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Download Murder on the Leviathan: A Novel Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Murder on the Leviathan: A Novel Audiobook, by Boris Akunin Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (2,135 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Boris Akunin Narrator: Michael Kramer Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Related: The Erast Fandorin Series Release Date: January 2004 ISBN: 9781415903087
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Paris, 1878. Eccentric antiquarian Lord Littleby and his ten servants are found murdered in Littleby’s mansion on the rue de Grenelle, and a priceless Indian shawl is missing. Police commissioner “Papa” Gauche recovers only one piece of evidence from the crime scene: a golden key shaped like a whale. Gauche soon deduces that the key is in fact a ticket of passage for the Leviathan, a gigantic steamship soon to depart Southampton on its maiden voyage to Calcutta. The murderer must be among its passengers.

In Cairo, the ship is boarded by a young Russian diplomat with a shock of white hair—none other than Erast Fandorin, the celebrated detective of Boris Akunin’s The Winter Queen. The sleuth joins forces with Gauche to determine which of ten unticketed passengers on the Leviathan is the rue de Grenelle killer.

Tipping his hat to Agatha Christie, Akunin assembles a colorful cast of suspects—including a secretive Japanese doctor, a professor who specializes in rare Indian artifacts, a pregnant Swiss woman, and an English aristocrat with an appetite for collecting Asian treasures—all of whom are stuck together until the crime is solved. As the Leviathan steams toward Calcutta, will Fandorin be able to out-investigate Gauche and discover who the killer is, even as the ship’s passengers are murdered, one by one? 

Already an international sensation, Boris Akunin’s latest page-turner transports the reader back to the glamorous, dangerous past in a richly atmospheric tale of suspense on the high seas.

Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Like the best Golden Age nautical mysteries, Murder on the Leviathan finds its drama in the escalating tensions between a small circle of too-tight-quartered passengers, and draws its humor from their over-mannered behavior and individual eccentricities.”

    Amazon.com, editorial review

  • “The atmospheric historical detail gives depth to the twisting plot, while the ruthless yet poignant arch villain makes up for a cast of mostly cardboard characters. Readers disappointed by the lack of background on Fandorin will find plenty in The Winter Queen.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “The unique clash of cultures and the interactions of the characters…set this book apart. Alongside so many mysteries and thrillers that revolve around grisly violence, Leviathan, with its tony action scenes and overall genteel feel, comes off as a charming and fun read.”

    School Library Journal

  • “Akunin’s accomplished writing is a treat.”

    Ruth Rendell, New York Times bestselling author

  • “Akunin’s prose is clean and swift, pausing only to set a scene with a few well-chosen details before resuming the hairpin curves of the action. If Pushkin had tried his hand at detective action, it might have turned out something like this.”

    New York Times Book Review, praise for the author

  • “[Akunin’s Erast Fandorin] novels feature a Slavic Sherlock Holmes who speaks Japanese and English, is skilled at martial arts and has lady-killer good looks…Millions of readers have been seduced by the books’ elegant style and classy, retro feel.”

    Wall Street Journal

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Deanne | 2/18/2014

    " Find the Fandorin books interesting but would like to see more of this character in the story. So far the series have included espionage, war and crime, but there is no particular city to which Fandorin appears to have roots. As a character he seems rootless, no family no real friends. I'm only hoping that Akunin allows him some sort of happiness. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Beatrix Kiddo | 2/13/2014

    " One of the better and more cleverly written Akunin books, very easy to read and has a nice plot. The story unravels without making the reader feel sort of going "duuh", which is the main issue with other Akunin books. Entertaining and easy to read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Angela | 2/2/2014

    " Erast Fandorin. Set in historic Paris. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 BLACK CAT | 1/30/2014

    " Surprising turns even at the end! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Miss Karen Jean Martinson | 1/30/2014

    " Just re-read Leviathan and loved it even more the second time around. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Samantha | 1/27/2014

    " A huge improvement on the previous book, interesting premise with a good cast of characters but even I worked out who was responsible too far in advance! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ben | 1/12/2014

    " A likeable enough romp, with Fandorin a reasonably distinctive character. Ultimately predictable though, and somewhat inconsequential. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Emily | 1/9/2014

    " I enjoyed this more than the first in the series...probably I'd give it a 3+ if that was an option. It was a more traditional murder mystery, and I found the characters more humorous than in the first book. I'd agree with Rachel that the narrative did not convincingly portray the different voices of the characters, but the humor each character brought to the story overrode that for me. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jeff | 1/6/2014

    " This, the third is the Erast Fandorin series of mysteries, is a clever pastiche of Wilkie Collins's "The Moonstone," Agatha Christie's "Murder on the Orient Express," and Arthur Conan Doyle "The Sign of Four" that offers up old-fashioned detective fiction fun. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Racheli Vardi | 12/16/2013

    " My least favourite of the series so far, but still creative and fun to read. I especially liked how the plot was told through the rotating eyes of the different characters. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jack | 12/15/2013

    " An excellent mystery featuring Erastus Fandorin. This series seems to be hit or miss,this one is definitely a hit. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Juan Hovez | 12/1/2013

    " Erast Fandorin is the man. A shade more C. Auguste Dupin than Sherlock Holmes, but cool. A Russian dandy with a speech impediment who manages to enswoon all the mademoiselles and still save the day. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Helen J | 9/29/2013

    " This series felt unique in style and content. I am hooked on the series. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Gordon | 6/22/2013

    " see comment on The Turkish Gambit "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Colleen | 11/12/2012

    " i have read 3 akunin mysteries and this is my favorite so far. The use of narratives from different characters (reminiscent of wilkie collins, one of my all time favorites) worked well and added to the variety, making up for the closed setting of the ship. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Iz | 5/19/2012

    " the russan version of agatha christie - great! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Martin | 5/17/2012

    " Very entertaining, Erast Fandorin is my favorite new detective. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Susanna | 7/29/2011

    " This was better than the second installment, but that might be because I love Agatha Christie and this book draws heavily on her tradition :-) "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Morgan | 5/12/2011

    " This mystery is great fun. The writing style is a treat as the perspectives keep changing as our hero strolls in and out of scenes. I love how Erast doesn't show up until some 30 pages into the book. Akunin always gives a good read. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Small Creek | 3/24/2011

    " Unlikable characters and surreal plot. No, seriously: THE SECRET, MYTHICAL JEWELS OF A RAJA? :O

    Ugh. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Arturo | 1/10/2011

    " Los personajes son interesantes, los diálogos son muy entretenidos, y es difícil anticipar el giro que toma la historia. A veces pienso que el personaje de Erast Fandorin es demasiado perfecto, pero bah. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Racheli | 12/3/2010

    " My least favourite of the series so far, but still creative and fun to read. I especially liked how the plot was told through the rotating eyes of the different characters. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Valissa | 11/19/2010

    " "November's chill breath trimmed her braids with silver,
    Whispering that youth and love were lost forever." "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Lisa | 10/23/2010

    " Russian version of Sherlock Holmes. Not very well developed suspects, which can kill a mystery... There are a couple of twists here and there, but at the end of it, it didn't seem that surprising at all when you don't feel like you've gotten to know anyone. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 David | 9/19/2010

    " Third in the Erast Fandorin mystery series by Boris Akunin. Each book in the series takes on a specific mystery genre and this one reads like an Agatha Christie novel with all of the suspects assembled in one place while slowly being dispatched one by one. "

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About the Author
Author Boris AkuninBoris Akunin is the pen name of Grigory Chkhartishvili, who was born in the republic of Georgia in 1956; he is a philologist, critic, essayist, and translator of Japanese. He published his first detective stories in 1998 and in a very short time has become one of the most widely read authors in Russia. He has written nine Erast Fandorin novels to date, and is working on two other series as well. Akunin enjoys almost legendary popularity in Russia. He lives in Moscow.
About the Narrator

Michael Kramer has narrated many audiobooks over the last twenty years; his favorite authors include Donald E. Westlake, Thomas Perry, and Robert Jordan. He has received several AudioFile Earphones Awards for his work. He lives in the DC area, where he also works in theater as an actor and director.