cover image Death and the Maiden: 
A Max Liebermann Mystery

Death and the Maiden: A Max Liebermann Mystery

Frank Tallis. Random, $15 trade paper (384p) ISBN 978-0-8129-8334-0

A heated political rivalry between Emperor Franz Josef and Vienna’s anti-Semitic mayor, Karl Lueger, serves as the intriguing backdrop for Tallis’s superb sixth historical featuring Dr. Max Liebermann (after 2011’s Vienna Twilight). Celebrated soprano Ida Rosenkrantz has been found dead in her rooms, possibly of a laudanum overdose, her body oddly posed in the center of a rug. An autopsy reveals that the opera singer was in fact suffocated, with enough force to fracture a rib. The sensitive investigation falls to Det. Insp. Oskar Rheinhardt, who enlists Freud protégée Liebermann for assistance. Since Lueger, who’s more popular in some circles than the emperor himself, is up for re-election, the pressure is on Rheinhardt and Liebermann to solve the murder quickly. While navigating treacherous political shoals, the psychoanalyst finds time to determine who’s been sending threatening letters to composer Gustav Mahler, then the director of the Court Opera. Tallis does his usual fine job bringing turn-of-the-20th-century Vienna to life. Agent: Clare Alexander, Aitken Alexander Associates. (Oct.)