Sister Pelagia and the White Bulldog by Boris Akunin

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Synopsis

“Pelagia’s family likeness to Father Brown and Miss Marple is marked, and reading about her supplies a similarly decorous pleasure.”
The Literary Review

In a remote Russian province in the late nineteenth century, Bishop Mitrofanii must deal with a family crisis. After learning that one of his great aunt’s beloved and rare white bulldogs has been poisoned, the Orthodox bishop knows there is only one detective clever enough to investigate the murder: Sister Pelagia.

The bespectacled, freckled Pelagia is lively, curious, extraordinarily clumsy, and persistent. At the estate in question, she finds a whole host of suspects, any one of whom might have benefited if the old lady (who changes her will at whim) had expired of grief at the pooch’s demise. There’s Pyotr, the matron’s grandson, a nihilist with a grudge who has fallen for the maid; Stepan, the penniless caretaker, who has sacrificed his youth to the care of the estate; Miss Wrigley, a mysterious Englishwoman who has recently been named sole heiress to the fortune; Poggio, an opportunistic and freeloading “artistic” photographer; and, most intriguingly, Naina, the old lady’s granddaughter, a girl so beautiful she could drive any man to do almost anything.

As Pelagia bumbles and intuits her way to the heart of a mystery among people with faith only in greed and desire, she must bear in mind the words of Saint Paul: “Beware of dogs–and beware of evil-doers.”

“Critics on both sides of the Atlantic have praised [Akunin’s] clever plots, vivid characters and wit.”
Baltimore Sun

“Akunin’s wonderful novels are always intricately webbed and plotted.”
The Providence Journal


From the Trade Paperback 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 January 30, 2007 by Random House. 290 pages
Genres: History, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Sister Pelagia and the White Bulldog

Kirkus Reviews

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A Russian nun who could be a cousin of Miss Marple untangles a mystery out of Dostoevsky.

May 20 2010 | Read Full Review of Sister Pelagia and the White ...

Publishers Weekly

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Set in the late 19th century, this charming, highly unusual whodunit from Russian author Akunin (the pen name of Grigory Chkhartishvili) introduces Sister Pelagia, a young nun in a remote Russian p

Nov 20 2006 | Read Full Review of Sister Pelagia and the White ...

Publishers Weekly

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Set in the late 19th century, this charming, highly unusual whodunit from Russian author Akunin (the pen name of Grigory Chkhartishvili) introduces Sister Pelagia, a young nun in a remote Russian province far removed from the intrigue of the czarist government.

Nov 20 2006 | Read Full Review of Sister Pelagia and the White ...

Book Reporter

SISTER PELAGIA AND THE WHITE BULLDOG marks the beginning of a new direction for Akunin and fittingly introduces Mortalis, a new imprint of literary mystery and suspense fiction for Random House.

Jan 23 2011 | Read Full Review of Sister Pelagia and the White ...

Entertainment Weekly

In Boris Akunin's Sister Pelagia and the White Bulldog, a Russian bishop sends a bumbling nun to investigate the poisoning of his great-aunt Marya's beloved — and rare — white bulldog.

Jan 26 2007 | Read Full Review of Sister Pelagia and the White ...

Reviewing the Evidence

The social and religious themes in SISTER PELAGIA AND THE WHITE BULLDOG could be seen equally as applying to western society – although possibly the religious aspect would have less impact in the west – as to both historical and modern day Russia.

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Bestsellersworld

On the plus side Boris Akunin always does an excellent job in describing his characters and the reader has no trouble trying to picture what they look like in their mind as they are reading the book.

Feb 11 2013 | Read Full Review of Sister Pelagia and the White ...

Bestsellersworld

Ah, the quiet, serene, cloistered, life of a nun in Russia: full of praying, teaching gymnastic classes, stealing the Bishop’s money, and dressing as a lady of high society and as a novice monk to solve a Fellini-like case involving a mysterious Black Monk, and an assorted host of crazies.

| Read Full Review of Sister Pelagia and the White ...

Historical Novel Society

Philologist, critic, essayist and translator from the Japanese Grigory Chkhartishvili adopts the pen name of Boris Akunin for this anticipated mystery trilogy, the Mortalis series, set in a remote province of Russia in the late 19th century.

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