cover image She Lover of Death: The Further Adventures of Erast Fandorin

She Lover of Death: The Further Adventures of Erast Fandorin

Boris Akunin, trans. from the Russian by Andrew Bromfield. Mysterious, $26 (272p) ISBN 978-0-8021-4814-8

Akunin’s intriguing, if flawed, eighth mystery featuring investigator Erast Fandorin (after 2019’s The Coronation) opens with a series of newspaper articles detailing several tragic deaths in 1900 Moscow. After a “latter-day Romeo and Juliet” take their own lives, a correspondent for the Moscow Courier speculates in print that his city has become the base for a suicide club, similar to ones that have existed in Berlin and London. The concept of a “secret society of death worshippers” who pledge to kill themselves is a promising one, and Akunin does a good job of bringing the reader into the mindset of a wannabe member of such a group, Marya Mironava, who arrives in the city in pursuit of a love-interest. An anonymous agent whom series fans will recognize as Fandorin goes undercover to infiltrate the society in an effort to destroy it, but newcomers may wonder why no one named Erast Fandorin appears in the book. This is not a good starting place for the uninitiated. Agent: Ann Rittenberg, Ann Ritterberg Literary. (Mar.)