Excerpt from Murder on the Leviathan by Boris Akunin, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reading Guide |  Reviews |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

Murder on the Leviathan

An Erast Fandorin novel

by Boris Akunin

Murder on the Leviathan by Boris Akunin
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Apr 2004, 240 pages
    Paperback:
    Feb 2005, 240 pages

  • Rate this book


Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt


It should be explained at this point that, out of considerations of privacy and comfort (after all, the ship’s advertisement had claimed: "On board, you will discover the atmosphere of a fine old English country estate"), those individuals traveling first-class were not expected to take their meals in the vast dining hall along with the six hundred bearers of democratic silver whales, but were assigned to their own comfortable "salons," each of which bore its own aristocratic title and looked like a high-class hotel: crystal chandeliers, stained oak and mahogany, velvet-upholstered chairs, gleaming silver tableware, prim waiters, and officious stewards. For his own purposes Commissioner Gauche had singled out the Windsor Salon, located on the upper deck in the very bow of the ship: Its three walls of continuous window afforded a magnificent view, so that even on overcast days there was no need to switch on the lamps. The velvet upholstery here was a fine shade of golden brown and the linen table napkins were adorned with the Windsor coat of arms.

Set around the oval table with its legs bolted to the floor (a precaution against any likelihood of severe pitching and rolling) were ten chairs with their tall backs carved in designs incorporating a motley assortment of gothic decorative flourishes. The commissioner liked the idea of everyone sitting around the same table, and he had ordered the steward not to set out the nameplates at random, but with strategic intent: He had seated the four passengers without badges directly opposite himself so that he could keep a close eye on those particular birds. It had not proved possible to seat the captain himself at the head of the table, as Gauche had planned. Mr. Josiah Cliff did not wish (as he himself had expressed it) "to have any part in this charade," and had chosen to base himself in the York Salon, where the new viceroy of India was taking his meals with his wife and two generals of the Indian army. York was located in the prestigious stern, as far removed as possible from plague-stricken Windsor, where the head of the table was taken by first mate Charles Renier. The commissioner had taken an instant dislike to Renier, with that face bronzed by the sun and the wind, that honeyed way of speaking, that head of dark hair gleaming with brilliantine, that dyed mustache with its two spruce little curls. He was a buffoon, not a sailor.

Excerpted from Murder on the Leviathan by Boris Akunin Copyright© 2004 by Boris Akunin. Excerpted by permission of Random House, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member and discover books that entertain, engage & enlighten!

Join Today!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Midwinter Break
    Midwinter Break
    by Bernard MacLaverty
    Northern Ireland's Bernard MacLaverty is the author of five novels and multiple short story ...
  • Book Jacket: The Ninth Hour
    The Ninth Hour
    by Alice McDermott
    In a pivotal scene in The Ninth Hour, young Sally encounters an increasingly loathsome series of ...
  • Book Jacket: Rebellion
    Rebellion
    by Molly Patterson
    Rebellion overlays the stories of four women, spanning a century and the globe in their wide ...

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
Being Mortal by Atul Gawande

An eye-opening and riveting look at how how medicine can not only improve life but also the process of its ending.

About the book
Join the discussion!

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    The Twelve-Mile Straight
    by Eleanor Henderson

    An audacious epic set in rural Georgia during the years of the Depression and Prohibition.
    Reader Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    Love and Other Consolation Prizes
    by Jamie Ford

    Inspired by a true story, about a boy whose life is transformed at Seattle's epic 1909 World's Fair.
    Reader Reviews

Win this book!
Win If the Creek Don't Rise

If the Creek Don't Rise

A debut novel bursting with heart, honesty, and homegrown grit.

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

Y Can't M A S P O O A S E

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.