This is the first book featuring Erast Fandorin, a gentleman sleuth who solves murders and mysteries in Tsarist Russia. Moscow 1876. A young law student commits suicide in broad daylight in Moscow's Alexander Gardens. But this is no ordinary death, for the young man was the son of an influential industrialist and has left a considerable fortune. Erast Fandorin, a hotheaded new recruit to the Criminal Investigation Department, is assigned to the case. Brilliant, young, and sophisticated, Fandorin embarks on an investigation that will take him from the palatial mansions of Moscow to the seedy backstreets of London in his hunt for the conspirators behind this mysterious death.