She Lover of Death: The Further Adventures of Erast Fandorin

BOOK: She Lover of Death: The Further Adventures of Erast Fandorin
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She Lover of Death: The Further Adventures of Erast Fandorin
Boris Akunin Andrew Bromfield
PHOENIX (2001)

There's been rising concern in Moscow over a wave of suicides among the city's young bohemians. An intrepid newspaper reporter, Zhemailo, begins to uncover the truth behind the phenomenon - that the victims are linked by a secret society, the Lovers of Death. But Zhemailo is not the only investigator hot on the heels of these disciples of the occult. Little do they realise that the latest 'convert' to their secret society, assuming the alias of a Japanese prince, is none other than Erast Fandorin. But when a young and naive provincial woman, Masha Mironova, becomes embroiled in the society, and Zhemalio dies a mysterious death, Fandorin must do more than merely infiltrate and observe. Especially when the spin of the Russian roulette wheel decrees that our dashing hero be the next to die by his own hand. Can Fandorin fake his own demise, all while outwitting the cult's dastardly leader?

Review

Akunin's novels are a fasciating mixture of pathos and pastiche; his characters are larger than life but never absurd...as ingenious as the earlier Fandorin novels and full of clever and unexpected twists. SUNDAY TIMES An unpredictable, swift-moving and imaginative piece of crime fiction. TIMES

About the Author

Boris Akunin is the pseudonym of Grigory Chkhartishvili. He has been compared to Gogol, Tolstoy and Arthur Conan Doyle, and his Erast Fandorin books have sold over 18 million copies in Russia alone. He lives in Moscow.

She Lover of Death: The Further Adventures of Erast Fandorin
Boris Akunin Andrew Bromfield
Phoenix (2001)
Rating: ★★★☆☆

There's been rising concern in Moscow over a wave of suicides among the city's young bohemians. An intrepid newspaper reporter, Zhemailo, begins to uncover the truth behind the phenomenon - that the victims are linked by a secret society, the Lovers of Death. But Zhemailo is not the only investigator hot on the heels of these disciples of the occult. Little do they realise that the latest 'convert' to their secret society, assuming the alias of a Japanese prince, is none other than Erast Fandorin. But when a young and naive provincial woman, Masha Mironova, becomes embroiled in the society, and Zhemalio dies a mysterious death, Fandorin must do more than merely infiltrate and observe. Especially when the spin of the Russian roulette wheel decrees that our dashing hero be the next to die by his own hand. Can Fandorin fake his own demise, all while outwitting the cult's dastardly leader?

Review

Akunin's novels are a fasciating mixture of pathos and pastiche; his characters are larger than life but never absurd...as ingenious as the earlier Fandorin novels and full of clever and unexpected twists. SUNDAY TIMES An unpredictable, swift-moving and imaginative piece of crime fiction. TIMES

About the Author

Boris Akunin is the pseudonym of Grigory Chkhartishvili. He has been compared to Gogol, Tolstoy and Arthur Conan Doyle, and his Erast Fandorin books have sold over 18 million copies in Russia alone. He lives in Moscow.

Boris Akunin is the pseudonym of Grigory Chkhartishvili. He has been compared to Gogol, Tolstoy and Arthur Conan Doyle, and his Erast Fandorin books have sold over eighteen million copies in Russia alone. He lives in Moscow.

 

By the same author:

 

The Winter Queen
Leviathan
Turkish Gambit
The Death of Achilles
Special Assignments
The State Counsellor
The Coronation

 

Pelagia and the White Bulldog
Pelagia and the Black Monk
Pelagia and the Red Rooster

 

The Further Adventures
of Erast Fandorin

BORIS AKUNIN

Translated by Andrew Bromfield

 

A WEIDENFELD & NICOLSON EBOOK

First published in Great Britain in 2009 by Weidenfeld & Nicolson
This eBook first published in 2010 by Orion Books.

First published in Russian as Liubovnitsa smerti by Zakharov Publications, Moscow, Russia and Edizioni
Frassinelli, Milan, Italy.
All rights reserved.
Published by arrangement with Linda Michaels Limited,
International Literary Agents

Copyright © Boris Akunin 2001
Translation © Andrew Bromfield 2009

The right of Boris Akunin to be identified as the author of this work has been asserted by him in accordance with the copyright, designs and patents act 1988.

The right of Andrew Bromfield to be identified as the translator of this work has been asserted by him in accordance with the copyright, designs and patents act 1988.

All characters and events in this publication are fictitious and any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means without the prior permission in writing of the publisher, nor be otherwise circulated in any form of binding or cover other than that in which it is published without a similar condition, including this condition, being imposed on the subsequent purchaser.

A CIP catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library.

ISBN: 978 0 2978 5596 5

Orion Books
The Orion Publishing Group Ltd
Orion House
5 Upper St Martin’s Lane
London WC2H 9EA

An Hachette UK Company

www.orionbooks.co.uk

The author is grateful to Sergei Gandlevsky
and Lev Rubinstein, who helped the characters
in this novel – Gdlevsky and Lorelei Rubinstein –
to write their beautiful poetry

Contents

 

Cover

Title

Copyright

Dedication

About the Author

By the Same Author

Chapter One

Chapter Two

Chapter Three

Chapter Four

Chapter Five

Chapter Six

CHAPTER 1

 

I. From the Newspapers

 

The Selfless Devotion of a Four-Legged Friend

 

Yesterday at shortly after two in the morning the inhabitants of the Goliath company’s apartment building on Semyonovskaya Street were awoken by the sound of a heavy object falling to the ground, which was immediately followed by the protracted howling of a pointer dog belonging to the photographer S., who rented a studio in the attic. On hearing the noise, the yard keeper went outside and, looking up, he saw a lighted window with a dog standing on the window ledge and wailing in a most mournful, harrowing manner. A moment later the yard keeper noticed the motionless body of S. himself lying on the ground below the window. It was evidently the object that had made so much noise in falling. Suddenly, before the astounded yard keeper’s very eyes, the pointer jumped down, landing close beside the body of its master and smashing itself to death against the cobblestones of the street.

Legends concerning canine fidelity are numerous, but selfless devotion that overcomes the very instinct of self-preservation and scorns death itself is extremely rare among animals, and cases of obvious suicide are encountered even less often among our four-legged friends.

The police initially proceeded on the assumption that S., who led a disorderly and not entirely sober life, had fallen from the window by accident: however, a note in verse discovered in the apartment indicated that the photographer had laid hands on himself. The motives underlying this act of desperation are unclear. S.’s neighbours and acquaintances assert that he had no reasons for settling his accounts with life: quite the contrary, in fact; in recent days S. had been in very high spirits.

L. Zh.
Moscow Courier, 4
(17) August
1900, p.6

Mystery of Fatal Junket Solved

 

Incredible details of the tragic events on Furmanny Lane

As we informed our readers two days ago, the name-day party to which grammar school teacher Soimonov invited four of his colleagues concluded in the most lamentable fashion possible, with the host and his guests all discovered seated, lifeless, around the well-laid table. An autopsy of the bodies revealed that the deaths of all five victims had been caused by a bottle of Castello port wine, which contained an immense dose of arsenic. This sensational news spread to every part of the city, and at the wine merchants’ shops demand for the abovementioned brand of port, formerly a great favourite with Muscovites, dried up completely. The police launched an inquiry at the Stamm Brothers’ bottling plant, which supplies Castello to the wine merchants.

Today, however, we can state with absolutely certainty that the estimable beverage was not to blame. A sheet of paper bearing the following lines of verse was discovered in the pocket of Soimonov’s frock-coat:

Song of Farewell
Loveless life is mere vexation!
Wary stealth, deliberation
,
Hollow mirth, dissatisfaction
Blight and thwart my every action
.
Deriders, you have had your fun
,
Your time for mockery is done
.
Help this valiant fellow now
Set the crown upon his brow
.
BOOK: She Lover of Death: The Further Adventures of Erast Fandorin
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