(Harvill blurb) When the idolised actor Eugen Bischoff is found shot dead in a garden pavilion in Vienna one September evening of 1909, suspicion fastens at once on Baron von Yosch, a well-to-do army officer who has been the lover of the dead man's wife Dina. While Dina's brother prepares to expose the baron to public humiliation and drive him to suicide, two of Bischoff's friends are willing to accept von Yosch's word that he is innocent and that the actor took his own life. The three of them piece together the scanty clues and in the course of a couple of days painstakingly establish what occurred during the actor's last hours, and how this relates to some recent unexplained suicides in his circle.
As in his other novels, so here too Leo Perutz skilfully orchestrates an atmosphere of deepening mystery suffused with terror as the shadowy nightmare figures in the actor's last days are gradually, at no little peril to the enquirers, brought to light.
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In pre-World War I Vienna, an actor is shot during a musical performance and suspicion falls on Baron von Yosch, whose mistress left him for the actor. The baron sets out to clear his name himself. By the author of The Swedish Cavalier.