This is the first book featuring Erast Fandorin, a gentleman sleuth who solves murders and mysteries in tsarist Russia. A 23-year-old law student commits suicide in broad daylight in Moscow's Alexander Gardens. Fandorin is put on the case to find out what drove him to it, a case that deepens as he discovers that the young man was the son of a rich and influential factory owner. The story is enhanced by its authentic backdrop of nineteenth-century Russia. After all, it's difficult to keep your mind on a case when the new Dostoyevsky novel has just hit the shops. Fandorin has been described as 'the James Bond of the 19th century' and Akunin has been compared to Gogol, Tolstoy and Conan Doyle. The UK publication of these books marks the arrival of a startling new voice in the thriller marketplace.