Posted: January 11, 2010 in Uncategorized


My contribution to the Crime Fiction Alphabet meme hosted at Kerrie’s Mysteries in Paradise which has resumed after a holiday break is M for Morris.

R.N. [Roger] Morris writes an intriguing historical crime fiction series featuring the detective from Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment, Porfiry Petrovich.
On his web site here there is a store of information about his books with links to articles on his Debt to Dostoevsky posted on The Rap Sheet. From this I learned that the superbly scruffy TV character Lieutenant Columbo, played so brilliantly by Peter Falk, was based on Porfiry Petrovich.
I have not read the first book in the series, A Gentle Axe [2007] but I reviewed number two, A Vengeful Longing [2008] for Euro Crime, and am eagerly awaiting A Razor Wrapped in Silk due out this year.

A Gentle Axe. This excellent review by Crimeficreader introduced me to this series.

From my review:
Historical crime mystery that captures both the feel and atmosphere of 19th century Russia as a decaying Kafka-esque empire waiting for revolution.
  1. >Norman – Thanks for introducing me to Morris. I enjoy historical mysteries very much, but haven't read this series. I shall have to remedy that….

  2. >Crimeficreader [Rhian] knows him well and he is a very nice guy. I have been waiting for number three to come out all through 2009. You might also be interested in an historical series written by Boris Akunin, pseudonym of Grigory Chkhartishvili, set a little bit late in Russia with a dashing hero Erast Fandorin. I have read two Murder on the Leviathian,[ alocked ship mystery!] and Turkish Gambit [about the 1877 Siege of Plevna] which were both excellent. They are historical pastiches, Agatha Christie meets James Bond, Alexandre Dumas, Tolstoy and Conan Doyle!

  3. Kerrie says:

    >Thanks for this contribution Norman. I have only read the first in the series and really need to make time for the second.

  4. >Thanks for the recommendation, Norman. You are now responsible for my TBR list getting higher than I am tall!

  5. >I could not get through the first one in this series – I really wanted to like it but I tried twice last year and never got past more than page 70 or so. I should perhaps try one of the others.

  6. >Margot why shouldn't your TBR pile get as untidy as mine.;o)Bernadette, I sometimes find that the second book in a series is infinitely better than the debut and perhaps this has happened in this case. From memory you go straight into a murder in A Vengeful Longing. I am not keen on Russian names that confuse me although at present I am reading a book set in Athens and the Greek names are even more confusing.

  7. Roger Morris says:

    >Hi Norman, many many thanks for picking my book. I noticed a spike in the number of visitors to my bloody blog and feel sure it must be down to you!Bernadette, sorry you didn't like A Gentle Axe! I tried my best! I'm learning all the time though, and hope that by the time I write my hundredth book (if I ever get there), I might just have got the hang of it. But there is no obligation to go back to a series you don't like. I certainly wouldn't. Life's too short. You just have to shrug and say this one's not for me!

  8. >Gotta check it out! Anything that comes out of Crime and Punishment interests me!Here is my Crime Fiction Alphabet: M post!

  9. >Norm, the next one is coming on 1 April this year. See catalogue online: http://issuu.com/faberandfaber/docs/cataloguespring2010Thanks for the very kind mention!

  10. >Thanks Gautami. I'll check your out.

  11. >Thanks for the 1st April crimeficreader I shall put that on my wish list.

  12. >Hi Roger, I had a huge spike in visitors yesterday and put it down to mentioning your book, or the Wallander on TV series. ;o)

  13. >Roger I was not joking M for Morris is rating number two on my search data ranking list. 1] Who is Lisbeth Salander? ;that has a prime position for some reason on google2] M for Morris3] Val McDermid4] Wallander Faceless Killers

  14. Kerrie says:

    >Norman, tell me more about your "search data" – how do you do that?

  15. >Nothing very clever on sitemeter I just go to 'page ranking' it gives a glimpse of what posts people are visiting at that moment.

  16. Roger Morris says:

    >Norman, if you would like a review copy of Razor just let me know your address.roger

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