May have laughed out loud quietly though in flight on this one, a little hard to keep track of all the royalty. Slightly disappointed as I could identify the villain right from the start which is usually not the case as I get side tracked or most of the times am just plain wrong So that leaves me the question can this mystery book be given four stars still I can t sadly As much as it describes the relationship and loyalty of the butler to the Romanov dynasty in an engaging way, as well as the traditions and the society of Tsarist Russia to a smaller degree, deep down it is a crime mystery book And it failed to live up to the genre Or at least to my expectations as it has been compared to Sherlock Holmes, Poirot, James Bond and alike Don t get me wrong, Erast Fandorin is an adorable charming detective Stutter, eccentric, handsome, a bit arrogant, witty just like the characters mentioned above, he s got interesting adjectives adorning him The flaw was in the plot that did not make him justice Take for instance the scenes below There were just too many of them and nothing would point my poor deduction skills to any other direction Mlle Declique is late for the fateful promenade Mlle leaves the child behind when he is abducted Only Mlle is sent for as the intermediary although she is helpful in the investigation and eventually leads Fandorin to the hiding place Mlle is found beaten in the cellar right after the tragedy at Khodynsk Field come on False beards on the desk of the Postman s house Even her attempt to mislead Fandorin accusing Lord Banville is feeble Nevertheless if I come across another Fandorin adventure again I would like to give it another try. [Read Kindle] ⚖ Коронация, или Последний из романов ♞ Grand Duke Georgii Alexandrovich Arrives In Moscow For The Coronation, Accompanied By Three Of His Children And Their Alluring Governess, Mademoiselle Declique During An Afternoon Stroll, Daughter Xenia Is Dragged Away By Bandits, Only To Be Rescued By An Elegant Gentleman And His Oriental Sidekick The Passing Heroes Introduce Themselves As Fandorin And Masa, But Panic Ensues When They Realise That Four Year Old Mikhail Has Been Snatched In The Confusion A Ransom Letter Arrives From Dr Lind, An International Criminal And The Moriarty To Fandorin S Sherlock Holmes The Letter Demands The Handover Of The Count Orlov, An Enormous Diamond On The Royal Sceptre Which Is Due To Play A Part In The Coronation Fandorin Suggests That The Value Of The Stone Is Paid In Installments , Buying The Party A Week To Ensure The Young Boy S Safe Return But Can The Gentleman Detective Find Mikhail In Time, Or Will The Grand Duke S Son Meet With The Same Gruesome Fate As Lind S Last Abductee Whom Fandorin Could Do Nothing To Save Will Fandorin Succumb To The Affections Of Xenia And Why Is He Falling To His Death On The Very First Page Our Inimitable Hero Returns In A Tantalisingly Closely Matched Battle Of Wills And Of Wiles Book seven in the Erast Fandorin series brings us to 1896 and the coronation of Nicholas II as the last Russian czar Like its predecessor The State Counsellor, The Coronation is steeped in accurate historical detail, from the name of the new Czar s horse to the horrible events that occurred in the field at Khodynka Unlike The State Counsellor, Fandorin is acting as a lone wolf here, no longer holding his previous position as Deputy for Special Assignments to the Governor General of Moscow The story is told through the eyes of the head butler at the Hermitage in Moscow, temporary home to the St Petersburg contingent of the Romanov family and its retinue His narrative spans two weeks, beginning with Fandorin s death What The coronation is imminent, and the family of the czar s uncle Grand Duke Georgii Alexandrovich is settling into its Moscow lodgings There s a great deal to do before the big event, but there s plenty of time to take the Grand Duke s little son Mikhail Georgievich on a walk through the park Out of nowhere, Xenia, grand princess and daughter of the Grand Duke, is snatched up, but the attempt at a kidnapping is thwarted But sadly, while Xenia is being rescued, even though the little boy is moved away for his safety, the whole thing is only a clever ruse, with Mikhail Georgievich as the real target A shaggy looking gentleman, along with an ice cream seller in the park reveal themselves to the family as who else Erast Fandorin and his Japanese servant Masa, and thus Fandorin is launched into the effort to gain Mikhail s safe release His opponent is one Dr Lind, someone with whom Fandorin has scores to settle, and someone who demands something no less than the Orlov diamond, the key jewel of the coronation ceremony But this is not going to be an easy task Lind holds all the cards, Fandorin is not trusted by many in the household, and the family, while concerned with little Mikhail, still have duties to perform to ensure that the coronation goes off without a hitch After all, nothing can be done to get in the way of the Romanov destiny and rumors of a royal kidnapping might undermine the stability of Nicholas rule even before it is officially acknowledged.There are several moments to divert one s attention away from the main action of the novel Some are humorous, for example, the butler s undercover adventures in a club for gay men is only one pleasant diversion to be found Some are darkly serious and based on a terrible reality where over 1300 people were trampled to death at the Khodynka field on a day when the royal family set up food and drink for their citizens and rumors escaped that there wasn t enough for everyone And then Akunin offers insight into how the Imperial family views its common citizens, and just how far the family is willing to go to hide anything even remotely detrimental to its image a factor that later is going to help bring down the house of Romanov in terms of Nicholas only son and his hemophilia.I ll admit to not having figured out the kidnapper s identity in this hostage mind boggler of an adventure, and I got very caught up in the story while trying to do so I think, though, that knowing the sad story that s yet to play out with the Romanovs, the history took me in than the mystery, although it was quite enjoyable and very fast paced Akunin s sense of place is undeniably vivid, as is his knowledge of detail of the period, fully fleshing out the events going on around the story of the kidnapping.The Coronation may be my favorite of the Fandorin novels so far, with The State Counsellor a close second There s a big leap in quality between these two books and the earlier ones, and I hope the remaining three She Lover of Death, He Lover of Death and The Diamond Chariot are just as good as these two have been.Anyone who enjoys hostage and kidnapping stories will like this, as well as cozy readers who want a bit of a challenge than the usual fare Readers of this series will also enjoy it, and I think readers of historical crime fiction will do well with this book Again some of the scenes are just completely over the top, but it still a very good read. A little slow to get into because of the narrator Butler Ziukin s insufferable character, but fantastic story Fandorin as awesome as ever Echoes of Holmes and Moriarty throughout. I could enjoy so much this story and even give it a higher rating if it wasn t for the character of Afanasi Zioukin, what an infuriating person, I disliked so much that I wanted to finish as soon as possible the book in order not to read about him I liked the plot of the book and final twist which I didn t saw coming even if it was clear after a small detail Though it s the seventh book in the Erast Fandorin serie it s the first story I read with him and I liked it very much so I guess it won t be the last and with the hope to not cross roads with Zioukin ever again Another excellent mystery novel in the Fandorin series, while not my favourite there is still enough here to enjoy and I finished it in a fairly short time which usually means it was a good read I won t say too much about the plot as others have done so but there are a lot of great moments in this book and I have already ordered the next in the series. One of the better ones in the series
One of my absolute favourites in the series The story is told in first person from the viewpoint of the majordomo to the imperial house As with all butlers, he has very distinct view about his charges, about foreigners, and about the ceremonies and events that happen The plot deals with both the coronation of Nikolai II and of the Khodynka Tragedy that followed.Part of what makes this a masterpiece is exactly the same reason that makes it frustrating at times Our protagonist is observed by 3rd parties, his actions described through their viewpoints We, as readers, want to know so much.What to ExpectEach novel is written as a different type of mystery Akunin set out to rectify the low brow reputation of the mystery genre in post USSR Russia by writing worthy literature and exploring the wide gamut of sub genres Each novel is therefore excellently written as a different type of detective case While there is continuity in the protagonist s life between the novels, each is very different in themes and tones.I ve written a condensed review of the whole series on my website.What I likedI like the writing style The prose is intelligent and flowing, the mysteries are complex, and the cast is varied though those that make repeat appearances tend to die Fandorin himself is a great character, even though as a main character he still remains an enigma a tantalising mystery in itself that keeps readers engaged and clamouring to know.I love the historical background Akunin has done his research into Russian culture, mannerisms, environment, personalities, etc of the late 19th century early 20th century Most of the stories take place around Moscow, and Fandorin gets to meet and associate with the people of the times from the low life criminals of Khitrovka, to the grand dukes of the imperial family In a few cases, Akunin also has Fandorin active around notable events of the era, at times filling in details where history has left us stumped.Akunin is also a Japanophile, and has Fandorin spend a few years in Japan While details are sketchy and we want More , it is clear that he has a great love and deep knowledge of that culture and times.What to be aware ofBe aware that each of the novel is told in a different style Besides the obvious something new and different in each volume , one keyword is told They are almost all in 3rd person perspective, and quite often not from the point of view of Erast Fandorin which is both tantalising and frustrating at times It s this distance that keeps Fandorin an enigma, and keeps us coming back to learn.Fandorin has a Sherlockian intellect and impressive physical prowess He is not without his faults most notably hubris , but as a hero he is certainly a cut above the rest He also tends to get involved with a different femme fatale in each book This suits the detective genre perfectly, regardless of modern sensibilities.While the books are not really related and have few continuing characters, I d still strongly recommend to read them in order.Lastly, and this has nothing to do with Fandorin, since these are professional translations amazingly done by Andrew Bromfield via a traditional publisher, the price of ebooks and hardcovers is almost the same The ebooks are also missing some of the illustrations and other typographical effects that are present in the print I d definitely recommend reading the print edition, where possible.SummaryShould you read these novels Yes By all means, if you love historical mysteries these novels are a must read It is an intelligent, engaging, and just different enough series to be in a class of its own It s not surprising that in his home country of Russia, Akunin out sells JK Rowling In fact, since it s been a few years since I ve read them, I think I ll go back and re read my favourites Winter Queen, State Counsellor, and The Coronation Assaph Mehr, author of Murder In Absentia A story of Togas, Daggers, and Magic for lovers of Ancient Rome, Murder Mysteries, and Urban Fantasy. At various times I ve read the whole series that s been translated into English so far, and consider this episode the best so far Narrated by the butler to one of the Romanov royal family, this tells of the coronation of Nicholas II really, the kidnapping of one of the sons, a little boy, Mika, and the efforts of Fandorin, the butler, Afanasy, and others to rescue him and to keep out of the hands of the archcriminal, Dr Lind, the Orlov diamond, which will play a part in the coronation As ransom, Dr Lind, asks for various Romanov jewels but consents to the family s renting the diamond until after the coronation then making the exchange Incredible unexpected developments all through the story keep up the non stop action The conclusion came completely out of the blue Highly recommended.