“[An] elegant historical mystery . . . stylishly presented and intelligently resolved” set at the dawn of psychoanalysis (The New York Times Book Review).
In Vienna at the turn of the twentieth century, Max Liebermann, a contemporary of Sigmund Freud’s, 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 beautiful medium Charlotte Löwenstein dies under extraordinary circumstances, Max’s good friend, Detective Oskar Rheinhardt, calls for his expert assistance. Her body has been found in a room that can only be locked from the inside. She’s been shot through the heart, 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. Especially when one of Charlotte’s clients is also found in a locked room—this time bludgeoned to death.
Unfolding in the Vienna of Klimt and Mahler, a time of unprecedented activity in the worlds of philosophy, science, and art, A Death in Vienna is “an engrossing portrait of a legendary period as well as a brain teaser of startling perplexity” (Chicago Tribune).
British author Tallis (Love Sick) sets his intelligent murder mystery in the stormy, atmospheric Austrian capital at the turn of the 20th century. Psychoanalyst Max Lieberman, a contemporary of Freud's, takes time out of his busy schedule treating hysterics to help his friend Det. Oskar Rheinhardt solve the perplexing case of a beautiful medium found dead in a locked room on the day of her weekly s ance. She's left a suicide note and died of a gunshot to the heart, but there's no weapon or bullet in her body. Rheinhardt is certain she's been murdered, and as he interviews each of her clients, he uncovers a number of potential suspects with motive enough for murder but without the know-how to accomplish this impossible deed. Midway through the investigation, one of the medium's clients is bludgeoned to death in his sleep also inside a locked room. Despite Rheinhardt's superior sleuthing and Lieberman's keen observational and analytical abilities, the murderer and the key to his modus operandi elude them until help comes from an unlikely source. Tallis convincingly animates Lieberman and Rheinhardt in a picturesque Vienna roiling with cultural and intellectual change.