The Empty Mirror: A Viennese Mystery
by J. Sydney Jones
Minotaur Books (January 2010)
Amazon.com Synopsis: Set in Vienna in 1898, Jones's absorbing whodunit succeeds both as a mystery and as a fascinating portrait of a traditional society in ferment. When artist Gustav Klimt becomes a suspect in a series of bizarre murders, he turns for help to his lawyer friend, Karl Werthen, who joins forces with real-life pioneering criminologist Hanns Gross. Werthen and Gross follow a trail that leads through all strata of Viennese society and threatens to put them at odds with not only a trained killer but powerful members of the ruling class.
My Thoughts: Ahhhh - I was transported back into my college classrooms, remembering why I decided to pursue a major in Political Science. I thoroughly enjoyed the cross between history and mystery that The Empty Mirror provided. The first 80 or so pages seemed a bit slow to me. It had been a while since I read a mystery novel and I expected it to be a bit more action-packed, but I hung in there and was not disappointed. Thankfully, just when I had it all figured out, the story turned and provided a welcomed surprise - a successful mystery.
I very much enjoyed Werthen's character - combinations of professional discontent, new love, and would-be sleuth allowed the story to be more than just a murder mystery.
On a personal note, this was the first time in months that I had a few uninterrupted weekend hours to devote to a story, which made it even more enjoyable. I would recommend An Empty Mirror to anyone with a taste for historical fiction and a desire for a good mystery.
Thanks to Swapna from S. Krishna's Books for the review and recommendation.
S. Krishna's Books