Mortal Mischief

Narrated by: Richard Burnip
Series: The Liebermann Papers, Book 1
4 out of 5 stars

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Publisher's Summary

Vienna, 1902: a beautiful medium has been found shot dead, and Dr Max Liebermann, a young disciple of Sigmund Freud, is called upon to help his friend Detective Inspector Oskar Rheinhardt investigate her death. The room containing the body has been locked from the inside, and a cryptic note suggests a malevolent supernatural power is at work. Using the new science of psychoanalysis, Liebermann probes the minds of the suspects in an attempt to unravel this bewildering crime.
© Frank Tallis; (P)Oakhill Publishing Ltd
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Critic Reviews

"Tallis' writing and feel for the period are top class." (The Times)
"A mouth-watering view of Viennese café society....well and forcefully written." (Literary Review)

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What members say

Overall Ratings

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Customer Reviews

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5 out of 5 stars
By Ms Peach on 05-07-19


There are many side trails in this book that do little to move the main story forward. I think it is really a 6 hour book in an 11 hour package. I skipped whole hour long chapters and never felt like I lost the thread of the story. The characters are well developed and engaging. The solution is intriguing although doubtful as to its execution (all puns intended).

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2 people found this helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Jessica on 03-04-13

It left me hungry for pastry and Strauss.

What made the experience of listening to Mortal Mischief the most enjoyable?

The setting, the city of Vienna at its best, made this an engaging story that was difficult to leave. One tends to forget how important and influential it was. I loved the policeman and the psychiatrist meeting for musical evenings. It made them both whole people with interests and lives of their own. I did worry about the policeman's wife seeing him with the actress. That never seemed to be resolved. But perhaps it will come up in the next book in the series, which is already on my wish list.

Who was your favorite character and why?

I enjoyed them all.

Which character – as performed by Richard Burnip – was your favorite?

Hard to say. Burnip did an excellent job. His accent was believable, and he managed to do credible women's voices without sounding like he was getting ready for transgender surgery. Always a plus.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

I have no idea what a tag line is, so I have no answer for this.

Any additional comments?

This was a great story and a really interesting opening of what seems like it will be a very engaging series.

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2 people found this helpful

2 out of 5 stars
By Nancy E Day on 09-17-12

Ho-hum Victorian mystery

Would you try another book from Frank Tallis and/or Richard Burnip?


What could Frank Tallis have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

The main characters (doctor and detective) were not well drawn - Doctor was a know-it-all, perfect type, the inspector was just dumb - and he wasn't supposed to be. A really lame plot.

What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

The problem I had with the narrator was I couldn't distinguish who was saying what in dialogue. No enough differentiation. Besides that he was good.

What character would you cut from Mortal Mischief?

All of them - all were predictable and not that interesting.

Any additional comments?

This is the first book in the series; maybe the following ones are better.

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4 people found this helpful

Customer Reviews

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5 out of 5 stars
By Peter on 10-19-11

Great listening!

Mortal mischief was the first of three Frank Tallis books I listened to on Max Lieberman, psychiatrist who, solves mysteries in Vienna at the turn of the twentieth century. The criminal mystery is not the main theme in the novel. The atmosphere of this interesting city at that particular time with it's bureaucracy and anti Semitism are much more important, and definitely not least the jewish doctor's engagement to a nice but quite shallow jewish girl and his beginning fascinatination — even infatuation — of a young gentile Engiish student of medicin.
For anybody with some knowledge of Vienna and interest in classical music (which the protagonist executes together with the real detective) will experience a great delight in this and the two following novels. The reading by Richard Burnip is congenial with the text: magnificent!

Peter Cassirer, Sweden

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5 people found this helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By James D on 12-20-16

Well researched thriller - very clever

I highly enjoyed Mortal Mischief. The plot is ingenious. The main characters are extremely well drawn. The multiple levels of historical detail of Vienna at the turn of the century is fascinating and very educational - covering politics, culture and the history of scientific ideas.
There were only a couple of aspects I found irksome - some of the architectural descriptions seemed cumbersome, but that is a rather petty criticism. Slightly more irritating was the political correctness of the main character. The other characters were clearly portrayed as creatures of their time but the main character is so 21st century in his outlook he could be a on a modern day student unions speakers list- oh and he happens to be a practising psycho-analyst ...just like the author. His critique of Freud seems very modern, and not what one might have expected of a young doctor of that era. This leads me to think that the book is rather a vehicle for the author's views on Freud, and so written as both thriller and text book. I am the wiser for that, but it felt slightly incongruous in that genre.

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1 person found this helpful

1 out of 5 stars
By Emilie on 01-17-19

Bored to tears

Dull, predictable, written to formula. Couldn't finish it. A written version of paint-by-number: recognizable in the end as a painting, but who wants it on their wall? Ditto for this novel. Life is too short for bad wine or plodding books.

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