So. Winter is coming, along with freezing temperatures, short days and long, dark nights . . . and why would you want to go outside, if you can curl up inside with a totally immersive, pre-Christmas read?
Let me introduce you to this little slice of seasonal perfection: Death on the Trans-Siberian Express. Firstly, welcome to the sleepy town of Roslazny, where a shocking murder will break the icy silence. Secondly, meet Olga Pushkin, Railway Engineer (Third Class). A cross between Eleanor Oliphant and Miss Marple, Olga dreams of escaping the snow-clad village – but before she can, fate intervenes when on arriving at her railside hut, she is knocked unconscious by a man falling from the Trans-Siberian Express, his throat cut from ear to ear and his mouth stuffed with 10-rouble coins . . .
Death on the Trans-Siberian Express is the first in a series which introduces us to Olga and her friends (and enemies) from Roslazny. If The Archers were transported to a village in Siberia, this would be the result. Charming, funny, heartbreaking and poignant, we have a wonderful and memorable protagonist in Olga, who sets about investigating the crime of the murdered passenger, aided by the town’s resident police officer Vassily Marushkin, Rasputin, his ferret and Dmitri, Olga’s white-breasted Siberian hedgehog. A delight from start to finish, this uplifting read will put you in just the right mood for welcoming in Christmas!
'Quirky and colourful' Times Crime Club
'An absolute delight' L C Tyler
'This intriguing but charming murder mystery is packed with psychological depth and wonderfully-drawn characters' Eleanor Ray
Welcome to Roslazny - a sleepy Russian town where intrigue and murder combine to disturb the icy silence...
Olga Pushkin, Railway Engineer (Third Class) and would-be bestselling author, spends her days in a little rail-side hut with only Dmitri the hedgehog for company. While tourists and travellers clatter by on the Trans-Siberian Express, Olga dreams of studying literature at Tomsk State University - the Oxford of West Siberia - and escaping the sleepy, snow-clad village of Roslazny.
But Roslazny doesn't stay sleepy for long. Poison-pen letters, a small-town crime wave, and persistent rumours of a Baba Yaga - a murderous witch hiding in the frozen depths of the Russian taiga - combine to disturb the icy silence. And one day Olga arrives at her hut only to be knocked unconscious by a man falling from the Trans-Siberian, an American tourist with his throat cut from ear to ear and his mouth stuffed with 10-ruble coins. Another death soon follows, and Sergeant Vassily Marushkin, the brooding, enigmatic policeman who takes on the case, finds himself falsely imprisoned by his Machiavellian superior, Chief-Inspector Babikov.
Olga resolves to help Vassily by proving his innocence. But with no leads to follow and time running out, has Olga bitten off more than she can chew?
Praise for Death on the Trans-Siberian Express
'The book is an absolute delight, evocative equally of the frozen steppes, bad vodka and worse sausage, and full of larger than life characters. Olga Pushkin is an endearing protagonist, who is hopefully set for a series as long as the Trans Siberian Railway.' L C Tyler
'Written with a warmth that would thaw Siberia, this intriguing but charming murder mystery is packed with psychological depth and wonderfully-drawn characters. It also features the best hedgehog I've met in a novel.' Eleanor Ray