“[An] elegant historical mystery . . . stylishly presented and intelligently resolved.” New York Times Book Review
A Death in Vienna
978-0-8021-2338-1 • $16.00 • Paperback • Mar. 2015
“An engrossing portrait of a legendary period as well as a brain teaser of startling perplexity . . . In Tallis’s sure hands, the story evolves with grace and excitement. . . . A perfect combination of the hysterical past and the coolerbut probably more dangerouspresent.” Chicago Tribune
“[A Death in Vienna is] a winner for its smart and flavorsome fin-de-siècle portrait of the seat of the Austro-Hungarian empire, and for introducing Max Liebermann, a young physician who is feverish with the possibilities of the new science of psychoanalysis.” Washington Post
In Vienna at the turn of the twentieth century, Max Liebermann is at the forefront of psychoanalysis, practicing the controversial new science with all the skill of a master detective. Every dream, inflection, or slip of tongue in his “hysterical” patients has meaning and reveals some hidden truth. When a mysterious and beautiful medium dies under extraordinary circumstances, Max’s good friend, Detective Oskar Rheinhardt, calls for his expert assistance. The medium’s body has been found in a room that can only be locked from the inside. Her body has been shot, but there’s no gun and absolutely no trace of a bullet. All signs point to a supernatural killer, but Liebermann the scientist is not so easily convinced. Set in the Vienna of Freud, Klimt, and Mahler, a time of unprecedented activity in the worlds of philosophy, science, and art, A Death in Vienna is an elegantly written novel, taut with suspense and rich in historical details.
Frank Tallis on fin-de-siècle Vienna:
It was a time of remarkable advances in the worlds of philosophy, science, and the arts. The coffeehouses became lively debating societies, in which the political, social, and cultural agenda of the twentieth century was set. Sigmund Freud, Arnold Schoenberg, Arthur Schnitzler, Gustav Klimt, Theodor Herzl, Ludwig Wittgenstein, and Gustav Mahler were all neighbors; however, at the same time, Vienna was playing host to a quite different set of thinkers: German mystics, social Darwinists, and race theorists whose ideas would eventually be consolidated under the banner of Hitler’s National Socialism. Thus, it was a place of great excitement and terrible danger.