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Book Review: A Death in Vienna

April 5, 2010

A Death in Vienna by Frank Tallis takes place in Vienna, Austria during the year 1902. (It looks like I’m on a roll with books set in historical Austria). A beautiful young woman is dead, and it seems that she was murdered by supernatural forces. Inspector Oskar Rheinhardt is having trouble solving the crime, and asks his good friend, Doctor Max Liebermann for help. At a time when “hysteria” is most commonly treated with a series of electric shocks, Max Liebermann believes the psychoanalysis practices taught by Sigmund Freud are a more humane and effective way to treat psychological illness. He applies his training in psychoanalysis to the situation, and is able to help Rheinhardt solve the crime, with the assistance of one of his patients.

I enjoyed the way this book was written, and I found the mystery intriguing. I was correct in my assumption of  the murderer’s identity, but was not quite right with how they were able to pull it off. Now that I know the ending, I realize there were definitely hints earlier in the story that I missed – which makes for a good mystery, in my opinion. I was also very drawn in to the secondary storylines in this book, so I was excited to find out that it is actually the first in a series. I’ve already ordered the second book from Barnes & Noble! If you have been reading this blog for a while, or know me in person, you probably already know that I love historical fiction – especially historical mysteries – so it should come as no surprise that I gave this book 3/5 stars on Goodreads. It was probably around 3.5, but there aren’t any half-star options. If you’re like me and you like this genre, then I would recommend this book to you.

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