3/series, translated from the Russian, starring Erast Fandorin. In 1877, the Russian bear took on the Ottoman Empire in a war for control of as much Ottoman territory as the bear could gobble. But it may be that the bear has bitten off far more than it can chew; the despised Turks are far better soldiers than advertised. And, their espionage service is far better than Russia's. Fandorin, posted to the front lines in present-day Rumania, meets the beautiful Varvara Suvorova, who has disguised herself as a boy to follow her fiance to the front.  Click below for more...
Varya, a revolutionary and completely opposed to the monarchy, thinks the handsome, boyish Fandorin is a despicable lackey of the crown. Finding a niche amongst a collection of international journalists, Varya witnesses the eddies of war, the cruelties and the unpredictability. Before long, when her fiance is accused of treason, she must trust Fandorin to extricate him. But the agent has far more serious matters to concentrate upon: a skillful secret agent is working to defeat Russia utterly. Another 5 for this delightful character. Few people think much about the translation, but my hat's off to Andrew Bromfield, who has turned all the Fandorin books into perfect, polished gems that we English-speakers can enjoy.
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