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Publisher's Summary

This is the first book featuring Erast Fandorin, a gentleman sleuth who solves murders and mysteries in Tsarist Russia.

A 23-year-old law student commits suicide in broad daylight in Moscow's Alexander Gardens. Fandorin is put on the case to find out what drove him to it, a case that deepens as he discovers that the young man was the son of a rich and influential factory owner. The story is enhanced by its authentic backdrop of 19th century Russia. After all, it's difficult to keep your mind on a case when the new Dostoyevsky novel has just hit the shops.

Fandorin has been described as "the James Bond of the 19th century" and Akunin has been compared to Gogol, Tolstoy, and Conan Doyle. The UK publication of these books will be an international literary event and mark the arrival of a startling new voice in the thriller marketplace.

©1998 Boris Akunin (P)2004 Orion Publishing Group Ltd

Featured Article: Essential Russian Authors to Know in Audio


Don’t be daunted by the towering reputations of Russia’s literary giants. Listening is the perfect way to appreciate the masters. Russia is a sprawling country with a rich and complex history, which is reflected in its literature. Whether you’re keen on brushing up on classic Russian literature or you want to find a new author to explore, we’ve rounded up 13 of the best Russian authors, classic and contemporary, whose work you should know.

What listeners say about The Winter Queen

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  • John L.
  • 01-28-07

The Winter Queen

Brilliant Erast Fandoren is my hero - goodbye Sherlock Holmes, Erast has far more style!
If you enjoy a good mystery and hanker after the good old detectives of the 19th century, look no further.

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  • Claire
  • 01-15-07

Gripping 'til you think it's over then...

As a lover of detective fiction this fits the bill immediately! You will recognise and yet not our hapless hero. Well worth a listen, the language and detail are impressive.

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  • The Curator
  • 12-19-20

Disappointingly not my bag

I have wanted to read these novels for years but never got round to it. Sadly, now I have I find it’s just not my thing. I thought they would be more serious than they are. There’s a sort of whimsy that runs right through until the end and the main character is a bit of an idiot. Now many millions of readers have disagreed with me and William Hootkins narration is very good so if you think you’ll enjoy it, go for it!

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  • Thomas
  • 10-29-17

The Winter Queen

A most enjoyable introduction the modern Russian mystery and detective stories, along with an interesting depiction of late 19th century Russia. Well read but such a pity it was abridged.

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