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The discovery of the nude and strangled corpse of a 19-year-old prostitute known as Mitzi propels Jones's masterful fourth mystery set in early-20th-century Vienna (after 2011's The Silence). Josephine Mutzenbacher, Mitzi's madam, hires Hans Gross, the real-life pioneering criminologist, and Karl Werthen, a private enquiry agent and lawyer, to investigate. Werthen's discovery of a letter that Mitzi wrote in code and hid in a Bible-specifically in the part of the Book of Joshua that refers to the harlot Rahab concealing Israelite spies-suggests that the victim may also have been involved in the world's second-oldest profession. Another woman's murder raises the stakes. Werthen and Gross's inquiries come to the notice of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, whose revelations about conflict between the country's different intelligence services add another dimension to the case. Top-notch detecting and characterizations bolster the intricate plot. Agent: John Talbot, Talbot Fortune Agency. (July) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.
The fourth in the Viennese Mysteries series set in Vienna around the turn of the twentieth century finds lawyer and private investigator Karl Werthen trying to unmask the murderer of a prostitute. But what appears to be a straightforward search for a killer becomes progressively more complicated as Werthen keeps discovering new mysteries about the victim. Meanwhile, playwright Arthur Schnitzler who, like supporting players in previous books in the series, is a real-life character has been viciously beaten, and Werthen wonders whether it was because of Schnitzler's recent literary work or his connection to the murdered prostitute. As much an exploration of prewar Vienna as it is a mystery yarn, the book is full of striking visual imagery that helps conjure up the landsdcape (A massive potted palm stood in a brass pot near the floor-to-ceiling windows, through which he could just make out the spire of the Votivkirche). Perhaps not as widely known as it ought to be, this series is well worth a look.--Pitt, David Copyright 2010 Booklist