The Gentle Axe

By R. N. Morris
(Penguin Books, Paperback, 9780143113263, 305pp.)

Publication Date: April 2008

List Price: $19.00*
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Selected by Indie Booksellers for the Fall '08/Winter '09 Reading Group List
“This deeply enjoyable historical crime novel traipses through the brothels, slums, and pawnbrokers of 1860s St. Petersburg with splendidly jovial Russian moroseness. Its hero is the shrewd and quirky police magistrate Porfiry Petrovich, who meets with constant resistance from his less-clever colleagues. A must-read for enthusiasts of literary mysteries and armchair time-travel.”
-- Mark David Bradshaw, Watermark Books, Wichita, KS

Fresh off the case of a deranged student who murdered his landlady, noted police investigator Porfiry Petrovich barely takes a breath before a bizarre and very grisly double murder lands him back on the streets of the tsarist St. Petersburg he knows all too well. The sardonic sleuth follows a trail from the drinking dens of the Haymarket district to an altogether more genteel stratum of society-a hunt that leads him to a conclusion even he will find shocking. In the tradition of such first-rate historical novels such as "The Alienist" and "The Dante Club, The Gentle Axe" is atmospheric and tense storytelling from its dramatic opening to its stunning climax.

About the Author
R N Morris is the author of the highly-acclaimed St Petersburg historical crime series featuring detective Porfiry Petrovich from Dostoevsky's Crime and Punishment. He lives in north London with his wife and two children.
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