Returning from the Synod in St Petersburg - and an official rebuke of her crime-fighting ways - Sister Pelagia finds herself aboard a steamer dodging pickpockets, zealots and a sinister man with a detachable eye.
But a brutal murder in the next cabin spells the end of her sleuthing retirement and the start of an investigation that will take her to the Holy Land and far beyond.
Pelagia's journey is peppered with tales of miracles and roosters and caves that act as portals to other worlds. But an assassin is closing in, pursuing the sister to the land of the Gospels where her criminal enquiry becomes a spiritual enquiry as she sets down her knitting needles to question the very foundations of her faith...
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 Moscow.