Reading progress update: I've read 137 out of 249 pages.

The Winter Queen - Boris Akunin, Andrew Bromfield

I know, I wanted "light entertainment" to balance out de Beauvoir's magnum opus, but The Winter Queen may actually be too light for me right now. 

 

It's like all of the most ridiculous spy and mystery stories jumbled into one. I like it, but ... it's not really keeping me engaged because it seems almost too familiar a story. 

 

The story even features individuals who are instruments of terror and are referred to by numbers - and I keep wondering who Nos. 2, 4, and 27 are in this organisation:

Then suddenly Erast Fandorin’s heart was wrung with pity. These were no terrorists, these were all decent and respectable individuals! These were the victims of terror! Nihilists from various countries, each of them concealed behind a coded number, were reporting to central revolutionary HQ about the terrorist acts they had committed!

 

 

Still, it's a better book than many James Bond novels.