A Max Liebermann Mystery by Frank Tallis
Review: In early 20th century Vienna, Dr. Max Lieberman and Detective Inspector Oskar Reinhardt again team up to solve a series of vicious, though ingenious, murders in Vienna Twilight, the fifth mystery in this series by Frank Tallis.
A man is murdering women by a method that is very unique in its application. While making love to his victim, he carefully lifts her head and inserts the point of a decorative hat pin through the small opening in her neck and pushes the pin into her brain. The acorn decoration serves as a plug, stopping any bleeding or brain fluid from escaping into her hair. So far, the police have found three women murdered in this manner, a method that would seem to require specialized knowledge and would therefore narrow greatly any list of suspects generated by the police.
A patient of Dr. Liberman, Herr Erstweiler, believes that he is accompanied by a shadowy image of man, a man who is his direct opposite. Whereas he is sensitive and fearful, and painfully shy around women, his shadow is without fear or shame, and very forward with woman. Could this "shadow" be the killer? And if so, how can he prove it?
Vienna Twilight is very much a period mystery, one which captures the reader in turn-of-the-century Austria — from the music and arts to the society and politics to the new age (as it were) of forensic psychology as a tool in criminal investigations. At the center of all this are the endearing characters of Max Lieberman and Oskar Reinhardt, two close friends who bring their own style to the investigative process. The serial killer plotline is fairly routine, but handled well … due primarily to the interest generated by how Lieberman and Reinhardt creatively apply their respective knowledge of psychology and criminal element, and common knowledge of people in general, to bear on their case.
Special thanks to guest reviewer Betty of The Betz Review for contributing her review of Vienna Twilight.
Acknowledgment: Random House provided a copy of Vienna Twilight for this review.
Review Copyright © 2011 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
Selected reviews of other mysteries by this author …
Random House (Trade Paperback), February 2010
ISBN-13: 9780812980998; ISBN-10: 0812980999
Death and the Maiden
Random House (Trade Paperback), October 2012
ISBN-13: 9780812983340; ISBN-10: 0812983343
Location(s) referenced in Vienna Twilight: Vienna, Austria
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Vienna Twilight by Frank Tallis — A Max Liebermann Mystery
Publisher: Random House
Format: Trade Paperback
Publication Date: April 2011
List Price: $15.00