Book 1 of 2: The Olga Pushkin Mysteries
Welcome to Roslazny - a sleepy Russian town where intrigue and murder combine to disturb the icy silence...
Olga Pushkin, Railway Engineer (Third Class) and would-be bestselling author, spends her days in a little rail-side hut with only Dmitri the hedgehog for company. While tourists and travellers clatter by on the Trans-Siberian Express, Olga dreams of studying literature at Tomsk State University - the Oxford of West Siberia - and escaping the sleepy, snow-clad village of Roslazny.
But Roslazny doesn't stay sleepy for long. Poison-pen letters, a small-town crime wave, and persistent rumours of a Baba Yaga - a murderous witch hiding in the frozen depths of the Russian taiga - combine to disturb the icy silence. And one day Olga arrives at her hut only to be knocked unconscious by a man falling from the Trans-Siberian, an American tourist with his throat cut from ear to ear and his mouth stuffed with 10-ruble coins. Another death soon follows, and Sergeant Vassily Marushkin, the brooding, enigmatic policeman who takes on the case, finds himself falsely imprisoned by his Machiavellian superior, Chief-Inspector Babikov.
Olga resolves to help Vassily by proving his innocence. But with no leads to follow and time running out, has Olga bitten off more than she can chew?
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