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Liebermann Papers Books In Order

Publication Order of Liebermann Papers Books

Mortal Mischief aka A Death in Vienna (2005) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Vienna Blood (2006) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Fatal Lies (2008) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Darkness Rising aka Vienna Secrets (2009) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Deadly Communion aka Vienna Twilight (2010) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Death And The Maiden (2011) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Mephisto Waltz (2018) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Max Liebermann is the star of this series, which is from the crime, history, and psychology genres of fiction. Frank Tallis, who writes the series, is a clinical psychologist, uses his expertise in the psychology field to write the books. He is a psychoanalytic detective in Vienna, Austria, at the turn of the twentieth century.

The series started in the year 2005, when the first novel “A Death in Vienna” (this is the American title, it was also published under the name “Mortal Mischief”) was released. The books in this series have been translated into fourteen different languages.

In late 2002, Frank was having lunch with his agent, and she suggested to him that he should write a detective series. He had been working, although not very hard, on one in the back of his mind. He wanted to write about an early eighteenth century psychiatrist that worked at a mental hospital (at the time, he would have been called a mad doctor). His agent did not care for the idea and thought he should do a series set in the Victorian era. This was so that he could appeal to a broader audience. His agent’s idea was not one that he liked, at first. This was due to his just having written a history of the unconscious and of psychotherapy, both of which featured Freud. This made him not to keen to write about this time period.

He saw a play about Jung and Freud that made him feel that they were no ordinary mortals anymore. He felt that their story had reached mythical proportions. And with all myths, comes endless repetition. This meant that he could marry Victorian murder mysteries with a Freudian case study, he felt. He felt that detection and psychoanalysis are a lot alike. Sigmund Freud and Sherlock Holmes, basically, are in the same business.

When the series first starts (in the year 1902), Max is in his late twenties and a disciple of Freud. He goes to Freud’s apartment on Wednesday nights to have meetings. Him and some other doctors talk about their observations on the darker side that humans have.

He also is very good at playing the piano, and loves the musical evenings that he and Oskar Rheinhardt (a friend) have together. Oskar is a lyrical baritone, that happens to be a Detective Inspector; he also has two young daughters and is married. It is Oskar that gets Max involved in the cases, mainly when a suspect is interviewed. Max allows the person being interviewed to betray themselves with certain unconscious processes. Every slip, inflection, and every dream has a meaning that will reveal something that would otherwise be hidden.

The series is set between the years of 1902 and 1914. This was a busy time of unprecedented activity in at least three areas. These areas are the arts, philosophy, and science.

“A Death in Vienna” is the first novel in the “Liebermann Papers” series and was released in the year 2005. A beautiful and mysterious medium dies under some remarkable circumstances. Max’s friend, Oskar, calls for him to provide his expert opinion in the matter. The medium was found in a room that could only be locked from the inside. The body has been shot, but there is no bullet nor a sign of a gun. There is a suicide note lying on a table; it says that there is in fact such a thing as forbidden knowledge. It looks like some kind of supernatural killer. Liebermann, a scientist, does not think this is the case.

Fans of the novel found that the characters in the novel are fully developed and rich, the words in the book transport the reader to another world, and it had a great mystery. The way that Tallis writes, he is able to show the atmosphere of the time and place; he is even able to provide quite a few historic details that makes the proceedings a bit more authentic and accurate. There is a twisting and turning plot that will keep some interested and turning the pages to figure out what is going to happen next. The novel took some getting used to, but once readers get into it, they cannot stop until they have finished the entire book. Some cannot wait until they can start the next installment in this interesting series.

“Vienna Blood” is the second novel in the “Liebermann Papers” series and was released in the year 2006. In the middle of winter in Siberia during the year 1902, some serial killer is going on an odd killing spree while in Vienna. Brutal mutilation, a preference for secret symbols, and what appears to be a random choice of victim. These all seem to be peculiarities that stand out about this killer. Once again, Max is asked by Oskar to help with the case. Trying to solve the murder takes them into the realm of Vienna’s secret societies (race theorists, scientists that are inspired by evolutionary theories that originate from England, and German library scholars). It does not seem as though this killer’s mind is penetrable; as his behavior and the puzzling clues he leaves behind are immune to psychoanalysis. There does seem to be some shocking and great rationale that is at the bottom of what he is doing. This only emerges gradually, the more they investigate the killings.

Fans of the novel liked the way that the growing popularity of pan-German ideals into the murderer and their motivations for the crimes they are committing. Once again, the author does a great job with the writing. He does a great job putting a twisting and turning plot together, and further developing the characters. Some feel the plot is well handled, and does a great job developing what was going on in Austria around this time; showing what is good and what is bad about all the people pursuing their different kinds of thinking. Tallis does a great job of balancing the two styles of detection that Max and Oskar use. Max uses radical theories (an early version of criminal profiling), and Oskar uses old school detection.

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