Page turners: Death of Achilles

Death of Achilles, Boris Akunin, $12.95

A heroic general is found dead in his chair, and everyone but 19th-century civil servant Erast Fandorin believes that the "Russian Achilles" died of natural causes. Fandorin, who has been dubbed the Slavic Sherlock Holmes for his cool nature and deductive reasoning, has won a global following - the series has sold over 15 million copies in dozens of languages. "Achilles," the fourth book to make it to America, hurls headlong over a long weekend, as Fandorin tracks the killer of General Sobolev, his comrade from "The Turkish Gambit." Then the action rewinds, as Akunin takes readers through the adventure from the assassin's point of view. Less twisty and playful than "Gambit" or the best entry in the series, "Murder on the Leviathan," "Achilles" still offers plenty of enjoyment. Grade: B

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