The Mysterious Press
The Mysterious Press
The Mysterious Press

State Counsellor

A Fandorin Mystery

by Boris Akunin Translated from Russian by Andrew Bromfield

From the writer who reinvented the Russian crime novel, a gripping tale of political subterfuge and murder in turn-of-the-century Moscow featuring the inimitable hero Erast Fandorin.

  • Imprint The Mysterious Press
  • Page Count 320
  • Publication Date February 05, 2019
  • ISBN-13 978-0-8021-2782-2
  • Dimensions 5.5" x 8.25"
  • US List Price $16.00
  • Imprint The Mysterious Press
  • Page Count 304
  • Publication Date July 04, 2017
  • ISBN-13 978-0-8021-2654-2
  • Dimensions 6" x 9"
  • US List Price $25.00

About The Book

Since the publication of The Winter Queen, a New York Times Notable Book and the first mystery featuring Erast Fandorin, Boris Akunin’s historical mystery series has become a worldwide sensation, selling millions of copies and propelling Akunin into the ranks of Russia’s most widely read contemporary novelists. The first new Fandorin novel available to an American audience in a decade, The State Counsellor tests the handsome diplomat-detective’s guile and integrity like no mystery before.

Russia, 1891. The new governor-general of Siberia has been secreted away on a train from St. Petersburg to Moscow. A blizzard rages outside as a mustachioed official climbs aboard near the city; with his trademark stutter, he introduces himself as State Counsellor Erast Fandorin. He then thrusts a dagger inscribed with the initials CG into the governor-general’s heart and, tearing off his mustache, escapes out the carriage window. The head of the Department of Security soon shows up at the real Fandorin’s door and arrests him for murder. The only way to save his reputation is to find CG–and the government mole who is feeding the group information. Can Fandorin survive corruption among his fellow officials, the fearlessness of an unknown enemy, and the advances of a sultry young nihilist with his morals intact? The State Counsellor is a colorful entertainer from a master of the sly historical romp.

Praise for the Fandorin Mystery Series

“A wondrous strange and appealing novel . . . Elaborate, intricate, profoundly czarist, and Russian to its bones, as though Tolstoy had sat down to write a murder mystery. Not quite like anything you’ve ever read before.” —Alan Furst, on The Winter Queen

“Delightful romps through a stylized late nineteenth century.” —New Yorker

“The Russian Ian Fleming . . . Akunin’s accomplished writing is a treat.” —Ruth Rendell, on The Winter Queen

“[Akunin’s] novels feature a Slavic Sherlock Holmes who speaks Japanese and English, is skilled at martial arts and has ladykiller good looks . . . Millions of readers have been seduced.” —Wall Street Journal, on The Death of Achilles

“If Pushkin had tried his hand at detective fiction, it might have turned out something like this . . . A saucy and insouciant tale of derringers and derring-do.” —New York Times Book Review, on The Winter Queen

“Sophisticated . . . A marvel of misdirection.” —Boston Globe, on The Turkish Gambit

“With his customary mix of taciturn superiority and apparent bewilderment . . . [Fandorin] is a delightful character like no other in crime fiction.” —Times (UK), on The Turkish Gambit


One slim young lady who was sitting by the piano, off to one side of the main developments, did not appear to be stupefied at all. Her black eyes were blazing with indignation, the pretty, dark features of her face contorted into a mask of hatred. The young woman curled up her scarlet lips in a furious, silent whisper, reached out one slim hand to the handbag lying on the piano and pulled out a small, elegant revolver.

The intrepid young miss grasped the gun tightly with both hands, aiming it straight at the back of the Lieutenant Colonel of gendarmes. From a standing start, Erast Petrovich vaulted almost halfway across the drawing room in a single prodigious leap, lashing his cane down on the gun barrel before his feet even touched the floor.

The toy with the mother-of-pearl handle struck the floor and fired–not really all that loudly, but Burlyaev flung himself violently to one side and all the agents swung their gun barrels round towards the reckless young woman.

They would undoubtedly have riddled her with bullets if not for Erast Petrovich, whose tremendous jump had terminated just in front of the piano, so that the malefactress was hidden behind the State Counsellor’s back.