The Gentle Axe

By R. N. Morris; Simon Vance (Narrator)
(Tantor Media, Compact Disc, 9781400103331)

Publication Date: April 2007

Other Editions of This Title: Paperback, Compact Disc, MP3 CD, Hardcover

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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


Atmospheric and tense from its dramatic opening to its shocking climax, The Gentle Axe is a spellbinding historical crime novel, a book that explores the darkest places of the human heart with tremendous energy, empathy, and wit. As lucky as St. Petersburg residents are to have Porfiry Petrovich in public service, we are equally fortunate to have R.N. Morris on hand to chronicle his most challenging case to date.

About the Author

Born in Manchester in 1960, R. N. Morris now lives in north London with his wife and two children. He sold his first short story to a teenage girls' magazine while still a student at Cambridge University, where he read classics. Making his living as a freelance copywriter, he has continued to write, and occasionally publish, fiction. One of his stories, "The Devil's Drum," was turned into a one-act opera, which was performed at the Purcell Room in London's South Bank. Another, "Revenants," was published as a comic book. Simon Vance, a former BBC Radio presenter and newsreader, is a full-time actor who has appeared on both stage and television. He has recorded over four hundred audiobooks and has earned over twenty Earphones Awards from AudioFile magazine, including one for his narration of Scaramouche by Rafael Sabatini. A twelve-time Audie finalist, Simon has won Audie Awards for The King's Speech by Mark Logue and Peter Conradi, The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby by Charles Dickens, Great Expectations by Charles Dickens, and Market Forces by Richard K. Morgan. Winner of the 2008 Booklist Voice of Choice Award, Simon has also been named an AudioFile Golden Voice as well as an AudioFile Best Voice of 2009.

Praise For The Gentle Axe

"A fabulously dark and descriptive story…. [Vance's] clear, warm voice delivers Russian words and phrases with a lucid ingenuity." ---AudioGeist

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