Tuesday, December 2, 2008

"It was the day of the great storm."

Frank Tallis' A Death in Vienna is the first in a mystery series featuring psychologist Max Liebermann and Police Inspector Oskar Rheinhardt. Liebermann is part of the new generation of psychologist, friendly with Freud and subscribing to most of Freud's new beliefs and techniques. Rheinhardt is an intelligent detective who is thoughtful and cultured. The two spend time together as friends making music (one plays piano and the other is a baritone), drinking coffee and eating pastries, and attending musical performances. They also help each other professionally in this smart and interesting locked-room mystery.

This book highlights the cultural change in Vienna at the beginning of the 20th century -- the advances in knowledge, technology and social ideas. It was pleasant to read again of purposeful investigations and cautious analysis. The only problem I really had with this book was that it took me a while at the beginning to identify the characters as they are all just called by their last names. For some reason I have problems with this (also a problem in Russian fiction). It was a little annoying in a couple of places where information was revealed to the characters but not to the reader but I suppose it's just a different style of writing and I learned to be patient and the same information would eventually be revealed to me.

I liked this book and I will definitely move on to the second book in the series.

Desiring a torte of any kind,

Buy A Death in Vienna: A Novel on Amazon or find it at your local library.

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