C.J.'s Reviews > The Winter Queen

The Winter Queen by Boris Akunin
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The Winter Queen is is the first of Akunin's books featuring Erast Fandorin, a minor government functionary who starts out young and hapless, yet is sharp and dogged enough to find himself steering events he's assigned to help decipher. Evidently each book in the series represents a different subgenre; this "conspiracy mystery" opens in Moscow, 1876. I was intrigued to step into such an authentically unfamiliar frame of reference: time, place, social assumptions and preoccupations. High points include the old-fashioned chapter titles ("in which many difficulties are encountered"), and Akunin's use of common tropes (orphanage, British charity patron, femme fatale, rogue boss) in unexpected ways, along with his deft plot twists. On the other hand, the characters' obsessions -- particularly with nuances of rank -- felt so remote that I didn't care all that much about them or how things turned out.
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Reading Progress

February 6, 2018 – Started Reading
February 6, 2018 – Shelved
March 25, 2018 – Finished Reading

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