Monday, February 07, 2022

The Final Fabergé by Thomas Swan

First Lines: Petrograd, December 16, 1916. On the table was a box.
It is up to Scotland Yard art crime detective Jack Oxby to prove-- or disprove-- the rumor that a mysterious Fabergé Easter egg disappeared during the last days of the reign of Nicholas and Alexandra... and may still be in existence today.
It's not going to be an easy task. For one thing, everyone who may have information about the egg turns up dead, and Oxby's investigation is putting him right at the top of the hit list. The way Oxby sees it, if someone's that determined to hide all knowledge of the art treasure, chances are good that it does, indeed, exist... and he's going to find it.
I have a weakness for the beauty and brutality of Tsarist Russian history, especially in the fields of art and architecture. Combine that with a love of art history mysteries like Iain Pears' Jonathan Argyll series, and it was inevitable that I would read Thomas Swan's The Final Fabergé
Scotland Yard art crime detective Jack Oxby has figured in two other books by Swan. He's been in this division of the Yard for fifteen years. He's savvy, he's got all sorts of contacts he can ask for help, and he's more than willing to jump on a plane and fly to who-knows-where in order to track down information.
From a promising beginning, The Final Fabergé rapidly devolved into a standard thriller: dashing from one location to the next to showcase Oxby's expertise in dodging bullets and knives while learning about power-hungry baddies and soulless henchmen. While not bad by any stretch of the imagination, the book would have been improved by spending more time in the historical aspect of the story-- in Fabergé's workshop and in the houses of the rich and titled. So much time was spent in chases and ambushes that it was easy to forget-- or to really understand-- what all the commotion was about. Yes, I would have loved to have spent more time immersed in the mystique of Fabergé and the treasures he and his artists created. 
Will I be looking to meet Jack Oxby again? I rather doubt it. 

The Final Fabergé by Thomas Swan
ISBN: 9781557049698
William Morrow © 1999
Paperback, 320 pages
Thriller, #3 Jack Oxby mystery
Rating: C+
Source: Purchased from Book Outlet.


  1. As soon as you said standard thriller, Cathy, I I took my interest a couple of notches down. Thrillers can be really well done, but I know what you mean by 'standard,' and I guess it's just not the right time for me to be eager to read one. Still, the background, premise, and setting sound interesting. Oh, well...

    1. If I'm to really like a thriller, it can't be "standard."

  2. I've heard about riches and Faberge eggs in relation to thrillers set in Tsarist Russia.

  3. Oh, dear. This one sounded promising.

  4. Well, that's disappointing. It sounded like such a great premise with so much interesting history to learn about.

  5. I've read nonfiction about the Faberge eggs, and there's certainly plenty of scope for interesting stories about them, so it's disappointing that this isn't a better book. I may still check it out at some point, but it won't be a priority.


Thank you for taking the time to make a comment. I really appreciate it!