Friday, November 15, 2019

Five top Victorian mysteries set around the world

Will Thomas is the author of the critically acclaimed Cyrus Barker and Thomas Llewelyn series, including Some Danger Involved, Fatal Enquiry, Old Scores, and Blood Is Blood. He lives in Oklahoma.

At CrimeReads he tagged five favorite "Victorian mystery novels set around the world—yes, that's right, outside England." One title on the list:
The Winter Queen, by Boris Akunin (Random House, 2003)

While American youngsters and their parents stood in long lines to purchase the latest Harry Potter, Russia was experiencing something called “Erastomania.” The public could not get enough of a young police detective named Erast Fandorin as he navigated the bureaucracy and upheaval of pre-revolution Russia. A young man from a good family shoots himself in front of a crowd, and the case is shunted from one governmental department to another until it is given to the newest member of the Moscow C.I.D., police clerk Fandorin. The bureaucracy would prefer that the matter simply go away, but the young man has the brains, the charm, and the drive to see the case through to the end, managing to tick off every one of his superiors in the process.

The author is Boris Akunin, the pen name of Grigory Chkartishvili, and so far, thirteen novels in this series have been published in Russia. Interest was not as avid in the West, but translations are now available in English. If Anton Chekhov turned to writing mysteries, this is how his books would read.
Read about the other entries on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue