Murder on the Leviathan by Boris Akunin
A Novel (Erast Fandorin)

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Paris, 1878: Eccentric antiquarian Lord Littleby and his ten servants are found murdered in Littleby’s mansion on the rue de Grenelle, and a priceless Indian shawl is missing. Police commissioner “Papa” Gauche recovers only one piece of evidence from the crime scene: a golden key shaped like a whale. Gauche soon deduces that the key is in fact a ticket of passage for the Leviathan, a gigantic steamship soon to depart Southampton on its maiden voyage to Calcutta. The murderer must be among its passengers.

In Cairo, the ship is boarded by a young Russian diplomat with a shock of white hair—none other than Erast Fandorin, the celebrated detective of Boris Akunin’s The Winter Queen. The sleuth joins forces with Gauche to determine which of ten unticketed passengers on the Leviathan is the rue de Grenelle killer.

Tipping his hat to Agatha Christie, Akunin assembles a colorful cast of suspects—including a secretive Japanese doctor, a professor who specializes in rare Indian artifacts, a pregnant Swiss woman, and an English aristocrat with an appetite for collecting Asian treasures—all of whom are con?ned together until the crime is solved. As the Leviathan steams toward Calcutta, will Fandorin be able to out-investigate Gauche and discover who the killer is, even as the ship’s passengers are murdered, one by one?

Already an international sensation, Boris Akunin’s latest page-turner transports the reader back to the glamorous, dangerous past in a richly atmospheric tale of suspense on the high seas.

From the Hardcover edition.

About Boris Akunin

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BORIS AKUNIN is the pen name of Grigory Chkhartishvili, who was born in the Republic of Georgia in 1956. A philologist, critic, essayist, and translator of Japanese, Akunin published his first detective stories in 1998 and has already become one of the most widely read authors in Russia. He is the author of eleven Erast Fandorin novels, including The Winter Queen, The Turkish Gambit, Murder on the Leviathan, The Death of Achilles, and Special Assignments available from Random House Trade Paperbacks; and Sister Pelagia and the White Bulldog and Sister Pelagia and the Black Monk, in the Sister Pelagia series. He lives in Moscow.
Published April 27, 2004 by Random House. 240 pages
Genres: History, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction, Education & Reference. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Murder on the Leviathan

Kirkus Reviews

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Each of them—a troubled baronet, an officer in the Imperial Japanese Army, the pregnant wife of a Swiss banker, and a faded English spinster—is given alternate chapters in which to watch and describe the others, and the results can stand with the most ingenious Golden Age stories, as Papa Gauche ...

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Publishers Weekly

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Akunin's young Russian detective/diplomat protagonist, Erast Fandorin, has matured considerably since his debut in last year's highly praised The Winter Queen , set in 1876, and proves a worthy foil to French police commissioner Gustave Gauche, who boards the Leviathan because a clue suggests th...

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BC Books

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Dec 27 2007 | Read Full Review of Murder on the Leviathan: A No...

Entertainment Weekly

(The first to be translated into English, The Winter Queen, came out last year.) This time, Fandorin finds himself on a luxury cruise ship bound for India -- the floating equivalent of the Orient Express, it turns out, for all the exotic murder suspects the vessel contains -- and inevitably g...

Apr 30 2004 | Read Full Review of Murder on the Leviathan: A No...

The Bookbag

Obviously, it's difficult to split the style of the author from the style of the translator, but this book did make for very easy reading, which isn't always the case with books set in the last-but-one century.

Dec 02 2014 | Read Full Review of Murder on the Leviathan: A No...

Nights and Weekends

And when the other passengers discover why Gauche is traveling with them, each one does his or her part to lead Gauche to the murderer.

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