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Death on the Nevskii Prospekt
Lord Francis Powerscourt, No 6

by David Dickinson

Lord Francis Powerscourt has retired. Begged by his tearful wife to give up the game and look after his family, he is instead writing a book about English cathedrals. But it isn’t his style, and soon he is back in harness trying to find out why diplomat Roderick Martin was found dead on St Petersburg’s Nevskii Prospekt. But wherever he turns, he encounters a blank wall, although it is obvious that many people do in fact know the truth. As he gets closer, things get more dangerous...

If you know anything at all about events leading up to the Russian Revolution, the denouement and Roderick’s secrets won’t be much of a revelation. If you like mystery with your history (and this is a historical mystery novel) you might feel a little cheated, although not about the history part. The reader is plunged into a snowy Russia of Faberge eggs, secret police, fur-clad princesses, massacres, decadent royals, and Rasputin. Whoever designed the cover showing Rasputin peeping out of a Faberge egg was inspired, as it sums the book up extremely well. It is interesting to compare it with the works of Boris Akunin, as here is Russia described by an outsider, replete with the specter of Siberia, salt mines, secret police and all that. I found myself wanting to be surprised, to read about something that could not easily be guessed or imagined.

Other reviews in this series

Death & The Jubilee, No 2
Death of an Old Master
, No 3
Death of a Chancellor, No 4
Death Called To The Bar, No 5
Death on the Nevskii Prospekt, No 6
Death on the Holy Mountain, No 7
Death of a Pilgrim,
No 8
Death of a Wine Merchant
, No 9
Death in a Scarlet Coat, No 10 [review 1] [review 2]
Death at the Jesus Hospital, No 11 [review 1] [review 2]

The Book

Constable (Constable & Robinson)
25 January 2007
9781845293604 / 1845293606
Historical Crime - 1905 London and St Petersburg
More at US|| UK
NOTE: Some violence

The Reviewer

Rachel A Hyde
Reviewed 2007
© 2006