Nicholas Segalla journeys back in time to Vienna in 1889 to uncover the truth about the supposed murder and suicide of Archduke Rudolph, heir to the Hapsburg throne, and his beautiful young mistress, Maria Vetsera, at Mayerling.
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The author plays titular hostess in the third in a series of historical mysteries about actual crimes (The Prince Lost to Time, 1995, etc.), reading autobiographical manuscripts supplied by the time-traveling or vampirishly eternal Dr. Nicholas Segalla. Segalla, always acting for power players, here represents Pope Leo XIII as His Holiness strives to comprehend the deaths of Archduke Rudolph and his young mistress Maria Vetsera, found--shot? poisoned?--in 1889 in the Imperial hunting lodge near Vienna. As the Hapsburg Empire reels in reaction, the grieving Emperor claims the deaths are the result of a suicide pact. But stubborn Segalla has forged alliances with an honest policeman and a liberal journalist; he visits the scene of the crime, interviews all comers, from the floor-cleaners to the ``podgy'' widow Crown Princess Stephanie, reads copies of royal letters and the records of Viennese drug dispensers, and reveals a cover-up of the tragedy that is in itself a monstrosity of incompetence. Beneath it he'll perceive a double murder and, probing even further, a motive and a murderer as well. In revisiting the Mayerling event--the Kennedy assassination of the Romantic era--the pseudonymous Dukthas has a good subject for history or mystery. But her monochromatic prose leaches it here of all drama. And her denouement, really a Gordian slash, leaves some relevant items (the Archduke's earlier amours?) dangling unresolved. -- Copyright ©1996, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.From Publishers Weekly :
The third Nicholas Segalla time-travel mystery (The Prince Lost to Time) cuts a jagged trail through the facts and rumors surrounding the death of the Hapsburg Prince Rudolph in 1899. When the bodies of the prince and his 17-year-old mistress are found at the Imperial hunting lodge at Mayerling, Austria, the first account says they were poisoned. But it's soon determined that the couple died in a suicide pact-he shot her, then himself. Getting papal approval for a church burial is a tricky business, but permission is granted on condition that Segalla, appearing here as a papal envoy, may return after the official mourning period to look more closely at the case. When he does, he finds that the Hapsburgs have closed ranks and are reluctant to help him complete his mission. Segalla, as worldly and sophisticated as they come (time-travel and immortality will certainly season a man), measures all the angles, but even he comes up with more questions than answers. Why would a prince, who was planning to return to Vienna and who had visited another of his mistresses only a week before, kill himself and a girl who forced her way into his hunting party? Why had no one at Mayerling heard the shots? Surely not just murder, but politics, too, is afoot. Outlining all the geopolitical scenarios haunting the twilight of the ancien regime forces the pseudonymous Dukthas into a slow pace that picks up just a bit too late.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Description du livre U.S.A.: St Martins Pr, 1996. Hardcover. État : New. Etat de la jaquette : New. 1st Edition.. Language: eng Language: eng. N° de réf. du libraire ABE-18093231922
Description du livre St Martins Pr, 1996. Hardcover. État : New. N° de réf. du libraire P110312146760
Description du livre St Martins Pr. Hardcover. État : New. 0312146760 New Condition. N° de réf. du libraire NEW6.0133491