By Boris Akunin
"Here's to luck!" cried the drunk (or perhaps, the madman), then he raised the hand holding the revolver high above his head, spun the chambers and set the muzzle to his temple.
Ah, but this was a nice read, and not quite what I'd expected at all. That is to say it was exactly what I had hoped for, but I was expecting to be disapointed in my expectations. I wasn't however, and the story was very enjoyable.
Erast Fandorin is a Collegiate Registrar (a minor Russian police man in the Tsarist era) who comes across a curious case where a young man publically commits suicide in a park for no apparent reason. Erast convinces his superior to let him look into the matter and a strange and convoluted story unfolds. Erast himself is a young, naive romantic who stumbles from one predicamant to the next, but always manages to survive by the skin of his teeth, or by the good fortune of being rescued from an unlikely quarter.
The plot was fairly obvious, and the twists weren't hard to spot before hand (some were practically sign posted) but the story telling carried me along and entertained me and consequently I have already sent away for the next three novels in the series. I understand that Akunin wrote each novel with a different style in mind, so it will be interesting to see how they differ.