Monday, February 20, 2017

Boris Akunin

Boris Akunin

Boris Akunin* is a brilliant and witty novelist.  That is one.

Murder on the Leviathan
He writes crime novels that are set in the glittering world of late 19th century Imperial Russia.  That is two.

His hero, Erast Fandorin, combines a strong deductive mind with surprising martial arts abilities.  That is three.

Fandorin's sidekick Masa is a Japanese military doctor (shades of Watson) who instructs his boss in martial arts and Oriental ways.  That is four.

Akunin's plots are constructed with the elegance and craftsmanship of the FabergĂ© easter eggs that were the traditional Easter gifts of the Romanovs.  That is five.

Putin to Crimea: "All those in Favor of Joining Russia Raise your Hands"

Boris Akunin demonstrated considerable political courage in opposing Putin's 2014 invasion and annexation of the Crimea.  That is six.

The Winter Queen  
In this era of frayed Russian-American relations, it is wise to remember an example of the nobility of the true Russian spirit as epitomized by Erast Fandorin; it is also an entertaining escape.  That is seven.

Here are a couple of my favorite Boris Akunin novels on and

* Boris Akunin is the pen name of Grigol Chkhartishvili, a Georgian who writes in Russian and is a longtime resident of Moscow.

Christopher Kelly is the co-author of America Invades (www.americainvades,com) and Italy Invades (  He recently edited An Adventure in 1914 (

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