Cover Image: Death on the Trans-Siberian Express

Death on the Trans-Siberian Express

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Member Reviews

A delightful mystery set in contemporary Russia or more specifically in a small place lost in the middle of the frozen and desolate  Siberian boondocks where criminal shenanigans are a dime a dozen & gruesome murders not uncommon....
Brilliantly plotted and blessed with a large cast of delicious misfits and numerous snowbound dumheads, this very entertaining and wittily crafted whodunit kept me often in stitches & offered me a rather compelling & fascinating look at Siberian society today.

Highly recommended and to be enjoyed without any moderation whatsoever... and maybe a shot of good vodka by the end😉👍

Many thanks to Netgalley & Little Brown/Constable for this terrific ARC
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I requested this book purely based on the eye catching title.  I’ve always wanted to travel on the Trans-Siberian Express, so it was a foregone conclusion I was going to request a copy!  I must admit it wasn’t quite what I was expecting.  I think I had preconceptions that it was going to be similar to Murder on the Orient Express- which incidentally it is a million miles away from.  The book however is a good read.  Olga works on the railways and looks after her wastrel father Mikhal.  During her shift one day she becomes involved in the discovery of a murder; an American tourist thrown from the train with his throat cut and his mouth stuffed full of coins.  Olga can’t help herself - she has to investigate. 
I did get lost with the names at a few points, but this didn’t detract from my enjoyment of the story.  I would recommend this book.
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Slow to start,but you'd expect that from a village where nothing happens.
Then everything kicks off with a bang.... or rather a dead body.
Full of gentle humour,with a main character you can't help but like,it's a nicely paced read that kept me entertained throughout.
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CJ Farringdon's debut crime novel immerses the reader in the community and the atmospheric frozen Siberian location, the small town of Roslazny where nothing much happens, nothing that is until a dead body falls off the Trans-Siberian Express, hitting Olga Pushkin, Railway Engineer (Third Class). The victim is a young American, Nathan Bryce, a trainee lawyer who has had his throat slashed and 10 rouble coins stuffed in his mouth. Olga is an aspiring author, currently writing 'Find Your Rail Self: 100 Life Lessons from the Trans-Siberian Railway', dreaming of studying at Tomask University, spending her days in the small hut by the rails, with Dmitri, the hedgehog she rescued from a fox. We are plunged into the community life, there is the Cafe Astana run by Igor Odrosov, with his bad vodka, aka rocket fuel, and suspect food, the central hub for gossip and political discussions, that include the hotly contested imminent mayoral elections that Lieutenant Colonel Grigor Babikov is determined to win by hook or by crook.

Olga is a hard to resist character, still mourning the death of her mother, Tatiana, driven to an early grave by the waste of space that is her father, Mikhail. Mikhail drinks, is constantly criticising an Olga who runs around taking care of him as he drains her finances. The put upon Olga prioritises her family and friends, running errands for her ungrateful Aunt Zia, supporting best friend Anna, who is married to the good for nothing Bogdan, putting others before herself. A spiteful and vicious poison pen letter upsets Olga, as she realises it has to be from someone close to her. When Sergeant Vassily Mamushkin, the recently arrived police officer to the town, is falsely arrested for murder, Olga refuses to accept this lying down, summoning her dormant fighting spirit to fight the terror and corruption that is accepted as the norm in the region. She is aided in her investigations by her beloved brother, Pasha, who returns home after being dishonourably discharged from the army.

Farrington writes a novel that is embedded in the vivid details and rich descriptions of the icy location, and a community, with its diverse, larger than life and colourful characters that inhabit Roslazny, such as 'the dreamer' Fyodor Katin, a place where everybody knows everyone, and where most of the men leave a lot to be desired. This is not a book that you are going to be able to race through, so settle down and prepare to be drawn into a Siberian crime story that takes in corruption, Russian folklore, with the rumours of Baba Yaga, a murderous forest witch, and the uncovering of a surprising number of deaths, murders and disappearances. This is a wonderful read, with many twists and turns, set in Putin's Russia, and with a central protagonist that you cannot help but adore and root for. Highly recommended. Many thanks to the publisher for an ARC.
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Olga Pushkin, railway engineer (third class) is possibly one of my favourite 2021 characters. The wannabe writer who dreams of studying literature at a prestigious university – and gratefully fleeing the village of Roslazny in the process – spends most of her week in a railside hut, with her ideas for company. She wonders if this will be the only life she will lead… until crime gets in her way. Specifically, nasty letters and rumours of a witch, coupled with a series of misdemeanours. Two deaths follow – one that literally knocks Olga to the ground – plus the imprisonment of someone who works to the letter of the law (no, not Ted Hastings). Olga resolves to help the falsely accused prisoner and clear his name, discovering the murderer in the process. But with no idea where to start and not used to being so active, how can she do it? I can’t fathom how you won’t love Olga and here’s to more adventures. Bonus points for the hedgehog.
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