This is very cleverly done. The characters come alive from the first page — in particular, the American and British embassy types with their various kinds of class-consciousness and hierarchical thinking. But Austria’s past, too, the Nazi period, the war, the post-war scene, all these play a part not only in the setting of the novel but in its actual plot.
The novel will appeal to those readers who like a good mystery, and are happy to immerse themselves in a foreign culture as full of stories and histories as the Viennese culture in the fifties was. It is a thoroughly entertaining piece of story-telling and, for those who want to see it, a fascinating glimpse into a time that has passed.