1909. Strange suicide plague in Vienna. Why do all these people kill themselves, while they have no reason at all to do so? Wouldn't be something - or somebody - else? Warning to impossible crime fans: one of the so-called "suicides" is a locked room.
While he - remarkably - uses Golden Age school's apparatus, Perutz gives here a book that is wholly sui generis. It could be a mystery. It could be weird. It could be both. Mystery fans will be delighted by intricate plotting, virtuoso use of multiple solutions and a totally unexpected ending. They'll also be delighted, along with others, by magistral recreation of a vanished world, quirky atmosphere and characters, and a reflection on time, art and reality. Yet in the end, the book's real nature remains a mystery. There's only one thing to know: it's a masterpiece.