Friday, September 28, 2012
Review of A Death in Vienna by Frank Tallis (Arrow, 2006)
There’s lots to like about A Death in Vienna (also published as Mortal Mischief). The plot is cleverly conceived and well executed, with a couple of substantial subplots that add, rather than detract, from the story. The locked room element of the story is well realised and Tallis does a good job of keeping various suspects in the frame. The characterisation is nicely executed with respect to all the principle and secondary characters, with Rheinhardt and Liebermann being nice, complementary foils. There is also a strong sense of place and attention to historical detail. The story is very much set in Vienna, with its streets, shops and galleries, and is rooted in its culture, politics and science at the turn the twentieth century. Despite all these qualities, the storytelling was a little flat and wooden at the start, but it soon livened up to become an engaging and engrossing read. I’ll be checking out the next book in the series.