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The Devil's Lieutenant Hardcover – June 1, 1970


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Product Details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: Putnam Pub Group (June 1970)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0399102086
  • ISBN-13: 978-0399102080
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.6 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,872,504 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 28, 2000
Format: Hardcover
M. (Maria) Fagyas only wrote five books. She is a superb storyteller. The Devil's Lieutenant looks on the surface like a lurid romance novel, but it's an intelligent, suspenseful, extremely well-written mystery. The story is quite unusual and unique. M. Fagyas paints a fascinating picture of pre-WWI Austria-Hungary, a Kafkaesque locale for this story. It's one of the best mysteries I've read, and I'm very particular.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By David W. Straight on January 24, 2009
Format: Hardcover
This is a fine novel set in Vienna in 1909: I reread it every few years. It's a mystery, but it's also much more than that. Poisoned pills are sent to 10 graduates of the Austro-Hungarian (Kaiserlich und Koniglich/Imperial and Royal) War College class of 1905. Most are sent to members in the top 15 out of the 90-odd who graduated that year. These 15 automatically were promoted to Captain and given positions on the immensely prestigious General Staff Corps. One of the recipients takes the supposedly aphrodesiac pills and dies. The "detective" in the novel is Captain Kunze, a judge advocate, who investigates the case.

You get a fine view of Austria and especially Vienna in 1909. War is in the air, and there is an appetite for the army to invade the Balkans. What is particularly interesting is the portrayal of social life in the K und K officer corps, and that the case is handled by the military rather than the civilian police. Emperor Franz Josef is not anti-semetic and does not want war: his son, Archduke Ferdinand is the opposite. Both want the case handled so it doesn't reflect bady on the army. Kunze finds a suspect, who was 18th in the class and thus not promoted and given a position in the General Staff. But in military cases, circumstantial evidence is not sufficient for a death sentence, unlike a civilian case. Better evidence or a confession is needed, or, preferably, the suspect is put in a room with a loaded revolver with the suggestion about doing the honorable thing.

Kunze is a fascinating character--both independent of the pressures from his superiors and the royalty, and as dogged as Inspector Javert in Les Miserables. He wants to see justice done. The writing is excellent.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By History Lover on August 31, 2004
Format: Hardcover
If I could give this book more than five stars, I would. This novel is not only a mystery but a fascinating portrait of the Austro-Hungarian empire on the eve of WWI. The historical accuracy is amazing. Fagyas never imposes modern sensibilities on her characters but roots them in their historical period. She is a brilliant writer who derserves to be better known.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By sanjeev sood on April 19, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Now this one was a novel which i read on pure instinct! I got this book from a vendor who obviously didnt know that he had a gem with him, which he gave away for peanuts!(an original edition,at that!)
M.Fagyas is incredible and deserves accolades and applause for her amazing novel based on the astro-hungarian empire.
An amazing crime which rocked the empire in 1909.
An officer who was passed over for promotion(Peter Dorfrichter)was accused of mailing poisoned "aphrodisiac" capscules to 10 members of the army general staff.The death of captain Richard Mader triggers of an investigation which is actually a battle of wits between the accused and the Judge Advocate Captain Emil Kunze.The novel is stunning and a must for all book lovers.M.Fagyas has her biggest fan in me. I highly recommend this book to all and hope that they bless me!The novel is a real page turner, which keeps you hooked and glued and dosent let you sit still. It is skilfully written and just keeps going on and on .... a pure work of a master story teller!. Go ahead book lovers! get your copy today!!!(iIf you havent read this then you are surely missing out something!!!!!
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