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The books subtitle is "Bizarre Stories from an Old City". One is about the Duke of Croy, who was colonel under Augustus the Strong and was appointed General Field Marshal by Peter the Great. Later he enjoyed life as a noble prisoner in Reval (german name of Tallinn). His corpse was used as a pledge from the Reval citizens in the hope that his family will pay his debts.
(As far as I know the book isn't available in Englisch.