Monday, March 2, 2009
PELAGIA AND THE BLACK MONK
TITLE: PELAGIA AND THE BLACK MONK
AUTHOR: BORIS AKUNIN
Details: no. 2 Sister Pelagia Mystery
This series is definitely growing on me. Boris Akunin writes mysteries in a style that doesn't compare to any other mystery writer I have read. In fact, these books remind me of the classical Russian novels I read years ago. The writing is expansive, the characters larger than life and emotions appear too big to be contained within one human being. It makes these stories somewhat theatrical, but no less enjoyable for that.
However, the book is also old fashioned in the sense that the writer doesn't share or explain all the clues the investigator finds. This keeps the ending a surprise but also means that the reader doesn't really have a chance to come up with the solution independently.
In this book, Bishop Mitrofanii is asked for help because visions of an, obviously angry, black monk are being seen near a successful and popular monastery. The Bishop sends three successive investigators, all of whom suffer unexpected and in one case fatal, fates.
When at last sister Pelagia goes to investigate, incognito and without permission, she finds herself in a deeply puzzling situation where the black monk may well prove to be the least of her worries.