Erast Fandorin, the suave gentleman sleuth of 19th-century Russia, faces two formidable new foes in this omnibus of two novellas. The Jack of Spades features a civilized swindler who has conned thousands of rubles from Moscow's residents—including Fandorin's boss Prince Dolgorukoi. To catch him, Fandorin and his new assistant Anisii Tulipov must don almost as many disguises as the grifter. The Decorator is a different case altogether: a savage serial killer who believes he "cleans" the women he mutilates, and takes his orders from a higher power.
"A debonair combo of Sherlock Holmes, D'Artagnan and most of the soulful heroes of Russian literature.... This pair of perfectly balanced stories permit the character of Fandorin to grow."—Sunday Telegraph (London)