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Death on the Trans-Siberian Express

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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 literatur 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?


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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 literatur 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?

30 review for Death on the Trans-Siberian Express

  1. 5 out of 5

    Paromjit

    CJ Farrington’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 CJ Farrington’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 take on 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.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Peter Baran

    There was a real sense of place and space in this murder mystery which initially made me think that it was a Russian book in translation. Part of that is a slightly over-written air in the first chapter, slightly off turns of phrases and of course heavy use of the patronymic. For some reason I have drifted into reading a lot of books based in Russia in the last year or so, and whilst the prose style here settled down that slightly odd opening chapter actually worked for the novel. Because this i There was a real sense of place and space in this murder mystery which initially made me think that it was a Russian book in translation. Part of that is a slightly over-written air in the first chapter, slightly off turns of phrases and of course heavy use of the patronymic. For some reason I have drifted into reading a lot of books based in Russia in the last year or so, and whilst the prose style here settled down that slightly odd opening chapter actually worked for the novel. Because this is basically a medium cosy mystery set in Siberia. We have a spunky and uinlucky in love protagonist, an attractive but unobtainable cop and a murder which is only one of many problems our lead Olga Pushkin is dealing with (her terrible father, a poison pen letter and her brothers dishonourable discharge from the Army being of equal worth). When we finally get to the murder / murders it is perhaps not as cosy as all that, but this is Russia, everything goes big. Olga is a terrific creation, and it is clear Farrington wants to do more with her. A lively railway worker with pretensions to be a writer (the repeated gag of her self help book "Find Your Rail Self: 100 Life Lessons From The TransSiberian Railway" is most welcome). It also does a good job to showing Putin's Russia as another slab in the history of bad deals for Siberia, and of course one the locals broadly celebrate. The mystery itself could have been snappier, and as solved remarkably early in the book, admittedly there were ongoing more soap like problems that I thought my drift on to a later book but all gets wrapped up here. And perhaps there are one too many quirky cutesy touches - her pet hedgehog causing a rift between her and the attractive cop because he has a pet ferret being a step too far. Well written, fun and with an excess of Siberian bad vodka flavour, Death On The Trans-Siberian Express was a quick refreshing read and a reminder that cosy mysteries can do more than just be cosy. I'll be looking out for the promised trip to Mongolia with Olga promised at the end, and hopefully to Tomsk University - the Oxford of West Siberia. further along.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Hermien

    Almost there stars, it was a pleasant read and the setting in Siberia was interesting but overall a bit on the light side.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Jean-Luc

    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 and 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 and offered me a rather compelling and fascinating look at Siberian society today. Hi 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 and 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 and offered me a rather compelling and 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

  5. 4 out of 5

    Kate: The Quick and the Read

    A murder mystery set in deepest, snowiest Russia? The Trans-Siberian Express? A tough female protagonist? Sign me up NOW! Thanks to NetGalley and Constable for my copy in exchange for an honest review. The story follows Olga Pushkin, a railway engineer (Third Class) who works in a little railway hut in a tiny and remote village called Roslazny. Along with her pet hedgehog (a random but delightful addition), she lives a quiet life and dreams of being a writer and going to Tomsk State University. W A murder mystery set in deepest, snowiest Russia? The Trans-Siberian Express? A tough female protagonist? Sign me up NOW! Thanks to NetGalley and Constable for my copy in exchange for an honest review. The story follows Olga Pushkin, a railway engineer (Third Class) who works in a little railway hut in a tiny and remote village called Roslazny. Along with her pet hedgehog (a random but delightful addition), she lives a quiet life and dreams of being a writer and going to Tomsk State University. With all her money being spent on her father's drinking habit, it is fair to say she is going nowhere...until her world is rocked by a murder and an opportunity for her to take action. Regular readers of my blog will know that I'm both fascinated by Russia and love a snowy, inhospitable location - the latter makes for a great setting for a mystery, but a less good holiday destination (ask my kids...!) This book ticked those boxes for me, although I was slightly disappointed by the fact that there was really not much action on the Trans-Siberian Express itself - instead, we stay in small-town Roslazny and the nearby railway station. However, it is a fascinating look at small-town Russia and felt really well-researched, The claustrophobia around being stuck in a place where everyone knows you is well-realised in the novel and there are lots of glimpses of modern-day Russia in attitudes and sentiments that still don't feel entirely modern to a British reader - this is a society that has a dark undercurrent of corruption, lashings of alcohol dependency and some distinctly old-fashioned views on gender. That said, this isn't a depressing book and Olga Pushkin is a likeable and strong character at its heart. She is much put-upon by her family and friends as the capable, kind one - so it is heartening that she has good humour and interesting character development throughout. The one drawback for me was the fact that the mystery is concluded relatively early on in the novel. It's well plotted and the denouement is managed cleverly, but there is still a lot of novel left. This takes the form of a lengthy tying up of loose ends - all very pleasing and packed with authentic details of Olga's world, but I did wish it was more concise. Overall, I genuinely loved the setting of this novel and wholly enjoyed being immersed in the Russian town, lifestyles and attitudes. I sincerely hope that we shall be able to read more about Olga in the future - but I hope too that there is slightly more of the mystery element. If the balance could shift more towards the murder - with Olga as a strong, good-humoured investigator - then this series would be absolute gold.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Sylvaine Yvenou

    Mort sur le Transibérien est , je cite les propos de l'éditeur Hugo Publishing" le premier roman de CJ Farrington. Il est publié en Angleterre par Constable, l'éditeur de la série Agatha Raisin, référence incontournable du " cozy mystery ". Les aventures d'Olga Pushkin lui ont été inspirées par ses différents voyages avec le Transsibérien ou le long de la Route de la Soie. C'est le premier titre d'une nouvelle série : les aventures d'Olga Pushkin, cette garde-barrière rêveuse, débonnaire, gaffeu Mort sur le Transibérien est , je cite les propos de l'éditeur Hugo Publishing" le premier roman de CJ Farrington. Il est publié en Angleterre par Constable, l'éditeur de la série Agatha Raisin, référence incontournable du " cozy mystery ". Les aventures d'Olga Pushkin lui ont été inspirées par ses différents voyages avec le Transsibérien ou le long de la Route de la Soie. C'est le premier titre d'une nouvelle série : les aventures d'Olga Pushkin, cette garde-barrière rêveuse, débonnaire, gaffeuse et maline à la fois ; un personnage irrésistiblement attachant qui rêve secrètement de devenir écrivain (et de trouver l'amour) et va se retrouver confrontée à une série de meurtres qu'elle va bien sûr contribuer à résoudre malgré sa maladresse." Ceci dit j'ai passé un excellent moment de lecture. La compagnie de Olga Pouchkine, employée des chemins de fer russes, chargée de l'entretien des voies ferrées non loin de Roslazny le village de Sibérie où elle habite, est un vrai plaisir. Olga rêve de devenir écrivain er d'aller à l'université de lettres de Tomsk mais en attendant il lui faut économiser... Et puis lorsqu'elle est percutée par un corps lancé du Transsibérien sa vie s'accélère .. L'auteur connait fort bien ce petit coin de Sibérie, il nous ouvre les portes des maisons de ce village déserté par les jeunes générations. Un mort puis un second, une campagne électorale, des ripoux, des mafieux mais Olga s''implique et quand Olga s'implique rien ne saurait lui résister. Un roman à découvrir c'est certain, à vrai dire plus pour son ambiance que pour son intrigue policière. Un grand merci aux éditions Hugo Publishing pour ce partage via Netgalley #MortsurleTranssibérien #NetGalleyFrance

  7. 4 out of 5

    Juliette Grd

    I had great hopes for this book as I have a strange interest in Russia and rural Russia. I've always wanted to go, discover the Russian life and environment. This book being a thriller really made me excited and I couldn't wait to dive into this book. Unfortunately, it wasn't the book that I had imagined. The positive points in this book were the story, a murder and a mystery with a woman trying to solve a corrupted crime. The descriptions were good and I easily pictured the settings of the stor I had great hopes for this book as I have a strange interest in Russia and rural Russia. I've always wanted to go, discover the Russian life and environment. This book being a thriller really made me excited and I couldn't wait to dive into this book. Unfortunately, it wasn't the book that I had imagined. The positive points in this book were the story, a murder and a mystery with a woman trying to solve a corrupted crime. The descriptions were good and I easily pictured the settings of the story and could imagine what the sceneries looked like. The characters were nice and made me like them and their personalities, I was hoping for a romance towards the end and that did disappoint me. I loved the cover though which is one of my favourites, my edition also has sprayed edges with railway lines on the side and top which is a bonus point for aesthetics. The negative points would be the pace, I did get bored towards the middle of the book and in the end I ended up skipping quite a few lines just to get to the conclusion of the book. I also struggled with the amount of characters and got quite muddled up at some moments. I also found that the book lacked in action and it was quite a slow book with not much going on which made the book drag on a bit too much to my liking.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Janette

    Olga Pushkin is a third-class railway engineer in the depths of Siberia who spends most of her time dreaming of becoming a writer when one day, she is hit by a dead body thrown from the Trans-Siberian Express. This is the starting point for a complex mystery involving political manoeuvring and police corruption. The setting is amazing. I loved the details about life in Siberia and the tiny town of Roslazny together with its collection of misfit inhabitants. Olga is a brilliantly drawn character Olga Pushkin is a third-class railway engineer in the depths of Siberia who spends most of her time dreaming of becoming a writer when one day, she is hit by a dead body thrown from the Trans-Siberian Express. This is the starting point for a complex mystery involving political manoeuvring and police corruption. The setting is amazing. I loved the details about life in Siberia and the tiny town of Roslazny together with its collection of misfit inhabitants. Olga is a brilliantly drawn character and we really get to know her as a person. The mystery was interesting and well plotted but quite slow moving and there were a few times when I almost lost interest in the book. Overall though, I did enjoy it and will look out for a sequel. Thank you to Net Galley and publishers Little Brown for this ARC.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Megan L (Iwanttoreadallthebooks)

    While the concept of Death on the Trans-Siberian Express was great, the execution was flawed. I thought the author excelled at creating the setting, as I really felt as if I was in Russia with Olga. The story started out strong but I started to lose interest in the middle, as it got bogged down with unnecessary details, and by the end, I didn't really care much what was happening. For a mystery set in a frozen snowy Russia, with trains, and a cute hedgehog, I thought I would have enjoyed this mo While the concept of Death on the Trans-Siberian Express was great, the execution was flawed. I thought the author excelled at creating the setting, as I really felt as if I was in Russia with Olga. The story started out strong but I started to lose interest in the middle, as it got bogged down with unnecessary details, and by the end, I didn't really care much what was happening. For a mystery set in a frozen snowy Russia, with trains, and a cute hedgehog, I thought I would have enjoyed this more. I'm not sure if I will want to read another installment (this is going to be a series) but I did like the main character Olga, so maybe I will. 3 stars.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Rachel Revill

    Refreshing, witty and sensitively written, I loved the story of Olga Pushkin, track engineer (third class) in the little town of Roslazny on the TransSiberian Express. It will grip you and not let you go! Olga is an amazing woman with a huge heart, a questioning mind and a creative yen to be the next big Russian writer. In her small, remote town, however, her dreams are thwarted by her alcoholic father and narrowminded townsfolk, until a series of events coinciding with a new police detective le Refreshing, witty and sensitively written, I loved the story of Olga Pushkin, track engineer (third class) in the little town of Roslazny on the TransSiberian Express. It will grip you and not let you go! Olga is an amazing woman with a huge heart, a questioning mind and a creative yen to be the next big Russian writer. In her small, remote town, however, her dreams are thwarted by her alcoholic father and narrowminded townsfolk, until a series of events coinciding with a new police detective lead her life down a much more exciting path as she becomes involved in a murder investigation. The book is really well researched, with a definite love of railways, and we're left hoping Olga's life will lead to more inspiring adventures. BRAVO 5 STARS

  11. 4 out of 5

    Carole

    Oh dear, this started off quite well but it soon went downhill for me and wasn’t at all what I expected. Very well researched and great descriptions but nothing to really keep my interest up. Sort of entertaining, but overly complex I thought and I kept getting a bit lost. I did like Olga (and her hedgehog) and I would probably try the next book in the series. Thanks to NetGalley and the publishers for the ARC.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Henry Benedict

    Thank GOODNESS I've finished this book! I wrongly assumed that it would be loosely based on Agatha Christie's 'Murder on the Orient Express', but it's not. It wasn't awful, it's just not the kind of book for me. It's quirky and it's not really a crime/mystery/thriller novel. Nevertheless, I enjoyed the references to Russian culture and thought. Thank GOODNESS I've finished this book! I wrongly assumed that it would be loosely based on Agatha Christie's 'Murder on the Orient Express', but it's not. It wasn't awful, it's just not the kind of book for me. It's quirky and it's not really a crime/mystery/thriller novel. Nevertheless, I enjoyed the references to Russian culture and thought.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Thomas Hocknell

    It started well but i lost complete interest by the end. It was as though the author gave up half way through. The characters were interchangeable and bland. I stopped caring about who was whom so when the reveal occurred it felt like a - so what? Nice cover though

  14. 5 out of 5

    Louise

    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. 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.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Karen Bell

    I really enjoyed this book. The depiction of life is Siberia was so immersive, I had to turn the heating up. The tale of Olga should had been depressing as her life was such a grind but it was not. Her kindness and optimism were highlights of the book for me. One of my favourite books of the year.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Piper

    This is a great book. Olga is a very interesting character. It was a very interesting setting for the book. It has a nice plot and a large cast of characters who are all extremely unique.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Louise

    Death on the Tans Serbian express Death on the Trans-Siberian Express by C.J. Farrington     And now to snowy icy Russia, Olga Pushkin is a Railway Engineer (Third Class!) in a small Russian town that is serviced by the Trans-Siberian Express, she spends her time in the rail hut on the side of the railway with her hedgehog Dimitri and her writings.   One ordinary day, she hears a thump and the shutting of a railway door, she turns and is knocked unconscious by a man falling from the train, he is an Am Death on the Tans Serbian express Death on the Trans-Siberian Express by C.J. Farrington     And now to snowy icy Russia, Olga Pushkin is a Railway Engineer (Third Class!) in a small Russian town that is serviced by the Trans-Siberian Express, she spends her time in the rail hut on the side of the railway with her hedgehog Dimitri and her writings.   One ordinary day, she hears a thump and the shutting of a railway door, she turns and is knocked unconscious by a man falling from the train, he is an American tourist who has had his throat cut and mouth stuffed with 10 Ruble coins. Another death follows and so do the police, Sergeant Vassily Marushkin comes to investigate but finds himself falsely imprisoned for these murders and now it is up to Olga to investigate.   I WANT MORE OLGA PUSHKIN.. I love her, she is a person who tries so hard but so many people are against her, she is quietly mourning her beloved mother, her father is really mean to her and her aunt is really ungrateful to her, but Olga has spirt and is a good person and gumption that she is doing the right thing and this stands her in good stead.   This is a solid mystery and the ending of the book is neatly set up for book 2, the characters are engaging and you are rooting for good things for Olga.. I personally would love to see romance with Vassily but I am not sure that will happen as he is still in love with his missing wife.   The story is great and the mystery is tied up completely at the end. The setting is gorgeous in Siberia and the little town of Roslazny  draws you in and is really important in this cosy mystery.. its quirky and that is a big part of its appeal and it does leave you asking for more…   Now Bring me book 2..     #DeathontheTransSiberianExpress #NetGalley #Siberia #cosy #mystery

  18. 4 out of 5

    Natalie

  19. 4 out of 5

    Alison Hood

  20. 4 out of 5

    Kubra

  21. 5 out of 5

    Daniel Shindler

  22. 5 out of 5

    Tabetha Newman

  23. 4 out of 5

    Jessie

  24. 4 out of 5

    Melanie

  25. 4 out of 5

    Stefanie

  26. 4 out of 5

    Sally Bucknole

  27. 4 out of 5

    Julie

  28. 4 out of 5

    Mathilde Lbh

  29. 5 out of 5

    David Seddon

  30. 5 out of 5

    Holly Bidwell

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