The Romanov sisters : the lost lives of the daughters of Nicholas and Alexandra

From  Eileen Effrat

Author:  Helen Rappaport

Title:  The Romanov sisters : the lost lives of the daughters of Nicholas and Alexandra 

The four daughters of Tsar Nicholas were the most talked about royals of the early twentieth century—–think Diana or Catherine.  Drawing on previously unpublished letters, diaries, and archival sources from private collections, Rappaport focuses on the their daily life, and the recollections of those closest to the girls. The daughters—Olga, Tatiana, Maria, and Anastasia—referred to themselves as OTMA, while Alexandra called them her “girlies”. As the author states, “the girls never bristled against being a collective”.  What emerges in this biography is the unique individuality of each sister.   The book does not dwell on their final days in Ekaterinberg.  For that, you will have to read Rappaports previous book, The Last days of the Romanovs.   For those with an interest in Russian history, this is a meticulously researched and quite readable account of four sheltered girls  in the twilight of the Tsarist regime.

Three Stations

From Eileen Effrat
author: Smith, Martin Cruz
 Three Stations
Arkady Renko, Moscow’s homicide investigator extraordinaire, is still on the job after 30 years.  Politically and socially things have not changed much in those thirty years.  Putin’s “New Russia” is just as corrupt  as Renko’s  first police investigation in Gorky Park.  Only the bureaucrats names have changed.  In the series 7th book, a baby is abducted and a dead prostitute is found at Three Stations.  Or is she a prostitute? Renko suspects the two crimes are related. As he probes the world of Moscow’s rich and famous and its underworld of drug dealers, thugs, and homeless street urchins, he uncovers a sophisticated web of death and kidnapping.

As always, Smith ‘s dark sense of humor adds a touch to this suspense thriller.