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She Lover of Death: A Fandorin Mystery

(Erast Fandorin Mysteries #8)

3.87  ·  Rating details ·  2,362 ratings  ·  81 reviews
Naive young Masha Mironova arrives in Moscow at the turn of the century with a modest inheritance and a determination to shed her provincial Siberian upbringing. As soon as she alights in Moscow, she becomes Columbine, a reckless and daring young woman with eccentric outfits and a pet snake worn as a necklace. In her quest for danger and passion, Columbine soon discovers ...more
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published March 3rd 2020 by Mysterious Press (first published 2001)
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Average rating 3.87  · 
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 ·  2,362 ratings  ·  81 reviews

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Sep 29, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: russia, 2019-read
Russian poets found a suicide cult, mayhem ensues, various agents with different agendas try to end the ungodly epidemic - this is a rough summary of the plot of Akunin's mystery. This author is not only a very successful translator and writer of detective fiction, he is also an outspoken critic of Putin, and while "She Lover of Death" does not directly address the current political situation, the central theme is psychological manipulation, in this case the ability to convince people that death ...more
Back to the ever evolving Erast Fandorin series where the style changes from book-2-book with this one written through the eyes of a young girl (18 that is) who has jus left Irkutsk for the bright lights of Moscow society, inter-spliced with news clippings from a Moscow news reporter & reports from a spy! Our young lady is for reasons that soon become apparent the centre of attention & its her story that is front & centre in the early exchanges. Erast is no-where to be seen..... or ...more
Assaph Mehr
Feb 05, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This and 'He Lover of Death' are two intertwined novels, as can be guessed from the names. While the two mysteries are separate, they happen at roughly the same time. When Fandorin disappears from one book for a few days, he's busy on the other case - while the other cast continue of their separate paths.

'She' is a bohemian, slightly absurd mystery of a death cult. 'He' is a tale of low-life criminals and gangs, an almost rags-to-riches treasure hunt. Both have their femme fatales, as well as
Nancy Oakes
In this the eighth installment of the Erast Fandorin series, the author changes his usual narrative style to tell this story via several different points of view. A young girl's journal, newspapers, the reports of an undercover agent, and even poetry all come together to weave a somewhat bizarre tale of a suicide club in Moscow. While suicide clubs are definitely not a new phenomenon in the rest of Europe, in Moscow they have been previously unheard of until now, at the dawn of the new century. ...more
took a little while to get used to his style of writing but gradually enjoyed the russian sherlock holmes in the case of a suicide club
Yelena Furman
I read this novel in Russian. She Lover of Death is the eighth installment of Boris Akunin's most famous historical detective series (each novel is set in late 19th-early 20th century) featuring the intrepid super-sleuth Erast Fandorin. As the 20th century unfolds, Moscow in 1900 is gripped by an epidemic of suicides by young people who belong to a secret club of Death's worshippers led by an all-powerful Doge whose members receive signs telling them it is their turn to die. Racing to stop the ...more
Mar 10, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: amazon-reviewed
She Lover of Death by Boris Akunin is a free NetGalley ebook that I read in mid-December.

Declaratively long-winded, kind of in the style of a seductive Douglas Adams, yet a read deep in lore and emotionality, poems published in the aftermath of mysterious deaths and suicides in Russia are framed alongside the story of a high-minded woman entering a Russian city with the intent to become famous as 'Columbine,' deliberate in her appearances and proclivities. She is seduced by Death in satyr form,
Each of Akunin's Fandorin books tackles a different genre. She Lover of Death is both a coming of age story and a nineteenth century adventure detective novel (inspired by Stevenson's "The Suicide Club" stories). It's an engaging story, told from three different viewpoints, each by a character with a secret. Because of the different narrators, we get to see Fandorin from several points of views although he is not always the focus of the narrative. The character the book focuses on mainly is ...more
Branko Jovanovski
Best in the series so far
Viv JM
I needed to read a Russian mystery book for a reading challenge and Boris Akunin was the authors name that consistently appeared on Google searches so I thought Id give one of his novels a try. One day I had a few minutes in an independent bookstore prior to having to dash to catch a train so I grabbed this one solely based on the gorgeous cover.

She Lover of Death is a mystery set in Moscow at the turn of the 20th century. There is a wave of suicides and all the victims are leaving death poems
I have not had the pleasure of reading any of Boris Akunin's other novels but after reading She Lover of Death, I am looking forward to doing so in the near future.

I really enjoyed this story and I think the translator, Andrew Bromfield, did a great job. The story came through rather clearly and the wording was smooth. I imagine that can be a difficult task especially with a poem-heavy manuscript.

The characters were interesting and the storyline intriguing. She Lover of Death presents original
Jordan Stivers
This one wasn't my cup of tea. I think this may have been a case of not having read any of the previous novels in the series or something with the translation but, there were pieces of the story that I enjoyed. Columbine is a lovely character, I really liked her true state of naïveté combined with her desperation to seem more worldly and aloof than she actually is. Her diary entries were my favorite point-of-view in the story. Next I would rate the journalist's articles, with the police ...more
Anna Bergmark
The hero of this series is Erast Petrovich Fandorin of course, but the main character is often someone else, like in this installment where we follow a young woman involved with a "suicide club". The result is far from good. Call the lass silly or stupid or immature or all of the above - interesting or charming she is NOT. And the story itself...

The fact that all the murder victims are perfectly willing, no eager, to do away with them selfs for willy-nilly reasons, finding death romantic and
Sarah Jackson
Jan 12, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a bit of a random selection on my part, having never read any others author's other works, and therefor none of the others in the Fandorin mysteries series. I am pleased to say that I rather enjoyed the twisted tale of the "Lovers of Death" poetry reading and suicide society, and the lives of the various players involved. Akunin has a rather odd style writing, but this may be due to the translation of the original work. Well worth a look, especially for those with an interested in ...more
Aug 15, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: criminal
Again, not my favorite book of the series. it's so sad. I have nothing against suicide in general, but it should not be romantisized. Of course, the author's idea is exactly that, but I felt sorry for almost everyone in this book, and it was so sad and depressing. Also I had to Google all the Russian poets and writers who were mentioned in the book, and I learned that they indeed died very young, and I didn't know that even when I studied literature.
Jonathan Williams
Oct 18, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Entertaining historical romp

Erast Petrovich Fandorin returns to Moscow to break up a morbid club. Twists and turns and a particular set of narrators both as part of the story and in character make this a great ride, always looking for something else and seeing Erast Petrovich through a third-partys eyes.
Jun 19, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a strange bohemian tale set in Russia during the turn of the 19th century. The characters are beautifully cast and the story is set with twists and turns. Never a dull moment, although sometimes I found myself confused as though Id missed part of the story. Definitely worth the read! ...more
Heather Stockwell
Oct 30, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The usual excellent Akunin read, but while He Lover of Death had a really good ending, this one just kind of peters out.
Nov 23, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Loved it. It's like time travelling and the plot is intelligently plotted and keeps you guessing.
Mar 20, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Set in Moscow in 1900. Fandorin takes Columbine under his wing as he uncovers the workings of a suicide club.
Chrissy Powell
Not a bad read for a summer holiday. Intriguing enough to keep your interest but doesn't mind being picked up a number of times to dip in the pool.
Golan Schzukin
Jun 30, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-hebrew, buy
One of the best in the series
Mar 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
'She Lover of Death' does not disappoint, the eighth in the hugely entertaining series of historical novels featuring detective Erast Fandorin.

Unusually for a Fandorin novel, it is written from the perspective of several characters, not least Masha Miranova, an ingenue who becomes embroiled in a secret society which serves as cover for dark deeds.

Boris Akunin, the author, again plays satisfyingly with the conventions and styles of European detective and adventure fiction, this time set in
Mar 09, 2020 rated it liked it
This is an entertaining snapshot of a turn-of-the-century Russia that toys with its reader as much as with its characters. While some of the twists ultimately stretch the bounds of what the narrative has established (always difficult to craft a mystery with an ending that can fully balance between overly obvious and completely out of left field--and frankly always a little better to lean toward the latter), the pacing of clues and red herrings are well spaced.
Feb 21, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: first-reads
This novel has all the ingredients of the books I like. It is a Gothic story with mysteries to solve that reads like a penny dreadful. A young, naïve woman arrives in Moscow and, eager to shed her identity as a country girl from Siberia, she transforms herself into fabulous Columbine. She quickly becomes entangled with The Lovers of Death, a suicide club with a fascination with poetry and Shakespeare, led by a sinister character. This is part of a series devoted to Erast Fandorin. I didnt know ...more
Darius Ostrowski
Jan 19, 2020 rated it liked it
I have enthusiastically read all of the Erast Fandorin books that have been translated into English, and I eagerly awaited She Lover of Death, the latest to make it to America. Part of the joy of reading these novels is the different styles that Mr. Akunin adapts to pay homage to the classic mystery stories we all know and love.

This story starts at the turn of the last century, with the naive young country girl making her way to the big city, where (of course) she will attempt to shed her
Feb 21, 2020 rated it liked it
Nice. Good mystery.

this was a goodreads giveaway.
Pietro Coen
This is a bizarre story, told in 3rd person (by the author), via the diary of Marya Mironovna (or Masha, later on Columbine) and through the newspaper articles of Lavr Zhemailo at different points in the book. Masha - who has just turned 18 - decides to leave Irkutsk, her home town, for Moscow were she is keen to join a secret club of people who see suicide as a worthy act - a poetic act of beauty. She succeeds in this and meets lots of arty types who all recite their macabre poetry during their ...more
Apr 26, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Akunin, as those who read or have heard of his Fandorin novels know, aims to write each volume in a particular genre of crime fiction. This one deals with decadence in turn-of-the-century Moscow. A suicide club has formed and it attracts aficionados from all rungs of society. Written in the multi-person perspective familiar from previous books, here we have the story as seen by a young girl arrived in Moscow from the provinces, a newspaper journalist investigating the club, and the police. ...more
Feb 17, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: russia, detectives
I'll concur with the reviews I've seen on Goodreads about this one. It's not the best Fandorin novel. It may be the weakest I've read. But overall, I still love the series and the characters. I'm interested in how "He Lover of Death" (the next book and what seems like a companion piece) will play on this opinion once I've read that one.

I realized in this book that the reason I love the other books is because I love the narrators or supporting characters. I didn't really enjoy Columbine (Masha).
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Real name - Grigory Shalvovich Chkhartishvili (Russian: Борис Акунин; Georgian: გრიგოლ შალვას ძე ჩხარტიშვილი; Аlso 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 ...more

Other books in the series

Erast Fandorin Mysteries (1 - 10 of 15 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)
  • Special Assignments (Erast Fandorin Mysteries, #5)
  • Статский советник (Erast Fandorin Mysteries, #6)
  • Коронация, или Последний из романов (Erast Fandorin Mysteries, #7)
  • Любовник смерти (Erast Fandorin Mysteries, #9)
  • Алмазная колесница (Erast Fandorin Mysteries, #10)
  • Нефритовые четки (Erast Fandorin Mysteries, #11)

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