The collection “Widow's kerchief” is yet another book of fiction complement to the third volume of “History of the Russian State” by Boris Akunin – “From Ivan III to Boris Godunov”. It consists of two short novels - of the same name as the collection and a short novel “The mark of Cain”. “Widow's kerchief” is a short novel, narrative of the beginning of unification of lands around Moscow. Chronologically, these are days just before the short Moscow-Novgorod war. The author familiarizes us with Novgorod Republic through lives and destinies of the three uncommon and outstanding women Martha Boretskaya (that famous Martha, a posadnik's wife), Nastasya Grigoryeva and Euphemia Gorshenina. Vivid, expressive personalities. Unusual powers of mind, capable of both creating good and merciless evil and destruction. Underhand intrigues and struggle. Boris Akunin's short novel has surely been a success. Expressing in other words a well-known phrase of another remarkable mind of the ХХ century, one can boldly state that “this piece of writing is, perhaps, stronger than “Game of Thrones”'… The second part of the collection is the short novel “The mark of Cain”. The reader will spend only a day in Moscovia, looking at the world with the eyes of Ivan IV the Terrible himself. With all his personal inner struggle between fear and hatred, yet childish complexes and resentments, but with a sovereign-like outlook on the country and the nation. A trailblazing experiment of Akunin will be of interest to readers, for sure.