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Pelagia - bespectacled, freckled, red-haired, extraordinarily clumsy and constantly knitting - teaches gymnastics and literature, and in her spare time solves crimes. In this novel, Pelagia finds herself investigating a self-proclaimed Russian prophet, Manuila and his followers, who deny Jesus Christ and the Church. Her investigation is guided in part by ancient manuscripts, and it involves murder, deception, miracles, romance and a crisis of faith for our inimitable heroine.
Boris Akunin is the pseudonym of Grigory Chkhartishvili. He has been compared to Gogol, Tolstoy and Arthur Conan Doyle, and his Erast Fandorin books have sold over eighteen million copies in Russia alone. He lives in London.