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The Silence (A Viennese Mystery) Hardcover – December 1, 2011


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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Jones vividly evokes 1900 Vienna ... in his splendid third whodunit featuring attorney Karl Werthen and criminologist Hanns Gross." -Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"[Jones uses] mystery fiction to resurrect beautiful, historic Vienna."- Kirkus Reviews "10 Thrillers to Watch for This Fall" list

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Product Details

  • Series: A Viennese Mystery
  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Severn House Publishers (December 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0727880845
  • ISBN-13: 978-0727880840
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #673,300 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

J. Sydney Jones is the author of twelve books, including the first four critically acclaimed installments of the Viennese Mystery series, THE EMPTY MIRROR (2009) REQUIEM IN VIENNA (2010), THE SILENCE (2011), and THE KEEPER OF HANDS (2013). Also the author of the WWII mystery, RUIN VALUE (2013). A long-time resident of Vienna, he currently lives near Santa Cruz, California.

Visit the author at his homepage, http://www.jsydneyjones.com and at his blog, Scene of the Crime, http://jsydneyjones.wordpress.com

Here's what the critics are saying about THE SILENCE:
"Jones vividly evokes 1900 Vienna ... in his splendid third whodunit featuring attorney Karl Werthen and criminologist Hanns Gross."
--Publishers Weekly (starred review

Here's what the critics are saying about REQUIEM IN VIENNA:
"A rich, beautifully written historical mystery...first class."
--Booklist (starred review)
"Sophisticated entertainment of a very high caliber."--Kirkus Reviews (starred review)


Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Barbara J. Mitchell VINE VOICE on October 23, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I'm delighted that J. Sydney Jones sent a PDF of this book to me for review. It is the third in a series of mystery novels set in historic Vienna, a city Jones lived in for some time years ago. The fact that I hadn't read the first two was no barrier to enjoyment of this one, but certainly convinced me that I must read the others very soon. They are, in order: The Empty Mirror and Requiem in Vienna, both published last year. I should add that these are print books with gorgeous covers appropriate to the setting.

Attorney and private inquiries agent (private detective) Karl Werthen is the protagonist but by no means alone in his investigations. His wife Berthe is one of my favorite characters, so level-headed, patient, and fully invested in each case. She gives him fresh eyes and good ideas. Another partner in solving the crime is a real person, Dr. Hanns Gross who was the father of criminology. He is gruff and abrupt with people but has a better grasp of the issues than anyone else.

In addition to his case, Werthen is beset by family squabbles involving his orthodox father-in-law, and his snobbish parents who apparently don't credit Werthen and his wife with the good sense to take care of their baby daughter, the apple of Werthen's eye. Leave it to the grandparents to muddy the waters when the first grandchild is born.

Werthen is at first hired to find a wealthy family's oldest son. As he goes to their mansion we learn one of the many things about 1900 Vienna that make this book so charming and interesting to read. The wife has a migraine, so city workers have been dispatched to spread straw on the street to muffle the sound of horses' hooves. There are descriptions of homes, the architecture of city buildings, the sounds and smells of the city, and the Vienna Woods.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Irishgal on March 3, 2013
Format: Hardcover
I first stumbled across J. Sydney Jones a few years ago and eagerly read his first two Karl Werthen works, "The Empty Mirror" and "Requiem in Vienna". I was pleasantly surprised to discover that a third installment in the series has been written (with #4 due out on June 1 of this year) and snatched it up during a recent trip to the local library. Though it has been nearly three years since I was last in his world, I quickly found myself drifting back to early 1900s Vienna and the world of Karl Werthen.

Married with a young child, Karl Werthen is a lawyer who doubles as an investigator. When an old client, Gustav Klimt, recommends a new case for Werthen to work on, he eagerly takes it on; a wealthy businessman's son has disappeared. Karl is quickly able to ascertain the son's whereabouts, but this seemingly easy case quickly embroils him in a deeper mystery involving two recent "suicides", the world of underhand politics, and double-dealing that may put his young family in danger. With the help of his old friend, Hanns Gross, Karl is determined to get to the bottom of what is going on, even if it results in the death of someone he holds dear.

It's easy to compare this series to Frank Tallis' Max Liebermann series; after all, the two both take place at the same time period in the city of Vienna. Where Tallis focuses on the use of psychology, featuring Sigmund Freud as a secondary character, Jones has chosen to focus on the real-life Hanns Gross as the "sidekick" to his protagonist. Both series are fabulous, and this book held me captive until the last page. I can't wait to read the next one!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Tom Ovens on December 31, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is another top flight journey back into the lost world of fin-de-siecle Vienna. Jones has tossed in red herrings and false leads enough to make it a real whodunnit, all the while giving us another painless history lesson in introducing us to personages less well known such as the fascinating Wittgenstein family, the Austrian equivalent of the Rothschilds or Rockefellers; the popular, yet anti-Semitic, mayor of Vienna, Karl Lueger, who forms a surprising plot against the monarchy; and the acerbic journalist, Karl Kraus, the man who knew all the secrets of Viennese society. Throw in Gustav Klimt, Otto Wagner, and Viktor Adler. All and more are brought into the story in a believable manner. All these combine to paint a portrait of a time of emperors, of radical changes in art and thought, yet still these are people with motives that are as contemporary as any of today's political scandals. A good read that should leave readers wanting to do their own further research into this long gone era.
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Format: Hardcover
La Belle Époque, (it translates as the beautiful era) was the name given, by the survivors of the Great War, to that period between May of 1871 and August of 1914. During those forty-three years, the European powers were at peace, and, looking back over the horrors and privations of the previous four years, it appeared, in retrospect, to have been a golden age.

And, partly, it was.

In the Habsburg Empire, Otto Wagner was designing marvelous buildings; Gustav Klimt was painting up a storm; Sigmund Freud was publishing his seminal works on psychoanalysis and Hans Gross was laying the foundations of modern criminology.

Yes, criminology.
Because the other side of the coin was that the Belle Époque was nowhere near as belle as the name suggests.

It was a time of great inequality, of religious prejudice, of stifling hierarchies, of outrageous privilege and of considerable murder and mayhem.

It is also the time in which J. Sydney Jones sets his novels, the most recent of which is THE SILENCE.

The Silence (Viennese Mysteries)

The place: Vienna; the year: 1900; the principal protagonist: a lawyer we've met twice before (in THE EMPTY MIRROR and REQUIEM IN VIENNA) by the name of Karl Werthen.

I'm certain Werthen is a creature of Jones' imagination, but I'm not entirely sure about many of the other characters. One of the author's admirable qualities is his splendid ability to mix fact and fiction, transforming every book in his series from a mere mystery to a primer of place and time.

And, speaking for myself, I'm never quite sure how much of any Jones book is true and how much is not.
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