't know, there's something missing in them, I think it's the innate humor of the Russian language - but this translation was very good and read really smoothly.

I didn't know what to expect, since all I knew about Fandorin was that he's a fan of things Japanese, has a Japanese servant and is good at martial arts - but the most entertaining feature of th
Oct 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I came to this having read five or six other Fandorin mysteries previously, so you can tell that I'm a fan. This book didn't disappoint - if you like this sort of thing, then this is the sort of thing that you will like.
The book is actually two stories, one about a fraudster, the other about a serial killer. The link between the two is that we are introduced to Anissii Tulipov, Fandorin's first ever assistant. Or at least the first one he hires, I think. And the first story is basically told th
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 29, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Russophiles, puzzle-solvers, drama queens
Boris Akunin writes historical thrillers set in Imperialist Moscow and is the pseudonym of Grigory Chkhartishvili (an academic in his other life). I've read every English translation so far in his "Erast Fandorin" series, and every one is fantastic escapist literature. The characters are a bit over the top (as they should be) and the historical detail is rich. The writing is much better than the kind of blockbuster brain candy you get in most thrillers; they go down easy, but you don't feel stup ...more
Jun 05, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery-novels
A little slow off the mark, but once I got into it, it was a good read. Kudos to the translator!
The ending was a bit odd (for us in NA, at least).
I'm getting more of this author to read, at least the Fandorin series.
Pinko Palest
Nov 07, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
another great Fandorin book. The first story is great fun, but the second one, about Jack the Ripper coming to Moscow, was too horrific for my tastes
Akos Toth
Mar 12, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 04, 2009 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Moscou, fin du XIXe siècle.

Eraste Petrovitch Fandorine, chargé des missions spéciales auprès du gouverneur, se voit contraint de prendre le relais de la police classique, ridiculisée par un fort sympathique escroc.

L’homme, qui s’est lui-même baptisé "le Valet de Pique", prend un malin plaisir à s’enrichir avec brio sur le dos des notables de la ville.

Il ne manque jamais non plus l’occasion de leur servir une bonne leçon de savoir-vivre. Eux-mêmes bernés plusieurs fois, Fandorine et ses deux i
Pietro Coen
Sep 22, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: boris-akunin
This Akunin is good. He builds an intrigue that keeps the suspence until the very last page. And the historical background is very entertaining. We have two stories: the Jack of Spades and the Decorator. In the first one Fandorin is after a con man, much along the lines of Catch me if you can. It's good but I preferred the Decorator where it turns out that Jack the Ripper was a Russian medical student gone mad. The British police failed to catch him because he escaped to Moscow at the end of 188 ...more
Apr 27, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The book narrates two episodes in the life of that talented detective and stammerer Erast Fandorin. The first, Jack of Spades, is a mad-cap and rollicking cat-and-mouse adventure, with Fandorin pitting his wits against a clever swindler, who appears to be able to con enormous amounts of money even from the most cynical, such as Fandorin's boss, Prince Dolgorukoi. Accompanied by a trusting sidekick, Fandorin gets involved with beautiful women who may or may not be entirely genuine, dons several d ...more
Apr 21, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: erast-fandorin
Jack of Spades: I love this story because of the comic relief it provides after gruesome murders in the first four novels. Plus the image of Erast Fandorin and Masa sword-fighting almost stark naked in the snow makes the story worth reading. The turns in Erast's private life only confirm, at least to me, that he is a very human character. There are also some moments of a Sherlock Holmes type duality when the question of work and "dull routine of existence" are discussed.
Momus and Mimi are excel
Feb 14, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Akunin's novels on the adventures of Russian detective Erast Fandorin are a pleasure to read. Setting them in the 1880s, Akunin enjoys veering them from humor to horror, pastiche to tragedy, in a matter of pages. Fandorin is blessed with uncanny good luck, strength, beauty and the mind to catch criminals, but the complications from his loved ones and life in Moscow often put him in dilemmas that are nearly impossible for him to resolve. It makes for an excellent page turner.

Special Assignements
May 20, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: test
Ce livre regroupe deux nouvelles enqu?tes d'Eraste Fandorine, charg? des missions sp?ciales aupr?s du gouverneur de Moscou. Dans la premi?re histoire, il doit trouver quel est ce cambrioleur de g?nie qui humilie les plus grands personnages de la soci?t? moscovite jusqu'au gouverneur lui-m?me. Dans la seconde enqu?te, Fandorine est confront? ? un terrible assassin qu'il doit imp?rativement arr?ter avant la visite ? Moscou de l'empereur lui-m?me.

J'ai appr?ci? la premi?re enqu?te qui m?le tout ? la
Oct 10, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Surprisingly more enjoyable than I thought it would have been. I think perhaps Erast Fandorin is the Russian version of Sherlock Holmes.

There are 2 mysteries in this one book: Special Assignments and The Decorator. In this book, we mainly follow Erast Fandorin by the view of his assistant, Anisii Tulipov (Sherlock's Watson but with his own characteristics).

*Crime was perpetrated
*Erast Fandorin was engaged as 'special' investigator
*Trap was laid & sprung
*Criminals caught
Kris McCracken
A collection of two novellas featuring the intrepid Fandorin, equal parts light and shade. The first is a remarkably light-hearted romp as our hero finds himself pursuing a con-man while trying to salvage his love life. An interesting comic turn from Akunin, if somewhat sleight.

Things take a decidedly darker turn in the second story, however. Exploring the idea that a fanatical serial killer - perhaps Jack the Ripper his very self - is stalking the women of Moscow, the tone and descriptions are
Andy Theyers
If you loved the four previous books you're not going to not read this one, but....

The two novellas in this volume are very different. The first - "The Jack of Spades" - is a little too similar to book 4 (The Death of Achilles); an enjoyable enough romp, but nothing too exciting.

The second is different indeed. A take on the Jack the Ripper story, "The Decorator" is a poorly plotted gorefest, with little to redeem it. I've read that Akunin is trying to write in as many different sub genres as he
Jill Hutchinson
Apr 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I absolutely love this series of books translated from the Russian. The main character is Erast Fandorin, a special investigator of many talents who works for the Tsarist government in late 19th century Moscow. This book consists of two is rather amusing and concerns the Jack of Spades, a con man who is a master of his trade. The second tells a dark tale of a Jack the Ripper type murderer who is slaughtering local prositutes.........or is the killer actually the infamous Ripper? T ...more
Feb 23, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Valusalt hea. Esimene lugu rääkis Fandorini ja Potisoldati varjunime all tuntud meisterpetturi kokkupõrkest ja oli verevaba. Seda aga ei saa öelda teise loo kohta, kus Fandorin lahendab süngeid ja üliveriseid tapmisi, mis on toime pannud Dekoraator, kes enne Venemaale saabumist tegeles oma võika hobiga Inglismaal, kus ta oli tuntud Jack the Ripperi nime all.
Dekoraatori isiku paljastamine peaks karbi lahti võtma paljudel, Akunin valdab siin juba kriminaalkirjanduse žanri meisterlikult.
Anissi Tjul
Kay Robart
Jun 07, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book is two short stories featuring Erast Fandorin. The second story I did not finish once I grasped where it was going. Called “The Decorator,” it is about Jack the Ripper moving his operations to Moscow. However, it becomes quickly obvious that Jack is supposed to be not only a woman but one who is murdering prostitutes because they are defiling their bodies. The whole idea was so abhorrent to me that I refused to read any more of it.

See my complete review here:

В отличие от других детективных романов про Эраста Фандорина, эта часть читалась тяжело: брать книгу в руки вообще не хотелось. Наверное, дело не в выбранном методе повествования, не в "скучности" сюжета. Думаю, фишка в самих персонажах-преступниках, помощниках Эраста Петровича и нереально быстрой работе оных.
"Пиковый валет" — прочитала для галочки, ничем не захватило.
Ситуация с "Декоратором" обстоит лучше, но не так красочно, как бы хотелось. Сюжет захватывает, Анисий предстаёт в лучшем свете,
May 27, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book packs quite a punch. It consists of two "mini-novels," which even though they are populated with many of the same characters, are entirely different in tone. The first part is quite light-hearted with a charming villain who winds up outfoxing Erast Fandorin in the end. You don't feel too bad about it, though. The second is a gory, disturbing slasher mystery, featuring the "real" Jack the Ripper. I can tell you that it ends badly, and that's an understatement. All and all -- another win ...more
Sep 06, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
So, this fifth Erast Fandorin book, is really two stories or further adventures. One about a swindler calling himself the Jack of Spades...that one was amusing and introduces the character Tulipov, and his imbecile sister. The second is a Jack the Ripper story, with the premise that Jack the Ripper went from London to Russia...Masa is still with us as is Tulipov....Jack is no less fiendish in Russia than he was in London, perhaps more. Erast is still very Erast like, a man of few words, dedicate ...more
Jul 23, 2016 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 19, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I like very much Akunin's books because the historical references and his written style. This one contains actually two novellas. The first one relates to Jack the Ripper in Russia, something that I found far fetched, but there is a good description of police power, the society, and incredible poverty in Russia at that time. The second one is entartaining with allusions to what I presume newspaper news. Both were entertaining, with a good fast pace, and like most the two main protagonist: the de ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Blood and Rubles (Porfiry Rostnikov, #10)
  • The Lacquer Screen
  • Vienna Blood (Liebermann Papers, #2)
  • Ананасная вода для прекрасной дамы
  • An Evil Eye (Yashim the Eunuch, #4)
  • Two Captains
  • Golden Calf
  • The Suitcase
  • Герой должен быть один (Ахейский цикл, #1)
  • A Vengeful Longing (Porfiry Petrovich, #2)
  • Вий
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...

Other Books in the Series

Erast Fandorin Mysteries (1 - 10 of 14 books)
  • The Winter Queen (Erast Fandorin Mysteries, #1)
  • The Turkish Gambit (Erast Fandorin Mysteries, #2)
  • Murder on the Leviathan (Erast Fandorin Mysteries, #3)
  • The Death of Achilles (Erast Fandorin Mysteries, #4)
  • Статский советник (Erast Fandorin Mysteries, #6)
  • Коронация, или Последний из романов (Erast Fandorin Mysteries, #7)
  • Любовница смерти (Erast Fandorin Mysteries, #8)
  • Любовник смерти (Erast Fandorin Mysteries, #9)
  • Алмазная колесница (Erast Fandorin Mysteries, #10)
  • Нефритовые четки (Erast Fandorin Mysteries, #11)
“Of the seven butchers who interest us, four are Tatars and three are Yids. They're at the top of the list of suspects. But, to avoid any reproaches of prejudice, I'm arresting the lot. And I'll give them a thorough working over. I” 0 likes
“God has no need of cold people.” 0 likes
More quotes…