Diplomacy and Murder in Tehran

“Kelly’s highly readable and enjoyable book is the first biography in English of this intriguing figure.” Jan Dalley, Financial Times

“Laurence Kelly, the prize-winning author of a life of Lermontov, has spent many years delving into Russian and Persian archives and found hitherto uncovered telling details. But he wears his meticulous scholarship lightly and tells a riveting tale that reads like a Russian novel”. Shusha Guppy Times, Higer Educational Supplement (THES)


Lermontov: Tragedy in the Caucasus

“Wonderful biography…Laurence Kelly offers both perceptive literary analysis and brilliant detective work on Lermontov’s life and death.” Vanora Bennett, Times Literary Supplement

“Until now there has been no really good biography of him in English. Laurence Kelly’s admirable new work brilliantly satisfies this need. Not only is it scholarly and well researched … it is also extremely well written and readable.” Fitzroy Maclean, New York Times

“Laurence Kelly deserves praise and gratitude for producing this book…a very good biography, both sensible and elegant.” C.P. Snow, Financial Times

“The best popular study of the poet yet available in English.” Elizabeth Longford, Sunday Times

“Mr. Kelly is admirable in supplying all sorts of details about him, which will all be quite new even to many of those who already admire the writings.” Anthony Powell, Daily Telegraph


Traveller’s Companion series

St Petersburg

“Nothing less than a masterpiece… the perfect companion for the intending traveller, bringing the city’s every aspect vividly alive.” Fitzroy Maclean, Sunday Times

“A magic lantern on place and people: Russians and foreigners; major events in Russian history in eye-witness immediacy; so vivid a book that you need not hasten to travel there yourself; and certainly should not hasten when you arrive.” Gay Firth, Financial Times

“Enthralling reading… a well-balanced selection that affords marvellous glimpses of its grandeur and its grimness, its magnificence and its horrors.” Elisabeth de Stroumillo, Daily Telegraph

“Even for those who may never visit Leningrad, this book will be a source of enjoyment and interest.” Denis J. B. Shaw, British Book News



“Indispensable.” — The Guardian

“It is an invaluable compilation of travelers’ and residents’ impressions of Moscow, some dating back to the 1500s.” Paul E. Richardson, Russian Life

“Not only essential for all prospective visitors to Moscow . . . but also entertaining and instructive reading for the armchair traveller.” The Observer

“The collection could scarcely be bettered.” Sunday Telegraph



“Beguiling . . . should prove indispensable in the field.” Times Literary Supplement

“Vividly tells the story of that exotic city.” Spectator

“[Laurence Kelly] provides as rich and satisfying a patchwork as the metropolis it describes.” The Times