A Matter of Breeding: A Viennese Mystery

Severn House. Jul. 2014. 216p. ISBN 9780727883803. $28.95. M
In their fifth outing (after The Keeper of Hands), attorney Karl Werthen and his colleague famed and prickly criminologist Dr. Hanns Gross confront a serial killer who targets young working-class females. Since the killings display a ritualistic style, Werthen and Gross have numerous suspects to query as they struggle to find the connection among the victims. Unfortunately, the killer has set it up so that Gross becomes a real suspect. Meanwhile, Werthen's wife, Berthe, looks into a problem involving the famed Lipizzaner horses and their lineage. Predictably, the two cases intersect. Factor in a cameo appearance by real-life author Bram Stoker, and expect vampire-related theories to be part of the mix.
VERDICT While the protagonists of Jones's historical forensic series, set in 1901 Vienna, are likable, his intricate plot is Sherlockian in its posturing, minute clues, and use of heavy dialog, barely escaping becoming ponderous at times.

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