In Search of the Romanovs


In Search of the Romanovs

A Family’s Quest to Solve One of History’s Most Brutal Crimes

Peter Sarandinaki
With editorial assistance by Rob Suggs

304 pages
24 photographs, 3 maps, 1 appendix, index


July 2024


$39.95 Add to Cart
eBook (PDF)
Ebook purchases delivered via Leaf e-Reader

July 2024


$39.95 Add to Cart
eBook (EPUB)
Ebook purchases delivered via Leaf e-Reader

July 2024


$39.95 Add to Cart

About the Book

In 1918 a famed general of the Russian White Army battled through the Red Army to save Emperor Nicholas II—but he arrived too late. The Romanovs had already been murdered.

In this thrilling true-life detective story, we follow Anna, the general’s courageous young daughter, who fled across the continent and boarded a ship with her husband to escape the bloodshed. Beneath her bunk was a box, and in this box lay grisly evidence of what had become of Russia’s royal family, the Romanovs. Generations later, Anna’s grandson Peter Sarandinaki set out to finish his great-grandfather’s mission to find the Romanovs’ remains, enlisting searchers and scientists to finally piece together the answers to some of history’s most perplexing questions: What really happened to Tsar Nicholas, Empress Alexandra, and their children? And what about the tsar’s brother, Mikhail, who simply disappeared?

Set against the disparate backdrops of the Russian Revolution and the twenty-first century’s leading DNA laboratories, In Search of the Romanovs weaves together historical records, forensic science, and the diaries, recollections, and experiences of Sarandinaki’s own family. Follow Sarandinaki as he fits together the final fragments of the mystery: a piece of topaz jewelry, a blood-stained shirt once worn by Tsar Nicholas II, the fabled Sokolov box, and clandestine initials carved into a tree. A riveting and deeply personal story, In Search of the Romanovs reveals hidden truths in the legends about the murder and disappearance of Russia’s most famous royal family.

Author Bio

Peter Sarandinaki is a retired sea captain now living in Toms River, New Jersey, with his wife. He is the great-grandson of Lieutenant General Sergei Nikolaevich Rozanov, the White Army commander in the eastern Amur region of Russia who was among the first men to enter the Ipatiev House in Yekaterinburg, where the Romanovs were murdered. Sarandinaki has worked on the Romanov case for more than thirty years.


"[In Search of the Romanovs] is recommended to any reader with an interest in Russia's convoluted history who appreciates a satisfactory conclusion to a century-old cold case."—J. Kemper Campbell, Lincoln Journal Star

“A remarkable family saga.”—Marilyn Swezey, historian and coeditor of The Romanovs Under House Arrest: From the 1917 Diary of a Palace Priest

“Cold case murders are difficult to solve—especially when they are a century old and exist in a closed and secretive society. . . . Peter Sarandinaki navigates the labyrinth of clues, nineteenth-century maps, murder confessions, DNA, and politics to make a brilliant addition to history.”—Brook Schaub, forensic investigator and member of the SEARCH Foundation

“Thanks to Peter Sarandinaki this tumultuous period of Russian history is beginning to open its secrets, not least the fate of Grand Duke Mikhail Romanov, exiled into the dark forests of the western Urals.”—John Hunter, coauthor of Forensic Approaches to Buried Remains

“Interested in international history, the murder of royalty and saints, and religious intrigue? I am honored to introduce Peter Sarandinaki and his fascinating family. . . . With the leadership of a navy veteran and sea captain, the charisma of a politician, and devotion to his family and the Russian Orthodox Church, Sarandinaki is a master of navigating obstacles and barriers to any adventure.”—Clark Davenport, forensic geophysicist and founder of NecroSearch International

“Peter Sarandinaki shares his family’s incredible story of love, survival, and escape from revolutionary Russia. In this extraordinary book he combines this story with the death, secret burial, and, decades later, the discovery of skeletal remains of the family of Russia’s last emperor. Sarandinaki masterfully connects with world-renowned scientists who not only confirm the identity of the bones but finally reveal the brutality of the deaths of Nicholas II and his family, including exposing the truth about their youngest daughter, Anastasia.”—Margarita Nelipa, author, historian, and member of the SEARCH Foundation

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Prologue: Letting the World Know
Part 1. Anna’s Story
1. Distant Fire
2. Country Life
3. Revolution
4. Darkness in Penza
5. A Flight to Freedom
6. Royal Captivity
7. The Death and Burial of a Dynasty
8. Sokolov Investigates
9. Expatriates
Interlude: The Mystery of Anastasia
Part 2. Peter’s Story
10. Americanizing
11. Leningrad
12. Skeletons
13. The Americans Join In
14. Digging Deeper
15. Keeping the Dream Alive
16. NecroSearch Joins the Hunt
17. Back to Four Brothers
18. Reno—Point/Counterpoint
19. Searching Pig’s Meadow
20. Finding the Children
21. DNA Tells All
22. The “Experts” Object
23. Searching for the Lost Brother
24. The Church Moves in Mysterious Ways
Epilogue: The Locket and the Frame
Appendix: Yurovsky’s Note

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