“What Sir Arthur Conan Doyle did for Victorian London and Caleb Carr did for old New York, J. Sydney Jones does for historic Vienna.”
-Karen Harper, New York Times bestselling author
The Third Place
The Third Place is the sixth installment in my Viennese Mystery series, set at the turn of the twentieth century and featuring private inquiries agent Advokat Karl Werthen and his partner in crime detection, the real-life father of criminology, the Austrian Hanns Gross. In this series addition, Werthen and Gross investigate the murder of Herr Karl, a renowned headwaiter at one of Vienna’s premier cafés. As the investigation turns up new clues, Werthen and Gross are suddenly interrupted in their work by a person they cannot refuse. They are commissioned to locate a missing letter from the emperor to his mistress, the famous actress Katharina Schratt. Franz Josef is desperate for the letter not to fall into the wrong hands, for it contains a damning secret. As the intrepid investigators press on with this new investigation, they soon discover that there has also been an attempt to assassinate the emperor. Eventually, Werthen and Gross realize that the case of the murdered headwaiter and the continuing plot to kill the emperor are connected, and they now face their most challenging and dangerous investigation yet.
A Matter of Breeding
The fifth installment of the Viennese Mysteries is now available.
“Jones adds a delicious historic perspective… presented with precision and panache.”
“Jones’s solid fifth whodunit featuring lawyer Karl Werthen and real-life criminologist pioneer Hanns Gross…is one of the series’ best at combining plot and historical background.”
The fifth installment of the acclaimed Viennese Mystery series, A Matter of Breeding, finds lawyer and private inquiries agent Karl Werthen and his colleague, the criminologist Dr. Hanns Gross, investigating a series of grizzly murder/mutilations of young women in the Austrian province of Styria. The newspapers are touting Jewish blood ritual murders and vampirism, and Werthen and Gross–assisted by the Irish writer Bram Stoker who is in Austria to give a speech–battle against time to discover the real motive for such brutal and seemingly random killings. Meanwhile, Werthen’s wife, Berthe, has her own case to deal with. Commissioned by Archduke Franz Ferdinand, she is investigating a potential breeding scandal at the famous Lipizzaner stud. If the stud line has indeed been corrupted, this can prove to be more than a mere embarrassment for the Habsburgs, for the Lipizzaner blood line has been introduced to most of the royal stables of Europe. As these dual investigations proceed, it eventually becomes apparent that there is a connection between the two. In the end, it all comes down to a matter of breeding.
The Keeper of Hands
Starred Review from Publishers Weekly:
“Jones’s masterful fourth mystery set in early-20th-century Vienna [offers] top-notch detecting and characterizations [that] bolster the intricate plot.”
Praise from Booklist:
“As much an exploration of prewar Vienna as it is a mystery yarn, the book is full of striking visual imagery that helps conjure up the landsdcape…. This series is well worth a look.”
Praise from Kirkus Reviews:
“Jones recreates the beau monde of vintage Vienna with verisimilitude and consummate style.”
Featured on Publishers Weekly LitCast
Featured interview on Kirkus Reviews
Vienna, 1901. With the police seemingly indifferent to the murder of a 19-year-old prostitute known as Mitzi, brothel-keeper Frau Mutzenbacher turns to lawyer Karl Werthen to find out what happened and bring her killer to justice. Yet the more he discovers about the mysterious Mitzi, with her secret past and impressive roster of clients, the more questions Werthen’s investigation throws up.
At the same time, Werthen undertakes a second commission: to find out who viciously assaulted playwright Arthur Schnitzler. Schnitzler believes his latest controversial play might have been the motive for the attack – but is there more to it than that?
As he navigates the highs and lows of Viennese society in dogged pursuit of the truth, Werthen finds himself drawn into a conspiracy of espionage and affairs of state.
Included in Kirkus Reviews
“10 Thrillers to Watch for This Fall” list:
“[Jones uses] mystery fiction to resurrect beautiful, historic Vienna.” (August 30, 2011)
Starred review from Publishers Weekly:
“Jones vividly evokes 1900 Vienna under the leadership of its notorious anti-Semitic mayor, Karl Lueger, in his splendid third whodunit featuring attorney Karl Werthen and criminologist Hanns Gross (after 2010’s Requiem in Vienna). .. Jones poses a challenging puzzle for his savvy investigator while subtly portraying the growing threat to Europe’s Jews.”
Starred review from Library Journal:
“Young lawyer Karl Werthen loves taking on private investigations, so he is eager to pursue the disappearance of a member of the illustrious Wittgenstein family. Concurrently, a Vienna councilman is found shot in his office, an apparent suicide. Working his missing-person case, Werthen interviews a gay freelance journalist who knows young Wittgenstein and, interestingly, has also been writing inflammatory articles about council activities. The missing man is soon found, but the journalist is murdered. Afraid that his interview triggered the man’s death, Werthen feels morally compelled to identify the killer. But what exactly is he looking at: a sex scandal or financial greed? It is a tangled web that now ensnares Werthen, and the next murder hits too close to home. Verdict Ultimately, this fin de siècle mystery is all very Sherlock Holmes. Populated with such real-life luminaries as artist Gustav Klimt, Jones’s third historical series title (after The Empty Mirror) is an intricately plotted, gracefully written, and totally immersive read. Recommended for Stefanie Pintoff, Laurie R. King, and Philip Gooden fans.”
Praise from Kirkus Reviews:
“Jones’ measured, stately prose is perfectly in tune with his period setting and his hero’s intense intellectual curiosity. … His intricate plot unfolds with suspense and style.”
Vienna, 1900. Lawyer and private inquiries agent Karl Werthen is puzzling over the high-profile suicide of a city councilman–former client, next in line to Vienna’s powerful Mayor Karl Lueger, and the last man Werthen would think capable of suicide. Werthen, however, has little time to ponder, as he is summoned by wealthy industrialist Karl Wittgenstein (father of the future philosopher Ludwig) to find his oldest son, Hans, who has gone missing.
Werthen soon discovers the whereabouts of the musically-minded Hans, and the case appears to be solved. But appearances are deceiving, and a simple missing person’s case soon leads back to the councilman’s suicide. Werthen—once again ably assisted by his wife, Berthe, and real-life father of criminology, Dr. Hanns Gross—journeys into a sinister web of deceit and violence that threatens not only his life, but also the very heart of the city and the empire.
| Hardcover (2010)
St. Martin’s Minotaur:
|Barns & Noble|
|Books a Million|
| German edition of The Empty Mirror
Requiem in Vienna
The eagerly awaited second volume in the critically acclaimed Viennese Mystery series
The composer Gustav Mahler is at the heart of this intriguing and compelling mystery/thriller set in Vienna 1900.
“Sophisticated entertainment of a very high caliber.”
—Kirkus Reviews (*starred review)
“A first-class historical mystery.”
—Booklist (*starred review)
“A compelling period whodunit with bountiful cultural and social details.”
“[An] absorbing whodunit [that] succeeds both as a mystery and as a fascinating portrait of a traditional society in ferment.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review)
The Empty Mirror
| Paperback (2010)
St. Martin’s MinotaurBuy the book:
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|Books a Million|
The highly praised first volume of the Viennese Mystery series is now available in paperback.
Fin de siècle Vienna comes to vibrant life in this colorful historical thriller featuring the artist Gustav Klimt.
“…Jones delivers a meaty historical that bodes well for further adventures..”
—Publishers Weekly (*starred review)
“This one bears watching.”
“Jones keeps his mystery moving along with a good deal of skill, but the greatest interest of the novel lies in its glimpses of the political passions and bizarre occurrences of the era…. In recent years, fin-de-siecle Vienna has shown signs of becoming to literary thrillers what 1940s Los Angeles is to noir. The Empty Mirror, a colorful story that neatly combines fact and fiction, suggests why.”
—Patrick Anderson, review in Washington Post
“Jones … deftly melds fact with fiction in a novel that will appeal to mystery aficionados as well as history buffs”