Paris, 1878: Eccentric antiquarian Lord Littleby and his ten
servants are found murdered in Littleby's mansion on the rue de
Grenelle, and a priceless Indian shawl is missing. Police
commissioner "Papa" Gauche recovers only one piece of evidence from
the crime scene: a golden key shaped like a whale. Gauche soon
deduces that the key is in fact a ticket of passage for the
"Leviathan," a gigantic steamship soon to depart Southampton on its
maiden voyage to Calcutta. The murderer must be among its
In Cairo, the ship is boarded by a young Russian diplomat with a
shock of white hair--none other than Erast Fandorin, the celebrated
detective of Boris Akunin's The Winter Queen. The sleuth joins
forces with Gauche to determine which of ten unticketed passengers
on the "Leviathan" is the rue de Grenelle killer.
Tipping his hat to Agatha Christie, Akunin assembles a colorful
cast of suspects--including a secretive Japanese doctor, a
professor who specializes in rare Indian artifacts, a pregnant
Swiss woman, and an English aristocrat with an appetite for
collecting Asian treasures--all of whom are con?ned together until
the crime is solved. As the Leviathan steams toward Calcutta, will
Fandorin be able to out-investigate Gauche and discover who the
killer is, even as the ship's passengers are murdered, one by one?
Already an international sensation, Boris Akunin's latest
page-turner transports the reader back to the glamorous, dangerous
past in a richly atmospheric tale of suspense on the high seas.
"From the Hardcover edition."
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