13 best books by Boris Akunin

Review of the best according to the editorial board. About selection criteria. This material is subjective and does not constitute advertising and does not serve as a purchase guide. Before buying, you need to consult with a specialist.

Grigory Shalvovich Chkhartishvili is known under the literary pseudonyms Boris Akunin, Anatoly Brusnikin and even Anna Borisova. He is an outstanding public figure and literary critic, a connoisseur of Japanese culture. The writer Boris Akunin gave life to novels with a detective character, creating them in literary genre combinations: historical, romantic, high society, political and others. Almost all works have been filmed, films and TV series have been shot on them. We present a rating review of the 13 best books of the author, compiled on the basis of readers' ratings.

Rating of the best books by Boris Akunin

Nomination a place Name of product Rating
1 Azazel (1998) 4.9
2 Diamond Chariot (2003) 4.8
3 Leviathan (1998) 4.8
4 Provincial Detective or The Adventures of Sister Pelagia (2001, 2003) 4.7
5 State Counselor (1999) 4.7
6 Turkish Gambit (1998) 4.7
7 Jade rosary (2007) 4.6
8 Mistress of Death (2001) 4.5
9 The Jack of Spades (1999) 4.5
10 Cemetery Stories (2005) 4.5
11 Black City (2013) 4.4
12 Spy novel (2005) 4.4
13 Altyn-Tolobas (2000) 4.4

Azazel (1998)

Book author: Boris Akunin

Rating: 4.9


The most famous novel by B. Akunin is 'Azazel'. This is a gripping conspiracy detective story, the first in a cycle about the talented tracker Erast Fandorin, with whom the reader can get acquainted in the author's subsequent works. Another title of the work is 'The Winter Queen' (translated into English), after the name of the hotel of one of the chapters.

The story unfolds at the end of the 19th century in Moscow, Erast is still 20 years old and he is full of youthful maximalism. In the course of work in one police department, he is faced with an interesting confusing case – the suicide of a student, heir to a multimillion-dollar fortune. In the course of unraveling the circumstances, Fandorin gets on the trail of a large illegal organization, where conspiracies and politics are involved.

In addition to the line of investigation, Akunin gives Erast Petrovich the opportunity to experience a gamut of feelings from gain to loss of love, leads him through dangerous tests.

Diamond Chariot (2003)

Book author: Boris Akunin

Rating: 4.8

Diamond chariot

In second place in the rating is the two-volume novel 'The Diamond Chariot', contained in one book binding. The first part, Dragonfly Catcher, tells the story of two main characters – Good Fandorin, a railway official, and Bad Rybnikov, a spy from the Japanese islands. The focus of attention is the events of the Russian-Japanese war at the beginning of the 20th century, the emergence of discontent preceding the events of Russian history in 1917. So Plohoy is developing a plan to blow up the railway lines leading to Moscow. As in the classics of the genre, the Japanese have a Good on their way and hinder the implementation of their plans.

The second part 'Between the Lines' takes the action to an earlier period – to Japan in 1878, where the famous Akunin detective conflicts with samurai, falls in love with a woman of easy virtue, and faces everyday and professional difficulties. It is interesting to read about the teaching on the topic “Murderers and thieves are the lucky ones of the Buddha,” which the detective attended. Boris Akunin is an avid Japanese scholar, so the theme of the country slips into many of his works.

Leviathan (1998)

Book author: Boris Akunin

Rating: 4.8


Leviathan is the name of a cruise ship sailing to Calcutta on which police officer Gustave Gauche is searching for the alleged killer of a major antiques collector and his family. The crime was committed in the French capital, in addition to the four of the lord, even his servant lost his life. The purpose of the massacre was strange – the kidnapping of one golden Shiva and an embroidered headscarf of the Brahmapur raja of Bagdassar. The only clue for the commissioner is the cruise ship passenger badge to look on. Ghosh finds all the tourists who have no badge and tries to find the culprit among them. Among them is the well-known reader Erast Petrovich Fandorin, who later completed the disclosure of the crime.

Later, the golden Shiva is found at the bottom of the Seine. The handkerchief, it turns out, points to the place where its former owner buried his wealth.

Leviathan is the third novel about Erast Fandorin. The work has such an unusual plot that it is simply impossible to predict the course of events and the ending.

Provincial Detective or The Adventures of Sister Pelagia (2001, 2003)

Book author: Boris Akunin

Rating: 4.7

Provincial Detective or The Adventures of Sister Pelagia

We present a cycle of stories about a woman detective and a nun Pelageya, whose worldly name is Polina Lisitsyna. She has a sharp mind, sensitive intuition and search talent, so she goes to investigate 3 cases: the first in the novel 'Pelagia and the White Bulldog', where the focus of attention is on the extermination of the breeding dogs of Aunt's father's father Mitrofaniy by malefactors; the second is the exposure of a certain ghostly Black Monk on New Ararat ('Pelagia and the Black Monk'); the third, described in the novel Pelageya and the Red Rooster, about the murders of members of a motley company.

Akunin himself spoke warmly about the trilogy, focusing on the complexity of its creation, because the detective is a woman, and her train of thought is fundamentally different from the male investigation. There is a lot of religiosity in the works, there are elements of fantasy, mysticism. The mixing of genres in the spirit of the author makes reading especially exciting to such an extent that it becomes sad to say goodbye to the heroine on the last pages of the third book, judging by the reviews of readers and even literary critics.

State Counselor (1999)

Book author: Boris Akunin

Rating: 4.7

State Councillor

A detective with a political character from the series 'The Adventures of Erast Fandorin' with the participation of the detective 'State Councilor' already known to readers may seem documentary – the author takes the plot to 1981, describing the details of the life and atmosphere of that era. A youth group called 'B. G. ', coolly liquidates the governor-general. The perpetrator of the crime introduces himself as Fandorin and presents documents addressed to Erast Petrovich. But the 35-year-old detective, whose name was 'stolen', cannot pass by and takes up the unraveling of the case. He has to find out what kind of organization 'B. G. 'why these people became terrorists and commit murders in the ruling circles. At the same time, he needs to have time to get ahead of Prince Pozharsky, who arrived to unravel the crime.

Boris Akunin reveals the topic of revolutionary movements and plunges into the topic of political 'turmoil', where people in power have connections with criminals. All characters have their own historical prototypes, which are easy to declassify – their names are consonant with the originals.

Turkish Gambit (1998)

Book author: Boris Akunin

Rating: 4.7

Turkish gambit

The next in the ranking detective story about war and spies 'Turkish Gambit'. The action takes place in 1877, during the Russian-Turkish conflict. Varvara Suvorova goes from Petersburg to the front line to the soldier-groom, but on the way, almost reaching her destination, she loses money and is left alone in a certain drinking establishment. Erast Petrovich Fandorin comes to her aid, having won his freedom from the captivity of the Turks. By playing dice, he got a donkey, and the heroes set off in search of Barbara's fiancé, and ended up in the disposition of Russian troops.

There are many actions associated with the war in history: unraveling crimes on the battlefields, exposing colonels, reconnaissance, choosing between your own benefit and the safety of other heroes, and much more.

The heroes of the novel have real historical prototypes, Akunin created a work, took as a basis the events that really happened that took place in wartime.

Jade rosary (2007)

Book author: Boris Akunin

Rating: 4.6

Jade rosary

Boris Akunin dedicated the collection of stories and novellas 'Jade Rosary' to Erast Fandorin, his beloved and outstanding character. The works illuminate the life of a detective outside of his main work, but he is engaged in unraveling crimes even on vacation, in other countries. Each story is also dedicated to Akunin's colleagues from all over the world, whose works formed the basis of literary compositions.

'Sigumo' (1881) tells about the times when Fandorin served as consul in Japan. Then he faced the mysterious death of a colleague due to the alleged attack of the mythical Shimugo. The story 'Table-Talk of 1882' takes the reader to Moscow. Lydia Nikolaevna Odintsova's husband recently died, and 6 years ago one of her twin daughters mysteriously disappeared, no one was able to find her. Erast Petrovich unravels the case of many years ago in a few hours and finds evidence of his own conclusions on paper. In the story 'From the Life of Slivers' (1883), the detective unravels the death from poisoning of the tycoon who owns the railway company. The story of the same name to the collection 'Jade Rosary' (1884) will reveal why and where Fandorin got the rosary, the detective will reveal the case of petty theft with murder in a jewelry store. 'Scarpeya Baskakovs' (1888) introduces the public to Fandorin's assistant Anisy Tyulpanov, who will have to figure out the death of a whole Baskakov family. The plot is reminiscent of the novel by K. Doyle 'The Dog of the Baskervilles', interpreted in the Russian manner. One Tenth of a Percent (1890) is a fascinating novel without an ending about the accidental or deliberate murder of Prince Borovsky while hunting. In 'Tea Party in Bristol', the action takes place after the 'State Councilor' in 1891, Fandorin was expelled from his native country, he settles in Bristol and is investigating the loss of Miss Palmer's heirloom. In the Valley of Dreams in 1894, the detective gains popularity as a specialist in the United States (the plot resembles the Legend of the Sleepy Hollow). “Before the end of the world” in 1897, during the preparation of the census of souls in the Arkhangelsk region, there are several cases of self-burying, the eyewitness of which is Fandorin, who secretly returned to Russia. The collection ends with the story 'The Prisoner of the Tower, or The Brief but Beautiful Path of the Three Wise' (1890-1891), in which the famous Sherlock Holmes, Arsene Lulen and Dr. Watson participate. Great trackers and one con man collide in the same investigation.

Mistress of Death (2001)

Book author: Boris Akunin

Rating: 4.5

Mistress of death

The Decadan detective story 'The Mistress of Death' is a story about the community of the same name, whose philosophy life is suffering, so they one after another commit suicide when Death gives a sign that you cannot make the decision to commit suicide yourself. Masha Mironova, who came to the capital from the provinces, at the invitation of a friend, joins the community, changes her appearance and makes a little snake. Erast Fandorin gets into the same company, who wants to stop a series of deaths of young club members.

There is mysticism in the detective story, an obvious contradiction between an adequate investigation, journalistic and political views on one situation.

The Jack of Spades (1999)

Book author: Boris Akunin

Rating: 4.5

Jack of spades

The scammers of a gang called the Knave of Spades are committing criminal acts in Moscow and are not at all afraid of punishment, carefully hiding from him. The scale of the scams is striking in scale, but there is no control over the group – there is not a single clue at the crime scenes. Anisy Tyulpanov, a young 20-year-old agent of the Gendarme Directorate, demoted to the position of a messenger, did not justify the hopes of his superiors, fate by chance brings the famous detective Erast Fandorin to investigate a tangled case in the Knave of Spades.

Cemetery Stories (2005)

Book author: Boris Akunin

Rating: 4.5

Cemetery stories

The collection of short stories 'Cemetery Stories' is dedicated to six cemeteries of the world: Donskoy in Moscow, the Cemetery of the Patriarchs on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem, Highgate in London, Pere Lachaise in Paris, Green Wood in New York and the Yokohama Foreign Cemetery. Each story is a separate chapter of the collection, in turn divided into 2 parts – an introductory historical and detective one. They seem to be written by two authors: the narrative – by Grigory Chkhartishvili, and the investigation – by Boris Akunin. For this reason, 'Cemetery Stories' is called the creation of two writers, although in fact one person worked on them for 5 years.

The stories of the collection are not like other detective stories, they are full of soulfulness, mysticism, superstitions of different nationalities.

Black City (2013)

Book author: Boris Akunin

Rating: 4.4

Black city

Another detective story in the rating about Erast Petrovich Fandorin, already a solid detective at the age of 60, who this time will have to catch a revolutionary terrorist in the city of oil and the mafia of Baku. The action takes place on the eve of the First World War. The work contains many diverse stories and characters – crimes, filming, betrayal and separation, Japanese culture and much more. The book 'Black City' will definitely not let you get bored while reading. The ending of the novel will be unexpected. Will Fandorin defeat his opponent?

Spy novel (2005)

Book author: Boris Akunin

Rating: 4.4

Spy romance

The plot of the “Spy Romance” develops in 1941 on the eve of the attack of German troops on the Soviet Union. The Abwehr scouts organize and conduct a complex operation in order to convince the country's leadership of the Soviets that there will be no attack for at least two more years to exclude the preparation of the state for defense. The mission is entrusted to an extra-class agent with the callsign name 'Wasser'. Boris Akunin confronts German and Soviet intelligence officers in the novel and will keep the intrigue to the end whether the Union counterintelligence officers, exhausted by repression, will be able to reveal the enemy's plan and take action.

Altyn-Tolobas (2000)

Book author: Boris Akunin

Rating: 4.4


The rating ends with the novel 'Altyn-Tolobas' with an unusual plot. Master of Historical Sciences and grandson of Erast Petrovich Nicholas Fandorin arrives from Great Britain to Moscow to solve the riddle of the document left by his ancestor Cornelius von Dorn, who lived 300 years ago. He also visited the Russian capital at one time. The plot unfolds simultaneously in our days, where Sir Nicholas gets acquainted with post-Soviet Moscow, and Cornelius von Dorn – the pre-Petrine era. Boris Akunin reveals the mysteries of the Russian city and shows what has changed in it over the centuries, and what has remained the same.

Attention! This rating is subjective and does not constitute advertising and does not serve as a purchase guide. Before buying, you need to consult with a specialist.

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