About the Book
Boris Akunin has been hailed as Russia’s answer to both Agatha Christie and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle for his beloved Fandorin mystery series. After five years spent abroad building up a business as something of a private investigator, the handsome, stuttering Fandorin is back in Moscow—and in for a case that entangles him with the highest echelons of Romanov royalty.
Grand Duke Georgii Alexandrovich arrives in Moscow with three of his children for the coronation of Tsar Nicholas II, who is fated to become the last Emperor of Russia. During an afternoon stroll in the park, Georgii’s daughter Xenia is dragged away by bandits, only to be rescued by an elegant gentleman and his Japanese sidekick. The passing heroes introduce themselves as Erast Petrovich Fandorin and Masa, but panic ensues when the party realizes that four-year-old Mikhail has been snatched in the confusion.
A ransom letter arrives from an international criminal demanding the handover of the Count Orlov, an enormous diamond on the royal scepter which is due to play a part in the coronation. Can the gentleman detective find Mikhail in time? The Coronation is a fantastically entertaining and deftly plotted take on the hostage novel, not to be missed.
Praise for The Coronation:
“Akunin’s brilliance lies in taking the elements of a classic detective story and imbuing them with a poignant emotional complexity.”—Sunday Times (UK)
“Fandorin is there to provide the solution, rescue the missing child and—in common with the reader—have a lot of fun.”—Times (UK)
“A novel as crammed with delights as the Tsarina’s jewel box.”—Daily Telegraph (UK)
“Enjoyable and very fast-paced. Akunin’s sense of place is undeniably vivid . . . The Coronation may be my favorite of the Fandorin novels so far . . . A very good read.”—Crime Segments
“Every single one of these Fandorin books are supreme fun, and this is no exception. They indeed get better and better with each one. Akunin’s writing is sprightly, very witty, and supremely literate. The novels are exciting, hilarious, full of adventure, and very, very clever . . . Akunin has a superbly enjoyable style: it’s idiosyncratic in the same way that Andrea Camilleri’s style is . . . The Coronation is very highly recommended indeed—as are all his books. They’re great fun, full of excitement and adventure, wonderful characters, and are highly intellectually engaging as well. What more could you want?”—EuroCrime (UK)
Praise for Boris Akunin:
“Brimming with adventure and extraordinary vitality.”—Anne Perry, on The State Counsellor
“A relentless page-turner. The 19th century that Mr. Akunin depicts is pulsing with irresistible energy. From dastardly terrorists to sultry femme fatales, Akunin’s Moscow is a porto-noir paradise cut through with a decidedly Russian sense of futility . . . Fun and entertaining.”—New York Journal of Books, on The State Counsellor
“It is difficult to convey the breadth of influence that Boris Akunin has on Russian society . . . In scope, think of Akunin as the J.K. Rowling of Russia—in style, perhaps somewhere between Dorothy Dunnett and Robert Ludlum.”—Daily Beast
I heard the sound of footsteps approaching rapidly from behind and looked round in surprise. At that very instant a blow of prodigious force came crashing down on my head. I caught a glimpse of the face, distorted in incredible fury, of the bearded man I had seen not long before as I slumped to the ground and lost consciousness for a second. I say ‘for a second’ because when I raised my head, which felt as if it were filled with lead, off the ground, the bearded man was only a few steps away. He threw Mikhail Georgievich aside, grabbed Her Highness by the arm and started dragging her back past me. Mademoiselle froze on the spot in bewilderment and I felt as if I had turned to stone. I raised one hand to my forehead, wiped away something wet and looked at it – it was blood. I didn’t know what he had hit me with, brass knuckles or a lead cudgel, but the trees and bushes all around were swaying like ocean waves in a storm.
The bearded man gave a brigandish whistle and a black carriage harnessed to a pair of black horses emerged from round the corner that we had just turned. The driver, wearing a broad oilskin cloak, pulled back on the reins with a cry of ‘Whoah!’ and two other men, also dressed in black, jumped out of the carriage as it was still moving and came running towards us.
‘This is a kidnapping, that’s what it is,’ a very calm, quiet voice stated somewhere inside me.